Mobile Payment Processing for Field Service: When Are You Getting Paid?

Is your field service business constantly waiting for service payments to trickle in from customers? If so, you’re not alone.

Many small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in field service struggle to collect payments in a timely manner. However, new mobile payment technologies are causing a paradigm shift by enabling technicians to accept payments onsite.

This puts money in technicians’ hands and closes out work orders more quickly so they can focus on the next job.

In this article, we’ll explore how your business can employ mobile payment processing and highlight the benefits of doing so.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

(Click on a link below to jump to that section.)

What Does Accepting Mobile Payments Look Like?
Get Your Money Faster With Mobile Payments
What’s Wrong With Current Payment Methods?

What Does Accepting Mobile Payments Look Like?

The ability to accept mobile payments exploded onto the retail scene last decade with Square’s innovative card reader and accompanying app. This technology is thriving in the retail space, and now Square and similar vendors are expanding mobile payment technology to field services.

Source: Engadget.com
 

Ross Carman is director of sales and account management at Fixify, a field service management platform. Carman lays out the must-have features for a mobile payment processing solution for field service companies:

  • Ability to use a card reader
  • Emailing capabilities to send customer receipts
  • Signature capturing

“These are musts when it comes to service businesses who want to move away from paper forms and start to streamline their business process and cashflow,” Carman explains.

Mobile payment processing capabilities streamline the payment process by eliminating the need for mailed invoices. Field employees can utilize a card reader and/or payment portal on their mobile devices to capture payments and close out job orders at the point of service.

Get Your Money Faster With Mobile Payments

Mobile payment processing is aiding a much-needed revolution in the payment collection process for HVAC, home care, lawn care and other field service SMBs.

“While [technicians] may have previously returned to the office to review the jobs which were completed at the end of the day, put together a series of invoices and then either mailed or emailed them to the customers (which they may or may not receive or pay right away), they can now ask for payment as the job is completed.”

Ross Carman, director of sales and account management at Fixify

The shortening of payment processing time is the main benefit of mobile payment processing technology.

As Carman continues, SMB service companies can’t afford to have the money they’re owed tied up in a lengthy invoicing process.

“Ultimately, every business is about revenue and cash flow. When technicians have the ability to process payments from the field, the time gap between the service being completed and the payment being received is shortened immensely.”

Ross Carman, director of sales and account management at Fixify

What’s Wrong With Current Payment Methods?

This whitepaper by Honeywell further articulates the benefits of mobile payment processing capabilities. It points out the potentially detrimental inefficiencies of the traditional service payment model.

As you can see below, the traditional “invoice-and-wait” model has a four-day minimum for receiving payment.

 

Total Days to Receive Payment
Based on Frequency of Invoice Submission

Total Days to Receive Payment Based on Frequency of Invoice Submission

A detailed breakdown reveals how easy it can be for several days to pass before your business is paid for resources and services rendered:

Frequency of worker invoice submittal Time after service for invoice submission Internal invoice processing time Customer payment processing time* Internal payment processing time Minimum total time between rendered services and payment processed
Daily 1 day 1 – 4 days
???
1 day 4 – 9 days
2X/week 1 – 3 days 1 – 4 days
???
1 day 4 – 11 days
Weekly 1 – 7 days 1 – 4 days
???
1 day 4 – 15 days
2X/week 1 – 13 days 1 – 4 days
???
1 day 4 – 22 days

*The average customer takes 10.2 days to process a payment and 30 percent take three or more weeks.

Source: Honeywell

Regardless of how long it takes to receive payments, your expenses won’t stop adding up. You still have to pay your suppliers, cover resources such as fuel and equipment and administer payroll.

The inefficiency of the old process—paired with typical field service expenses—can leave service companies without liquid cash to make small but crucial improvements to their business.

With mobile payments, on the other hand, the money is available the same day the service is rendered, neatly tying things up allowing your company to focus fully on the next job.

Want to learn more?

To discover other must-have field service software capabilities, check out our report on the benefits of GPS tracking.

For more information about selecting the best field service management software for your business, check out our buyer’s guide to read real user reviews and compare solutions.

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