Online Payments

Simplify Your Billing and Get Paid Easier with BQE CORE and DesignPay

Amy Mann
April 06, 2021

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Today, consumers have the ability to order just about anything they can think of—groceries, birthday presents, take-out, stocks, etc.—from a device small enough to fit in their pockets. This level of instant gratification and service has led to customers becoming attached to what some call a “frictionless customer experience.” In other words, it takes fewer steps or interactions for a customer to go from desiring a product or service to receiving said product/service.

Think back to some of the businesses we discussed before. With services like Amazon or Ebay, you can order a variety of products without ever stepping foot outside your home. Furthermore, these services use algorithms and consumer data to make tailored recommendations and can even offer instant ordering on certain items to allow customers to check-out as quickly and as seamlessly as possible.

Streaming entertainment has offered a similar situation. Rather than visit a video store, you can rent newly-released movies on Google Play or YouTube. Plus, there’s no need to return a tape or disc, so no late fees, and you can rent these movies at any time of the day or night (no longer beholden to store hours). And, of course, you can pay for your rental instantly with a click of a button.

Of course, these are massive brands with customer bases in the billions. What do their practices and developments have to do with you? Simple. These brands have proven that streamlined, frictionless services have caught on quickly with consumers. Professional service firms like yours could stand to learn from their innovations and look into ways to provide a more streamlined experience for your clients.

One easy way to do this is by simplifying your billing and payments experience, such as using an online payment system. Even better, you can use an online payment solution that integrates with some of the other practice management and efficiency tools you already use as part of your normal work flow. Let’s break down how online payments allow you to create a modern client experience, and how they can in turn benefit your bottom line.

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Going paperless

With online payments, your entire billing system becomes digital. So, instead of sending your invoices by mail, you can send it instantaneously via email. This also makes it easier for both you and your client to keep track of payments, as you can simply search through them online rather than sifting through file cabinets.

Offer multiple ways to pay

Only accepting check payments can be off-putting for potential clients, which could lead to certain projects never making it to your door. The best online payment solutions not only allow you to get paid by card, but also in the form of an eCheck, allowing clients to transfer funds directly from their checking account to you. And they’ll be able to do it all with a click of a button.

Payment security

When paying by card, your clients want to know that their payment data is being protected as much as possible. If you’re handling their credit card numbers over email, or writing it down from a phone call, you’re putting their data at risk. Cybercriminals would love nothing more than to get their hands on this information, and a breach would spell trouble for both you and your clients.

When looking for an online payment processor, look for one that is PCI Level 1 compliant, as these processors have the most advanced security measures and data encryption available. Plus, these solutions will often store your clients’ sensitive information on their own servers, keeping it out of your office and away from prying eyes. This takes the liability of protecting your client’s data out of your hands and puts it into the hands of a company who makes it their business to protect it with the best methods available.

24-hour payments

By accepting payments online, you’ve instantaneously extended your hours of operation, at least in the sense allowing clients to submit payment. While you’re off the clock or sleeping, your clients can go online and pay your invoice in the middle of the night. What’s better than waking up to confirmation of a payment in your inbox? Plus, this level of convenience will make your clients feel appreciated—they’ll be able to pay you on their own time, based on their own schedule.

The more you can provide an exceptional client experience, the more you’ll make your firm stand out amongst your competitors. Potential clients will be more inclined to come to you with their projects knowing they’ll be able to pay in a way that’s simple and secure. Plus, you’ll be staying ahead of the curve as payment trends continue to move away from traditional methods.

The Rising Popularity of Online Payments

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Studies from the last five years have all pointed to the massive popularity of credit cards and digital payment services. For instance, a 2018 study from TSYS showed that as much as 79 percent of customers prefer to pay with their credit or debit cards. In 2017, ACI Worldwide found that 56 percent of bills are paid online. According to a survey by Fiserv in 2016, 70 percent of consumers said that their satisfaction with a business increased if they offered multiple ways to pay a bill.

As more and more payments are made by card, so too is the expectation that consumers will be able to do so. In the Fourth Annual Biller Mobile Bill Pay Benchmark Study from Fiserv in 2016, 65 percent of consumers expect to be able to pay bills using their credit card, either through a biller’s app or their website. Fiserv’s Eighth Annual Consumer Billing Household Survey showed that 79 percent of consumers expect local service providers (such as architects) to offer the same range of payment options as large national companies.

In short, traditional forms of payment are on the decline. Clients strongly prefer to pay by card and online, and they want to do business with service providers who allow them to pay these ways. If you only accept check payments, clients may see your firm as outdated or hard to work with, and they may be less inclined to come to you with their projects. By accepting card and electronic payments, you’re showing the world that you’ve kept your finger on the pulse of technological advancement, convenience, and client expectations.

Best Practices in Optimizing Workflow and Cashflow

So you understand why providing a modern client experience is important to your clients, and how online payments play a key role in their satisfaction. But what about your business? How do online payments benefit your day-to-day operations and make your firm run smoother? In this section, we’ll show you how utilizing integrated online payments can not only increase your efficiency, but boost your bottom line, as well.

Software integrations -- the best of BQE Core and DesignPay all in one place

The best payment solutions can integrate with software your business is already using on a daily basis, which not only makes it more convenient and efficient, but also allows them to work in-tandem with each other. That’s why we are so proud to be partnering with BQE Core for Architects to streamline your billing and payments workflow all in one app. Now, you can generate an invoice in BQE Core and give your clients an immediate and easy way to pay with BQE Core’s ePayments functionality, powered by DesignPay.

Online payment solutions also give you the ability to track your clients’ payments. By utilizing a streamlined payments and practice management integration, you can not only bill and accept payments in one place, but you can track payments, view payment trends, and manage your business’ reporting needs all in one convenient location, as well, so there’s no reason to toggle between multiple applications.

Get paid faster

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As we mentioned before, online payments allow you to send invoices instantly. In turn, this means that your invoices can be paid just as quickly! You’ll get a payment confirmation in your email and a pending deposit in your bank account shortly thereafter. Compare this to traditional payment methods, where you would have to wait for the mail to deliver your check. Even if you’re handed a paper check, you would still have to go through the process of depositing it (which often means a trip to the bank). Not the case with online payments! In fact, a recent study from LawPay found that 62 percent of online payment requests are paid the same day they’re sent out. When you combine the power of faster payments from DesignPay with the streamlined billing process you’ll get from our integration with BQE Core, you’ll start getting some very real and meaningful time back in your day.

How DesignPay and BQE Core for Architects Work Together

To get started maximizing the benefits of the DesignPay <> BQE Core integration, you first will need to set up an account with DesignPay.

If you already have a DesignPay account, you’re ready to move to the next step—connecting the two solutions within BQE Core.

To do this, go to Global Settings > ePayments within BQE Core. From there, select DesignPay to designate it as your online payment setting.

After enabling DesignPay on your BQE Core account, the ePayments option will be enabled for all new invoices. You can enable this option for existing invoices from the “Invoices” screen.

In Conclusion

As we move closer and closer to a paperless, cashless society, it’s only a matter of time before online and electronic forms of payment become the dominant form of payment for architects and design firms across the country. The sooner you’re able to adopt this technology into your operations and let online payments work with the tools you’re already using, the more ahead of the curve you’ll be.

Thankfully, doing so brings a wealth of benefits along with it, from operational efficiency to offering your clients a multitude of payment options that are convenient and safe for them (and for you). By streamlining and simplifying your firm’s processes with the easy-to-use integration from DesignPay and BQE Core, your firm will likely see more projects, repeat clients, and referrals from happy customers as a result.