A person checking their computer.

Digital Business Payments Pay Off: Why Ditch Paper Checks

When you run a business, time is money. Naturally, you want to streamline any processes that take up too much of your valuable time. What businesses don’t always realize is that there’s one task that tends to eat up a lot of time: paying bills with paper checks.

Processing paper invoices and cutting and mailing paper checks slows the payment process down significantly and sets your business up for mistakes. But thanks to the advancement of technology, these manual processes are no longer necessary. With digital bill pay, you can authorize and transmit payments online in a fraction of the time paper methods take. Digitizing not only lets you accomplish more in less time, it gives you clear records of your payment activity in a centralized location. You can always find the information you need, whenever and wherever you need it.

Filter Out Fraud

Paper checks present a huge opportunity for would-be fraudsters. It’s estimated that 75% of businesses have been victims of check fraud, and paper checks play a major role. Paper checks prominently display the two things anyone needs to defraud a company – the account number and routing number. They’re also easy to manipulate or “wash,” meaning someone can alter the payee or amount due. Within a company, it’s difficult to control who has access to your blank checks. Even if your check stock is locked in a filing cabinet, someone may be able to gain access to your banking information.

With a digital bill payment system, on the other hand, it’s easy to enact strict security measures. A permissions-based, online system controls and limits access to crucial financial functions like making and approving payments, significantly reducing the risk of fraud. It also allows employees to pay bills without accessing sensitive bank account information.

Paper Is Pricey

When you think about a single check, it may seem rather insignificant in the grand scheme of your company’s finances. But when you start to think of how many payments you make each year, those checks quickly start to add up. For every check, your employees (or you) are spending time manually reviewing or importing invoices, processing approvals, printing the checks, getting them signed, putting them in envelopes, securing postage, and physically mailing them out.

When you look at the numbers, paying with paper just doesn’t make sense. Checks themselves are expensive, between the paper stock, ink, and postage. It’s estimated that it costs a company close to $24,000 a year if they make 500 payments a month using paper checks. In comparison, the cost of overhead drops to just $1,600 a year -- a savings of more than $22,000 -- if the company switches to digital payments. Not paying 500 bills a month? Consider this: Even if you are saving $50 a month by switching to digital business payments, that is still money that can be spent more productively.

The Convenience of the Cloud and Mobility

As the cloud becomes more and more prominent, it’s difficult to imagine running a business without it. It enhances mobility, giving you access to your critical business functions whenever you need them, wherever you are.

There’s no reason your accounting functions shouldn’t offer the same level of convenience. By paying bills digitally, you will not only pay them more quickly but you’ll you also get greater security and a better record of your payment activity. The cloud even offers automation, which lets you build efficient workflows that free up your employees to spend their time on higher value-add work.