Cash may be King, but does it rule?
The benefits of cash are pretty clear cut. It’s immediate and there’s no blaming the banks when electronic transfers don’t arrive as expected! You know you’ve been paid straightaway on the spot. It suits customers with a ‘cash mentality’, especially if they themselves own businesses which handle cash over the counter.
However, it’s not all plain sailing. With cash, you often need to give change. For some, cash is a temptation. Owners of cash handling businesses always have to be on the lookout for employee dishonesty. Opportunists might target your firm’s vehicles if they think cash may be there for the taking. There’s also the issue of tracking payments, giving receipts and having to bank it. It may not disappear overnight, but generally, there’s an increasing feeling that cash has its drawbacks…
Prospects for cheques seem somewhat… chequered?
Cheques do have some attractive advantages. Firstly, they tend to have the customer’s name printed on them so, although it’s time consuming, at least you can track who has paid what. Although cheques seem somewhat dated, some people prefer them, especially if they need a few days buffer between issuing the cheque and it clearing.
On the flipside, just like cash, cheques can get lost, and you have to bank them, unfortunately, only to find sometimes they are made of rubber! And what if the cheque payment is made from a bank account which is not the same as the customer’s name? Tracking may be impossible without the embarrassing task of asking everyone… Cheques have been falling out of favour for perhaps 20 years or more and its likely one day the banks will cease to support them…
Cards… a lot better, but nobody’s perfect!
Cards have been in general use since the 1960s and have been slowly displacing cash and cheques as payment methods. They are popular, especially with customer’s that like the benefits that come with credit card deals. They work well for taking one-off payments to settle accounts.
The problem is that card details may have to be manually entered each time because common practice is to not store payment card information to eliminate the potential for fraud resulting from data theft. Card payment gateway fees tend to be higher than for other forms of electronic payment.
However, cards are a lot better than cash and cheque, and when processed through the latest payment gateways, such as Stripe, offer a pretty good improvement. Stripe is competitively priced, secure and accepts all types of cards. When integrated with CleanerPlanner, payments are quick and easy to process, and automatically tracked and attached to the right customer account, making life for busy window cleaners a whole lot easier.
Direct Debit re-imagined with GoCardless
GoCardless is an online Direct Debit platform that’s great for taking payments of variable amounts as well as recurring payments. It’s a perfect fit for the window cleaning trade, where you have ongoing relationships with customers and wish to take regular payments on account.
Once set up, payments are automated, and the customer doesn’t have to do anything else. Integration with modern window cleaning software (such as CleanerPlanner!) allows the firm to take payment from the customer after each clean has been carried out.
GoCardless is backed by the Direct Debit Guarantee, so the customer can end the arrangement at any time and can dispute any payment they don’t agree with. This helps to instil trust, and keeps the focus on the benefits to both the business and the customer.
Indeed, so many customers are time-starved these days, who needs the hassle of logging into internet banking, worrying about having cash to hand or finding they’ve run out of cheques when it’s time to pay the window cleaner?
It’s also a huge plus for your firm as you don’t have to trawl through your bank statements to see who has paid and it gets rid of the need to go knocking door to door to collect. GoCardless fees are 1 percent of the transaction value with a minimum 20p up to a maximum of £2, so it’s about as cost-effective as online payment processing gets.
And of course, when GoCardless is integrated with a system like CleanerPlanner, the time and hassle it saves far outweighs this cost. No more chasing, no more debts getting out of control and it guarantees a much more predictable cash flow.
Simplify payment headaches with CleanerPlanner
CleanerPlanner integration with GoCardless is a feature of the CleanerPlanner Pro and Ultimate plans.
Getting customers to sign up to pay you with GoCardless is a game-changer for a window cleaning business, automating payments and significantly reducing debt chasing.
You might not be able to totally eliminate cash and cheques anytime soon but minimising the volume of customers that pay with them massively reduces time wasting and helps achieve better cash flow.
If you want to make the move towards using CleanerPlanner to run your window cleaning business and simplify your payment headaches, you can take our free 30 day trial to see how well it works for yourself. Just click here to sign up.