Auto Insurance Electronic Payment Policy Retention

Many auto insurance companies have seen the benefits of having their clients on automatic payments that are taking electronically from the insured bank account monthly. The policy retention of the clients that have electronic funds transfer for installments is more than double that of the direct bill clients.

Having significantly higher policy retention benefits the insurance company in many ways. There is less paperwork that needs to be done for clients that are cancelled for non-payment, there are less midterm cancellations, and more of the client’s policies mature to receive the loyalty discounts that are offered.

When an insurance company offers a loyalty discount it is less likely that the insured will be able to find a more competitive rate with another carrier. In California, if the insured were to get quoted from new insurance companies the new companies will not be able to offer a discounted rate because the client has had continuous coverage.

In return the insurance companies offer these electronic payments to client multiple times. Some insurance carriers offer this to the client on almost every communication. The companies will also offer lower billing fees to these clients that elect to have their monthly payment taken from their checking account.

There has been some debate in the industry about the level of responsibility of the clients that choose EFT monthly installments. Some say that these clients are more financially responsible and would have the higher retention regardless of the policy billing. Either way, the insured will be able to save each month on the billing fees associated with the policies. In some cases the saving could be as high as $10 per month.

Electronic Payment Now Offered By Self Storage Providers

Many self storage facilities are now adopting the electronic payment system for the convenience of their clients. With this option, it is easy for tenants to pay their monthly rent even while at home or in their office. It saves time and gas cost in going to the facility just to pay their due.

As with retail stores, the electronic payment option indeed proves advantageous to a lot of people particularly the busy professionals and business owners. By just going online and using their credit card, they can pay through the company’s website any time of the day or night they are available.

Experts are also encouraging providers that have established their websites to ensure that their sites are optimized for mobile devices. With the increasing number of people owning smartphones and tablets these days, it would benefit facilities to cater to this group as well. By making a website available in mobiles, customers can easily check for availability of units and search for other relevant information while on the move.

On the part of self storage facilities, they can also choose to use these mobile devices to accept payments whether onsite or remotely. The staff or the managers can utilize these modern technologies if they feel the need to do so.

Some managers also consider this a good option particularly for delinquent tenants who may be ashamed to show their face after a month or so of not paying their rent. At least through the online payment system, they can still makeup for their missed payments without having to see the reaction of the staff and the facility’s manager.

So what are the technologies that self storage can use to provide a convenient payment option to their tenants?

Website – Having a website is a big advantage. It not only provides customers with a way to gather information about your company and your services but it can also provide a payment option such as via credit card or PayPal. Make sure then that your website is fully functional to encourage clients and other internet users to visit it regularly when they have questions or if they want to pay their monthly rent.

Smartphone – Providers can allow customers via their smartphones as long as they make their website available on mobile devices. Many people prefer to use this today because they can do various tasks using this handheld device even when they’re out of the house or their office or while they’re traveling.

Tablet – Again, websites have to be made available on mobile to encourage self storage tenants to use electronic payment systems. This way, they can still pay their monthly rent even without visiting the facility at its location.

Although these facilities may have a local or regional wide customer base only, utilizing these modern payment technologies is still effective. Consumers normally go after convenience and when their self storage provider or any company for that matter is able to give this to them, you can be assured of their loyalty moving forward. And implementing an electronic payment system is definitely one way of providing this sought after convenience.

Making the Switch From Paper Cheques to Electronic Payment

Paper cheques’ days are numbered!

As anyone doing business in Europe will know, cheques are no longer used as a method of payment in most European countries. Rather, it is standard practice for companies to publish their bank details on invoices, so that payment can be made directly to their bank account.

Within North America, cheque usage is on the decline. We believe that the tipping point is fast approaching where cheques will become the exception, rather than the rule, in business-to-business (B2B) payments. A significant number of corporations are planning to migrate the majority of their B2B payments to electronic payments.

There are numerous advantages to using electronic payment methods such as electronic funds transfer (EFT) to pay your suppliers and employees:

  1. Security and internal control is significantly strengthened, reducing chance of fraud and theft. EFT payment approvals utilize strong on-line banking security, instead of much weaker paper-based signature approvals
  2. Paper cheque stock no longer needs to be stored and secured
  3. Clerical work and errors are reduced through automated efficiency
  4. Ability to manage and forecast cash flow is improved. Payments can be set up with various due dates, and post-dated for up to 35 days
  5. Stale-dated cheques are no longer a possibility
  6. Bank reconciliations are simplified, as there will be no outstanding cheques to account for
  7. Cheque printing, mailing and handling costs are eliminated
  8. Payment approval process is streamlined. Payments are ready for approval immediately upon entry into the EFT system. Payments can be approved from anywhere, at anytime, by authorized signing authorities
  9. EFT is environmentally friendly. Paper & ink used in producing cheques and envelopes is eliminated, as is the carbon footprint resulting from the physical distribution of cheques.

There are also a number of benefits to vendors and employees of implementing EFT payables. These include:

  1. Assurance of prompt payment directly to vendor’s bank account
  2. Vendors have improved ability to manage and forecast their company’s cash flow
  3. Time and cost of handling and depositing cheques is eliminated
  4. Risk of lost, stolen or damaged cheques is eliminated

The process to convert to EFT payables is relatively straightforward. Begin by gathering written authorizations from your suppliers to pay them electronically. This information can be collected on a single page form and includes your supplier’s banking information, along with their agreement that payments will be made to the specified bank account. The supplier also agrees to notify you if they wish to change the account to which payment is to be made. These forms should be kept on file in the event of any dispute concerning where funds have been deposited.

Each bank has their own web portal and systems to enable their customers to process EFT transactions via the internet. Security tokens or USB keys, along with a user ID and password, are given to each person requiring access.

Multiple signing authorities can be easily accommodated, as each signing authority is given their own security token and access credentials. Before a payment transaction can be released for payment, all necessary approval authorities must first have signed on and approved the transaction. This is one reason why EFT is considered to be a far more secure method of payment than paper cheques.

Does your organization still pay its suppliers using paper cheques? If so, you may wish to consider joining the growing number of organizations that have converted their payment method from cheques to electronic payment, in the process realizing significant benefits.