Refining your business’s payments management is one of the best ways to improve cash flow and benefit your business. Use these best practices to enhance the speed, efficiency, and securities of your payments – both payables and receivables.

Whether you are looking to accelerate collections or streamline receivables management, there are a number of small steps you can take that may help to reap big benefits for your business. The payments landscape is rapidly changing, delivering improvements in speed, security and controls. Adopting some of the best practices in payments may be easier than you think.

If yours is like many businesses, you still make a significant portion of your payments by check. And you are probably well aware that managing check payments is time consuming and expensive, and that checks carry a higher risk of fraud than other payment methods (for example, physical checks can be stolen or misused). At the same time, managing your cash position can be difficult while waiting for checks to clear.

50% of B2B payments are still being made by check 1

Accepting payments by check comes with its own set of challenges, ranging from delays in the mail to insufficient funds to funds availability issues for check deposits.

So, how can you transform your payment processes to improve cash flow, gain efficiencies and reduce costs, all while improving security? The answer is simple: implement electronic payment tools.

For managing your receivables, there are a range of actions you can take to help put your money to work faster.

These include things like:

  • Getting paid via ACH instead of by check.
  • Accepting credit and debit card payments in person, over the phone, and online.
  • Making electronic deposits using either remote deposit capture or a mobile app when you do get paid by check.
  • Monitoring transactions and activity via online banking or a mobile app.

Electronically depositing funds into your account, whether by accepting an ACH payment or remotely depositing a check, means fewer trips to the bank and more time for your staff to focus on other tasks to support your business.

At the same time, there are electronic methods to enhance your payables processes and they come with many of the same benefits: speed, efficiency, cost savings, security, etc.

Working with a payroll service is a great way to solve a payables challenge faced by most businesses.

Best practices for payables include:

  • Paying your vendors and suppliers via ACH
  • Setting up and managing your payments online including one-time and recurring payments
  • Automating your bank statement and check reconciliation
  • Using commercial cards for better expense management and purchasing controls
  • Monitoring pending and completed payments via online banking or a mobile app
  • Managing more complex payment needs via an integrated payables solution, like Santander Treasury Link

While each of these requires some degree of work to implement, you don’t have to try everything at once. Migrating from your current processes to electronic payables management can be done in phases. Testing new payables methods incrementally will help you to assess what works best for your business.

Regardless of whether you are focused on better management of payables or receivables, taking a fresh look at your internal processes and exploring the latest payment options is a worthwhile exercise—and you don’t have to go it alone. Your banker can explain the latest tools and technologies and advise you on how best to deploy them to address your company’s specific needs. To get started, contact your Business Banking relationship manager today or visit your local Santander branch.

1 https://www.nacha.org/news/ach-transactions-top-checks-top-form-b2b-payment-2020-new-survey

Santander Bank does not make any claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in this article. Readers should consult their own attorneys or other tax advisors regarding any financial or tax strategies mentioned in this article. These materials are for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views or endorsement of Santander Bank.

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