The Best Payment Management Systems
If you have your own business, a good payment management system is a necessity for your work.
Not only will it save you money and help increase profits, but it can also widen your customer base and cut down on payment errors.
Additionally, it can save you time, money and energy that you were spending on human capital.
Good payment processing software can enable a business to process multiple types of payments, manage payments received and made, while also integrating with other accounting and payment software.
What Is a Payment Management System
Payment management software is a cloud-based, cost-reducing software app that integrates with your business accounting system.
It works to refine the accounts payable process and reduces fraud. Global suppliers can also be paid in their preferred currency and payment methods.
A good payment management system considers the entire accounts payable workflow. It handles getting approvals for payment and can automatically pay large groups of payments or individual bill payments.
The software also collects payment information and sends it to the bank for approval or denial, supports multiple payment options, as well as identifying and tracking errors such as late payments and failed transactions.
Benefits of a Payment Management System
There are numerous benefits to finding the right payment management system for your business.
Not only can it offer a smoother experience for your customers, but it can also reduce operating costs, create more payment options and cut down on errors.
There are a few more benefits to keep in mind:
Multiple Payment Options
A payment management system allows your business to take payment in many forms. Credit cards, cash, online payments, multiple currencies and digital wallets can all be utilized.
Being able to accept any form of payment can mean the difference between losing a sale and keeping a customer.
Foreign Currency Payments
In an age when goods can be purchased from anywhere, having a system that accepts foreign currency is a must. Without it, your customer base shrinks.
Digital payments can be processed and funds received by a business much quicker than cash payments.
This depends on what accounting software is being used.
Better Risk Protection
Most payment management software systems have security measures that can detect fraud and recover money in instances of fraud.
Database of Transactions
Payment management software systems can store records of transactions in a way that cash payments cannot.
If there is a dispute or a discrepancy, you will be able to easily find it.
It is also useful for tax purposes.
Lower Operational Costs
Having your payment platform in one place means that staff and resources can be allocated to other areas of need.
Key Features in a Payment Management System
Before you choose a payment management system for your business, there are some key features that must be included:
Multiple Payment Options
Accepting multiple payment types ensures that you grow your customer base and keep your customers happy.
Look for a system that supports point of sale transactions, digital wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay and debit and credit card processing.
Taking any type of digital payment invites a certain amount of fraud.
A good payment management system should have advanced security solutions such as encryption, tokenization and fraud protection rules to secure credit and debit card data.
Foreign Currency Conversion
The ability to accept many different currencies, and even convert the rate in store, is good business sense.
It also allows customers to see what they are paying in their currency right away and avoid later disputes.
A good system will have both multiple currency conversion as well as dynamic currency conversion.
A good customer integration system will keep customers returning.
If given the option at the point of sale to enter their email and other information, they can be reached with special offers or gain points towards discounts and merchandise.
The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard is an information security standard for organizations that handle branded credit cards from the major card schemes.
The PCI Standard is mandated by the card brands but administered by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council.
9 Best Payment Management Systems
Best: Cloud-based system
Cost: 2.9% + C$0.30 per successful card charge
Stripe is a cloud-based system that helps businesses accept online payments.
Stripe offers many payment functions such as storing cards, subscriptions and payouts to user bank accounts.
Stripe accepts international debit cards, credit cards and multiple currencies for businesses as well as enabling mobile and web payments.
Stripe can be integrated with applications such as Zoho Invoice, FreshBooks, Sellsy, Squarespace, Zapier and more. Online customer support is offered for users as well.
In addition, Stripe offers PCI compliance, instant payment acceptance, invoice paying, collection of transaction fees and shared customers.
Stripe does not charge any card storage fees, setup fees, monthly fees, refund fees or validation fees.
The system is encrypted and offers a high level of security for transactions.
Stripe users note that the system can be difficult to set up and can require a lot of searching on the company website to find help.
They also note a need for better tax support, quicker return of money and slightly higher processing rates.
Best for: Growing businesses
Cost: $49/month or $490/year
Zoho Subscriptions is used by businesses to automate subscription management and recurring billing.
Zoho users include small and medium businesses such as gyms, start-ups, wine clubs, accountants, freelancers and more.
The system allows businesses to control every step from customer signup to recurring payments.
Other benefits of the system include billing pricing plans, automating invoicing and payment billing, managing billing cycles, and more.
