Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software brings a litany of efficiencies and advantages to companies using it to manage their business processes. These include:
Throw integrated payments into the mix, and the benefits of an ERP are greatly multiplied. You have to be careful though. Simply enabling payments in ERP software won’t cut it in today’s business environment. You have to carefully vet potential payment partners. Choose the right one, and you have success. Choose the wrong one, and you could end up with a whole lot of unhappiness.
The world has changed. Customers and their business needs have changed right along with it. That means, your integrated payments providers must be flexible and willing to quickly act to accommodate those changing needs. In addition, your integrated payment provider must be forward-thinking to make sure your ERP is fully prepared to support emerging trends and future needs.
An integrated payment solution in ERP software connects the payment processing function of a business with other systems like accounting, payroll, and customer relationship management. This allows companies to accept a variety of payment types including credit cards, debit cards and ACH (e-check) directly through the software.
It also significantly reduces the time that Accounting and Finance staff spend reconciling payments and generating reports. Human errors are cut down too as the need for double-entries into multiple systems is eliminated by the integration.
The partner enabling the integrated payment functionality within an ERP plays a critical role in the benefits customers receive. Some payment providers only commit to delivering the minimum. That is, they will process the payments generated through the ERP and invoice for it. They don’t think about nor do they always care about going the extra mile to optimize the customer experience.
But that extra mile is where many ERP integrated payment benefits are located. So ERP software companies looking to create or replace a relationship with an integrated payment partner should pay close attention to the benefits below. They’ll be what sets your platform apart from your competitors.
If you’re a business currently using or looking for ERP software, make sure these integrated payment benefits are included in the solution you select.
Simplified PCI process. PCI certification is a complicated process. It can be so complex that often a business may choose to remain non-compliant rather than go through certification. This not advisable as it leaves the business open to a breach. It also can result in monthly non-compliance fees. This can be easily avoided by an integrated payment partner that uses Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE). This adds greater protection to credit card data and limits the scope of PCI certification.
Tokenization. Tokenization converts sensitive data like credit card numbers into a series of numbers and characters called tokens. The token has no value outside the payment gateway system that created it. The tokenization system stores the original data securely in a cloud data vault. When a customer makes a payment, the tokenization system exchanges the token for the customer’s account number. The system then sends it for authorization. This enables secure repeat and recurring credit card payments.
Payment technology as well as consumer payment trends and expectations continue to rapidly change. ERP integrated payments should always utilize the best of breed in technology to ensure the needs of businesses are fully met. This includes enabling EMV chip cards, contactless payment solutions, and cost-effective Level 2 and 3 payment processing.
Payment collection is a top priority for all businesses. As a result, answering questions or resolving issues related to payments should be at the top of the payment provider’s priorities as well. Too often though, the service and support functions of many payment partners are relegated to a bank of telephone reps who field phone calls assigned to them at random. In some cases, customers are required to leave a message and wait a couple of days for a response. Neither scenario is great from a customer’s point of view.
Integrated payment partners for ERPs should provide dedicated customer service and support. This way, customers will always know who to call and who will answer the phone when they do.
Here’s a key question: “what is your net effective rate for credit card processing?” Most people cannot even begin to answer it. There’s a good reason for that. It is common for payment providers to be a little vague in their pricing so that customers do not know exactly what they’re paying. Sure, they’ll know what their invoice is. But, often they do not know what they get for their money. How much goes to the card brands (such as Visa and Mastercard?) And, how much is the payment provider charging.
If an integrated payment provider is vague about pricing, it means they have something to hide. And, that’s not what ERP software companies want for their customers. And it’s definitely not something customers want for their business.
While integrated payments for ERPs can give your business an edge, not all payment providers are equal. It’s important to find the payment partner that can deliver the results you want and need.
Wind River has been providing merchant services and integrated payments since 1999. We take the time to understand exactly what you want from your payments system. Then we work with you to design the solution that fits your needs. We’re with you every step of the way. Before the handshake and after the handshake.
Contact us for more details.