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3 Ways Automated Payments Will Change Your Business Forever
Does your business have the flexibility to keep up with a rapidly changing world?
Winston Churchill once said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”
As a business person, we know you constantly aim for improvement. It can be a challenge, but even the slightest changes can help your business run more smoothly and efficiently. Within the transportation industry, new technologies are constantly being developed and implemented to help bring perfection within an arm’s reach.
One noticeable area of tech growth is mobile finance. In 2007, mobile banking apps hit the U.S. market; by 2016, more than 114 million Americans – about half of our adult population – reported using a mobile payment.1 Companies are streamlining the payroll, tax and benefits process with apps like Gusto, which was introduced as ZenPayRoll in 2012. Venmo and Paypal, two leading person-to-person (P2P) payment apps, allow consumers to receive payments that can then be stored as a balance for use at a later date or sent directly to a bank account.
The trucking industry is primed for a change that will put automated and P2P payment technology front and center for senders and receivers, and make it easy to move money over a secure network.
In fact, we believe those advancements may signify the most important change in technology over the last 50 years. Here’s why:
Automated Payments Keep Key Players Liquid
The over-the-road (OTR) segment of trucking is built upon the practice of being a ‘pay to get me started’ industry. Keeping liquid funds in the hands of the individuals that keep the industry moving is the first step to your success. It’s different from the way many other industries work, but it’s really just this simple:
- Lumpers won’t touch a truck until a payment has been verified
- Carriers require a partial up-front payment as a condition for accepting a load
- Drivers require an advance so they can fill their tanks and get moving
The catch is, some OTR firms are still using paper-based checks – a ‘technology’ first introduced in the 1700s. This form of payment isn’t as easy to handle or track as P2P payments, and in most cases, not as secure.
With a secure automated system in place, the payment is all-but-guaranteed to come before the rig. Then, with fast access to the funds, lumpers, owner/operators and other receivers can feel confident in the work they do. That’s crucial for an industry that America relies on day in and day out.
P2P Means More Speed and More Savings
Another drawback to existing payment methods is the administrative work that goes into registering a new user or company whenever a transaction is processed.
Automated and P2P payments work in real-time, so there’s no need to wait at a shipment site until a payment code is verified by the receiver. And, rather than taking a payment code into a truck stop to convert it to funds, drivers can easily send a P2P payment to fellow network user’s card, deposit to a connected bank account or withdraw the funds from any in-network ATM.
At first glance, this convenience might only look like a minor difference, but spending 15 minutes waiting, four times a day means losing hours each week to idle time. By sending funds straight to the receiver using a secure, automated payment, you quickly get those hours back.
Automated and P2P Payments Are a Better Way to Ensure Security
Paper-based payments within our industry aren’t small scale. In fact, 55 percent of small fleets still receive paper checks as their most common form of payment2. But with this type of volume, it only makes sense that traditional payment methods move more slowly. What’s more, they don’t usually give you the visibility to tell you how, when and where funds are used.
Changes are easier to make when you know you’re not sacrificing security for efficiency. We designed this system to be the best of both worlds. All senders and receivers in Comdata’s new Comchek® Mobile Network are registered, have applied for and received a Comdata Card, and the ability to use automated and P2P transfers to a user’s card within the network is an easy way to reduce the chance of fraud. Add the fact that the automated receipt process ensures you have funds in the hands of drivers that need it, there’s no question that this solution can be the answer to many of your payments challenges for years to come.
No matter the size or scale of your business the objective is the same: move money quickly to the people that need it, and with minimal risk. With the technology to make that change, it won’t take long to see how Comchek Mobile can bring your payments operations a lot closer to perfection.
1Federal Reserve, Consumers and Mobile Financial Services Report