Zoho can run subscription metrics to assess the quality of their business, connect to other web apps and conduct business transactions through Zoho Books.
Customers note getting help in a timely manner can be difficult.
Best for: Recurring payments
Cost: 1% fee/transaction
GoCardless is known for its ability to process recurring payments in over 30 economies.
GoCardless focuses on collecting payments through direct debit, by working with customers’ existing billing software or payment gateway integrating with partners such as Salesforce Billing, Zuora, YayPay and more.
Other features of GoCardless include improving the volume of payments successfully collected and reducing failures, settling payouts quickly, helping customers to grow their business, helping improve customer retention, and maximizing revenue, among others.
Users note that it can take a while to get payment from the bank.
Best for: Synchronization
Cost: $19.99/feature/month. No free trial
Synder focuses on online payment management and bookkeeping. It works on finance and accounting management for companies that receive payment from Stripe, Shopify, PayPal and Square.
Its other features include:
- Synchronizing online payment systems with accounting platforms like QuickBooks and Xero
- Manages online transactions and applies payments to invoices
- Creates and receives payments online from any platform
- Records fees, taxes and tips into accounting
- Offers live support
Customers note that there is a limit of 50 transactions before you need to pay.
Best for: Invoice collection
Cost: $99/month to start
Upflow works to manage accounts receivables and improve cash collection. Your billing program can be connected to Upflow quickly and results in streamlined payments.
It also offers detailed analytics to understand your cash flow and a system to recover past due invoices.
Customers have noted a need for better integration with programs other than QuickBooks, as well as the ability to send invoice receipts.
Best for: Global businesses
Cost: Lower end
Tipalti helps businesses automate their accounts payable systems.
Tipalti offers invoice automation, regulatory compliance management, payment remittance, tax calculations, payment reconciliation and supplier management.
Tipalti also helps with supplier onboarding and management, simplifying approval routing and invoice collection, as well as sending automated notifications to vendors about invoices.
Tipalti can integrate with other systems such as Oracle, Xero, NetSuite and others, and offers six payment methods in 120 currencies.
One of the frequent customer comments was that they would like more customization allowed.
Best for: Analytical tools
Cost: Per transaction basis
Square Payments is a processing tool used mainly in the retail, health and fitness, and food and beverage sectors.
The main features of Square include fraud prevention, dispute management, automated invoices, cash flow monitoring and touch-free transactions.
Square Payments uses built-in analytics that can track fraudulent activities and transactions in real time. The system can send alerts on suspicious activities, create automatic receipts and keep a digital record of purchases.
Square Payments comes with an activity dashboard, which consolidates all customer data and provides timely updates on sales and inventory.
The system can be integrated with point-of-sale software including Mailchimp, WooCommerce, Ritual and Intuit QuickBooks.
For small businesses the transaction fees can become pricey.
Best for: Accountants and small businesses
Cost: Free 30-day trial, $20/month to $60/month
QuickBooks is a web-based accounting system and app that is used by accountants and small businesses. It is useful for bank reconciliations, drafting invoices and tracking expenses, among other things.
Users can download and reconcile credit card transactions as well as organize weekly timesheets and track bank deposits.
QuickBooks users can customize templates to generate invoices, bills and reports. Users can also generate profit and loss statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements.
QuickBooks also integrates with systems such as PayPal, American Express and Square.
The system can have bugs and crash at times.
Best for: Mobile
Cost: Pay as you go or month-to-month
GoPayment allows users to use their debit and credit cards from their mobile devices by plugging the credit card reader into their device.
GoPayment syncs your payments, sales and inventory transactions back to your live QuickBooks point of sale file and can be synced as frequently as every five minutes.
Once a sale has been made, the receipt can be emailed or texted to the customer.
GoPayment is secure, never storing credit or debit card numbers in its system and using secure encryption.
Customers have complained of holds being placed on transactions above a merchant’s processing limit.
There have also been issues with poor customer service and chargeback resolution.
The benefits of a good payment management system are numerous.
The right system can increase your customer base, reduce your operating costs, increase your payment options and offer your customers a seamless checkout.
Not all payment management systems work the same, so make sure you take the time to think through what your business needs and what system can serve you best.
With all the features and tools they offer, your business can only benefit from the great payment experience you will be getting and giving to your customers.