If you’re still working on the “We’ll put the bill in the mail” system, you’re doing it wrong. Downtime between billing and payment amounts to lost cash. By setting up a mobile payment system, your techs can get paid right on the job site, as soon as work is finished.
Most payment processors now have systems in place to support mobile payments, and many field service software packages support on-site billing. To get started, you just need time, a few tools, and a desire to make more money. Seems easy enough.
Preparing your resources
There are three parts required for mobile payment acceptance. You need a mobile device, you need a payment processor, and you need some sort of software to power the billing and payments. Smaller businesses might be able to get by without specific software for billing. I don’t love it, but you can rely on the payment processor’s reports, which you could then import into your accounting software. Again, I don’t love it.
Assuming you’re bigger than five people, you’ll need all three parts.
On the mobile side, you’ll need to figure out how you manage mobile devices, if you haven’t already done so. The choices are: give your employees phones, let them bring their own phones, or let them bring a specific type of phone.
There are pros and cons to all the options – check out the basics in our article on the topic – but, whatever you choose, you’ll need to make sure the phone they end up with can be used for card processing.
Luckily, there are now so many ways to process cards that almost any phone will work. Many mobile payment processors – Sage does this, for instance – allow you to simply enter information into a mobile form. You don’t need to swipe or use a camera.
If you want to get fancy, you can hook into one of the many mobile payment companies using mobile card swipe technology. Square made this system famous, but you can get the devices from tons of providers, these days.
So now you’ve figured out what technology you’re sending your techs into the field with. Let’s figure out how you’re actually going to take in payments.
Chances are, you’re already aligned yourself with a payment processor. Even if you have, it never hurts to see what else the market has to offer. The more you know about the pricing and features out there, the more leverage you’ll have when it comes time to renew your contract.
There’s an excellent piece on NerdWallet about picking the best payment option for your small business, and I’ll summarize the main points here.
The main thing to keep in mind here is fees. Fees are how these companies make money, so fees are what you need to be on the lookout for. You’ll get hit when you submit payments, when you fail to submit enough payments, and, depending on your plan, when you submit too many payments.
You’ve also got setup and maintenance fees, access fees, and statement fees. It can add up quickly, so do your research.
You should also look beyond the classic providers to see if there are options that align with the work you’ll already be doing. While using one of the big payment gateways can give you a lot of flexibility, many field service software companies now offer payment processing at close-to-matched rates. If you’ll be using the software anyways, tying into the payment processing isn’t the worst idea in the world.
Finding the right software
Once you have your mobile device and your payment processor locked in, you’re on to the fun – or horrifically difficult – part. It’s time to choose a field service software provider.
There are a lot of options, these days, with built-in support for mobile billing. Software from the small to the massive now have great mobile options for your entire team. Jobber, for instance, has teamed up with Square to help you accept payments while syncing details to your Jobber account.
Others, like HouseCall Pro, have integrated payment platforms, allowing you to enter payments through the service – as referenced earlier – without using extra scanners or swipe attachments. Some folks prefer the swipe, though, so make sure you check all the available options before jumping on one.
If you don’t mind jumping through extra hoops, you can even make payments work without integration.
You could get a mobile payment processor and simply run the invoices while in the field using the basic payment app. Then you could tie it all together on the backend using a software like Receipt Bank.
There’s a bit more to setup, but the results would be close to seamless. It really is that easy
We’re moving into a world where estimating, invoicing, and payments are all happening on mobile devices by default. A few years from now, no one is going to send their techs into the field with carbon copies for handwritten invoices.
It’s already a very simple process, and with a little guidance and support, you can have a mobile payment solution up and running in no time.
To see all your field service software options, check out Capterra’s full directory. You can also get an idea of how this will work in your bookkeeping by having a look around our accounting directory. Good luck!
Header by Rachel Wille
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