Payment is a crucial step in any customer-vendor interaction. It completes the transaction and defines a successful customer conversion. Despite its strategic importance, businesses worldwide typically mark this step as just another customer touchpoint. As shifts in technology have revolutionized many industries over the past decade, payments also deserve a closer look.
In The Beginning
In its earliest form, commerce was a system of trading one item or service for another. Ancient wall paintings and manuscripts show that humans long ago engaged in trading animal skins and meat for other services and goods. Gradually, the idea of currency emerged; primitive societies used shells or beads as money. In Mesopotamia and Egypt, gold bars were used as cash but they had to be measured each time a trade was made.
The advancement of metallurgy, thought to have started sometime between 700 and 500 B.C., institutionalized value and disentangled commerce. Coins could now be tallied, making exchanges less demanding. Gold and silver soon became the standard for coins around 500 B.C. This led to trade between countries, as these valuable metals had a standard value around the globe, which in turn empowered nations with surpluses to sell their wares to countries that required them.
While the basics of trade have remained constant, the last century has seen enormous changes in both the structure and nature of commerce. Until the early 1900’s, most businesses were private ventures with merchants selling goods and services to local residents. The ascent of corporations prompted the foundation of chain stores and retail establishments. In the mid-1990s, Amazon and eBay changed the way commerce operates in America, and in turn, globally. The power to search for books by myriad criteria and review purchases online before checkout helped make Amazon an online shopping mainstream among shoppers. eBay gave consumers the option to open their own online stores in an easy and secure way. Entrepreneurship and the internet quickly converged.
This swiftly brings us to today: most consumer payments across the world are now digital. The technology that powers digital payments is evolving at a breakneck speed compared to the decades (and centuries) prior.
Digital Payments and their Benefits
Digital Payments are, simply enough, payments made through digital channels. They convert a traditional cash-operation to a cashless one. All transactions are completed online.
Some of the advantages of digital payments are:
- Convenience & accessibility: Customers no longer need to carry cash or visit an ATM. In fact, they don’t even need to be physically present to pay! Customers can pay anytime from any part of the world.
- Lower risk: Digital transactions are much more secure than traditional transactions because they are processed by secure gateways which are hard to tamper with.
- Easily traceable: Details of payments are stored in a merchant-specific databases. Both merchants and customers have easy access to payment information. This avoids ambiguity and confusion while tracking payments.
Future of Digital Payments
A Payments-as-a-Service provider for businesses, PayStand is the future of digital payments. We provide an enterprise-level payment technology that is sufficiently adaptable for all business needs to process and reconcile payments. Our platform is designed to scale and onboard new users rapidly. Our low-cost, frictionless B2B payment network automates manual processes, lowers transaction costs, and speeds up time-to-cash.
Several key features of the PayStand platform are:
- Account Receivable Solution: PayStand now lets you digitise the complete accounts receivable flow. It allows merchants to dramatically improve ROI and maximize efficiency by speeding up time to cash, lowering costs and automating receivables.
- Virtual Terminal: A virtual terminal facilitates card not present transactions. It allows the merchant to make payments on behalf of the customer. The customer isn’t required to present his card for the physical examination by the merchant.
- Billing Payment Portal: The PayStand Billing Payment Portal lets your customer pay using multiple payment methods (ACH, Credit/Debit cards, Smart ACH). It eliminates juggling multiple payment channels and manual processes. Traditional lockbox services are now replaced with a much more convenient digital solution.
- Fund on File: Irrespective of what payment feature customers wish to use, the payment information is tokenized and encrypted so that it can be re-engaged for future charges. This is useful and desirable for recurring payments as information of previous payments is now secure and easily accessible.
From the earliest bartering of animal skins and trade markets to retail stores and modern, digital stores, there’s a clear pattern: businesses tend to move toward making the lives of consumers easier and more convenient. Today, through continuous innovation and advancement in technology consumers can purchase nearly anything from almost anywhere across the globe. While B2C and C2C transactions have largely moved digital, B2B payments remain slow, inefficient, and expensive and stand to benefit from changes in technology.
PayStand is building the most advanced commercial payment network available, using core principles of SaaS and blockchain to dramatically improve bottom-line savings for businesses. Our revolutionary "Payments-as-a-Service" model creates a smart billing and payment network that can digitize receivables, automate processing, reduce time-to-cash, lower transaction costs, and enable new revenue. Contact us today to find out how PayStand can help your business.