SMS stands for Short Messaging Service, and primarily involves texting by phone. SMS Payment Solutions allow businesses to:
- Text their customers with payment reminders, appointment setting and generally offers a communication pathway
- Accept payment via the cell phone.
Businesses and especially those looking to collect payments struggle with the relatively low success rate of mailing or calling customers.
With 98% open rates, 95% read rates it’s easy to see why SMS Payment Solutions such an attractive customer billing option.
The challenge for many small businesses is HOW do you use pay text messaging?
There are solutions that would enable you to upload a csv or Excel file to a solution provider. This would then kick off texts that essentially let the customer know payment is due and provide a link to click and pay.
And though this will certainly be an improvement on calling or mailing there is a lack personalization or interaction between the business and the customer.
The SMS Virtual Terminal or Pay by Text Virtual Terminal solves this problem.
A cs rep logs into a secure website. This website has a dashboard that allows for simple navigation and is the control center for originating texts and 2-way communication.
This website is the SMS Virtual Terminal. A business can have unlimited users with the ability to limit permissions as well as view reporting based on user.
From there they can create an invoice text. This can be done by manually entering customer details or the customer base (or a subset) can be “loaded” and then looked up to improve efficiency.
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The customer receives the text and can then interact with the cs rep by texting. The representative can take advantage of templates that address FAQ’s.
The customer can click on a link to be taken to a secure page with the businesses branding and contact information. The texts are delivered to the customer from a local phone # that if called redirects the customer to the business*.
*Note that this is not common in SMS Virtual Terminal Payment Solutions
As an example consider a medical practice using an SMS Virtual Terminal. The patient arrives and while still in their car can text the office notifying their arrival. A representative can interact, address pre-office needs AND collect a co-pay. All with no face to face contact.
A very important part of collecting payments is reconciliation. If you were part of a multi-location medical group with centralized billing and collections the ability to recognize revenue to the appropriate location is very important. So much so that without a way to do this the convenience of the new SMS Virtual Terminal payment collection tool is mitigated by the extra accounting work.
Our Pay by Text Virtual Terminal offers the ability to establish hierarchies. Once the cs rep is in Virtual Terminal they can simply choose which location the payment should be recorded to.
Fees to leverage the solution are typically 2.9% and 30 cents per payment collected and $29/month.
You can choose to assess convenience fees where the customer pays the processing fees on top of the payments amount. This could potentially result ina. zero-cost solution.