As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to drive consumers indoors and online, SMBs are quickly learning that they can no longer rely on physical payment methods to keep the cash flowing. Whether by desire or necessity, consumers are moving their spending online - and they may never look back.

While the pandemic has certainly fueled the current migration to e-commerce, digital payments have been rapidly evolving thanks to advances in online payment processing, electronic payment technology, as well as mobile and wireless technologies. And while e-commerce's portion of the total share of the global retail market is still relatively slim, much of the growth in the retail sector, for example, now occurs in online sales. Knowing this, many SMBs are consolidating their solutions and turning to fully-integrated payments platforms to manage this process - here's why.

Customer Experience

Customer experience is the new gold and its rapidly becoming the principal competitive differentiator in the online payment universe. The COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity for businesses to foster customer trust and develop relationships. Integrated Payments Platforms can provide solutions designed to streamline these relationships; enabling you to easily email customer receipts, securely store customers' credit card information via tokenization file, and set up automated recurring billing. Businesses can leverage these data points so customers receive the type of assistance they both want and need and can lead to future sales opportunities, fueled by buyer loyalty.

Preferred Payment Method

In today's fast-paced business environment being able to accept all forms of payment can be the difference in making a sale. The COVID-19 outbreak is prompting second thoughts about reaching for cash and these new virus fears could be enough to introduce methods such as mobile payments to those who otherwise didn't see the appeal. An integrated payment platform offers a broad spectrum of payment options; enabling consumers to use their preferred payment method.

Less Time, More Integration, Better Profits

As consumers shift to digital payment methods, using an integrated payment platform can easily save businesses from processing payments through multiple vendors. Since there is no longer a need to divide time managing numerous integrations and vendors, one doesn't have to allocate as many resources to the process. This enables businesses to cut costs in a substantial way, which then in turn sets the stage for higher profits as compared to the usage of a common payment platform with many vendors. Less paper, more integration, increased profits.

Increase Cash Flow

A recent study found 82 percent of businesses fail due to cash flow mismanagement. Integrating your business' payments helps ensure that cash flows get documented in real-time when transactions are completed. Without this ability, long wait periods for invoice payments and other delays could disrupt business operations, especially in times like this. An integrated payments solution provides up-to-date reporting; providing an accurate depiction of cash flow. Knowing how much money your business has available helps you better manage operations and inventory, along with paying vendors and bills without dipping into the red.

Eliminate Human Error

Before the option of Integrated Payment Solutions, businesses had to wait for a batch report and then manually enter transaction data into accounting software. This process left ample room for human error, such as incorrect data entry or applying data to incorrect accounts - something that is unacceptable for businesses operating under current circumstances in the wake of COVID-19. Simply put, labor-intensive data entry can lead to costly mistakes — in addition, those mistakes can be time-consuming to discover, locate, and correct. The automated, seamless flow of transactions from multiple channels (in-person, online, using a mobile app, etc.) directly into your general ledger or other accounting system eliminates much of this concern, giving way to confidence in your accounting and reporting.

Maximize Payment Security

Data breaches and fraud are growing concerns, which means protecting customers' payment data should be a priority for every business. An Integrated Payments Processing Platform provides a 360 degree view into payment data, helping protect purchases from fraud and security threats. In addition, Integrated Payment Platforms offer business value-added services like tokenization and end-to-end encryption, which contribute to a higher standard of payment security. Safe, secure, reliable payments that maintain the privacy and integrity of data are essential to protecting your business and maintaining the trust of your customers, improving consumer confidence and retention rates and helping your business keep more of what it earns.

The world has changed in the face of COVID-19. Phrases like "social distancing" and "flattening the curve" have become part of our daily discussion seemingly overnight. Fortunately, we also live in an age where technology allows us to conduct business in ways that may not have seemed possible just a decade ago. As we all continue to adjust to the new normal, if your business is not efficiently processing payments digitally, now is the time to take action.

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About Qualpay

Qualpay is a fully-integrated payments platform that utilizes the most up to date technology to reduce costs and streamline back-office operations. Its comprehensive system addresses and resolves the payment challenges businesses face, ensuring a stronger, more robust infrastructure that allows companies to focus on growing their business. Qualpay's reporting intelligence and data analytics allow customers to quickly and efficiently manage their payment finances, saving them both time and money. Simply put, Qualpay provides a better way to manage payments. For more information, please visit