Understanding why customers are paying late is key to successfully managing delayed B2B payments. By identifying common reasons, such as cash flow constraints and lack of payment experience, and taking advantage of the vendor-customer power dynamic, businesses can take proactive steps to ensure their customers are paying on time.
Here are top five common reasons why your customers might be paying late and the solutions that can help you address them.
Top five reasons why customers pay late
1. Cashflow issues
Businesses struggling with cash flow issues might delay supplier payments to keep operations going. As a result, companies may be unable to make timely B2B payments due to financial constraints. This can be especially problematic for seasonal businesses, whose revenue can fluctuate significantly throughout the year.
Solution: Effective communication and robust policies allow businesses to manage customer payments while preserving valuable business relationships. Ensure you can monitor your customers’ payment behaviour from past transactions and use that information to reach out when something’s amiss. By taking a proactive approach, you’ll be able to come up with solutions with your customers on how they can pay you.
2. Poor payment process
Poorly designed payment processes can lead to a lack of clarity and slow processing times that frustrate customers. When this happens, they may delay their payments while waiting for the issue’s resolution. If you demand customers to pay on time yet process those payments inefficiently – they can lose confidence in your business.
Manual payment processes are often error-prone, take longer to complete and require more resources than automated solutions. As such, companies that use manual methods may need more automation to speed up payment collection and reconciliation. An efficient payment process benefits your accounts receivables team and increases your customers’ trust.
Solution: Enhance your customers’ payment experience by automating the payment process so you can collect and reconcile payments efficiently. You also need to ensure that your policies are clear from onboarding and that you provide customers with an intuitive online payment platform.
3. Customers treating suppliers like banks
While term extensions are common in B2B transactions, some businesses may use suppliers as short-term financing by delaying payments until the last possible moment. This can result in late payments or difficulty collecting money owed.
Solution: Having clear policies and communication around payment terms from customer credit applications can help set expectations between both parties and avoid unnecessary payment delays. Leveraging business credit score data can also help make informed decisions before extending credit terms to customers.
4.Lack of variety in payment options
Limited payment options can be inconvenient for customers and lead to delays in payment. This can be especially true for customers who need access to credit cards or who prefer to use alternative payment methods, such as instalment payments.
By offering a wider range of payment options, you can make it easier for customers to pay on time. Incorporating these payment options can also benefit businesses, as it can help expand their customer base and increase sales.
Solution: Enhance customers’ payment experience by providing various payment methods such as direct debit payments, credit or debit cards or e-wallets. Additionally, offering multi-channel payment solutions also enhances their experience. They can pay through bank transfers, from their email or SMS invoice reminders or directly from an online payment platform.
5. High merchant fees
Some suppliers let customers pay “convenience fees” when using online platforms. The high transaction fees often hinder customers from using these online platforms – which accessibility help reduce late payments.
Solution: Implement flexible payment processing in your business to choose whether to absorb the merchant fees or split transaction fees with your customers, reducing the fees they have to pay on their end.
Getting paid on time starts with you
Your business can be free of overdue customer payments; start taking action today by automating your payment process. You’ll be able to protect yourself against late payments and build better relationships with your customers simultaneously.
ezyCollect Payments can help you streamline your payment process and provide your customers with great payment experiences. Speak with one of our payments experts today to learn about options for your business.