We all want to get paid—and the sooner, the better. Making it as easy as possible for customers to pay their bills is not only beneficial for an energy marketer’s bottom line, but also an increasingly important part of the customer service experience.
Recent surveys show that consumer preferences in payment methods have shifted over the years, with nearly half (45.25%) choosing to pay bills by credit card and nearly as many (42.45%) preferring to pay with a debit card. Only 12.30% still prefer to write checks or pay cash.
Another survey found that 67% of consumers prefer using websites or mobile apps to make digital bill payments, citing convenience, speed, and simplicity. (You can read more about it in the article “Trends in Customer Payment Preferences” published in the March 2023 edition of “Oil & Energy” magazine.)
So, what does this mean for your energy business? If you’re not fully invested in offering multiple payment options—including an online payment portal for customer convenience—you’re operating at a disadvantage. There are multiple benefits to shifting customer payments to credit and debit cards online. First off, you’ll get paid faster. No more waiting for a check to arrive in the mail, spending hours on deposits, wondering when (or if) the check will clear, or collecting overdue invoices. Online payments are typically deposited in your bank account within 24 hours.
Yes, there will be costs associated with credit card payments or ACH bank transfers. Processing fees and rates can vary widely, as can the service you receive from the service providers. For example, some credit card processors misclassify propane and heating oil dealers as retailers, when they actually qualify for lower utility rates. This alone can more than double processing costs.
Learn more about how credit and debit cards are processed and how you can get the lowest rates and protect your funds in the article, “Get Money Sooner,” which was published in the July 2022 issue of “Oil & Energy” magazine.
You can thrive in today’s digital economy. Contact us today to learn how we can help you transform your business.
Blue Cow Software solutions are now part of PDI Technologies as the global convenience company enters a new fuel oil and propane vertical.