Giving subscribers the option to pay their bill online sounds like a no-brainer. But actually building a customer-friendly payment site is much harder than you’d think. Cornerstone has done it, and our security dealers sing the praises of Alarmpayments.com.
Professional and Easy
“The Alarmpayments.com portal makes us look much more professional to our subscribers,” says Paul Allen, owner of Protective Security Services. “When they log in, they’ll see their open invoice, the details about the service, and our company’s name and phone number. The payment and check out process is fast, and they get an immediate confirmation of the payment. It’s professional and easy to use,”
Links Directly to Invoices
The key to great payment portal is linking it directly to the invoices that need to be paid. We’ve seen many dealers add a “Pay Your Bill” page to their website, but it only collects the payment information, like invoice amount and number, then submits the payment. That leaves the dealer with the tedious and time-consuming task of pulling the list of payments, matching them up with the account, finding the invoice, and posting the payment. Too much work!
Self-Serve and Automated
“Alarmpayments has really lowered my headaches when people need to pay,” says Tony LaMorte, owner of APCO Security. “Before, I’d get a call from a customer, then have to pull over to the side of the road and write down a card number. Then I had to remember to run the card when I got back to the office, and post it in QuickBooks.”
“Now, I just tell them to go to Alarmpayments, and they can handle it themselves right away. They get emailed a confirmation immediately,” LaMorte said. “The best part is, Cornerstone handles the card transaction for me, posts all the payments, and I get a simple activity recap at the end of the month showing all the work they did. So I have time to sell, and build the business faster!”
Reducing Past Dues
A big benefit of an easy payment portal is that it cuts down on past-due accounts. “Late payers have dropped off completely. They’re just prompted to go online to pay, and they do,” says LaMorte. Cornerstone handles APCO’s past-due receivables management through our Billing Plus services. As part of the follow up processes—texts, calls, emails, statements—a link to the Alarmpayments.com site is always included. Because it’s so simple to pay and get current, most subscribers follow the link to take care of their open invoices.
Easy to Pay Service & Installation Invoices
“It’s much easier to get paid right away for service calls through the Alarmpayments site,” says Wendy Garza, Office Manager of Wired-Up Systems. “Some of our customers still want to pay by check, but quite a few like the payment portal. They just call into our office, and our staff uses Alarmpayments to enter their payment details. Then Cornerstone runs and posts the payment, and that’s that…easy.” Garza said some customers even use the portal to pay for larger-ticket installation invoices. “Anything that makes it easier to pay is a good thing.”
No Fuss Autopay Sign Up
Across all Cornerstone dealers, auto payment now constitutes over 75% of all recurring payments, and that trend toward autopay is expected to continue. If a subscriber receives a paper or emailed invoice, and pays through Alarmpayments, they will always be asked if they’d like to sign up for autopay:
Many will sign up, so they don’t need to manually submit a payment in the future. That keeps our dealers’ receivables down, saving them time and money.
Failsafe Log In System
One of the challenges of a payment site is making it easy to log in. Most sites require a user name and password, which creates subscriber frustration if they can’t remember on or the other, or both. Cornerstone’s site greatly simplifies the process, by requiring only the Account Number (printed on the invoice), and the 5-digit zip code of the system location. So there’s no user name and/or password to forget:
In a nutshell, a good payment portal saves lots of time for your office staff, reduces your receivables, and makes your subscribers happier!