What is Zero-Touch Payment Processing?

Apr 13, 2020 by Eduardo Lopez

Zero-Touch payment processing is a secure way to virtually collect payments for goods and services, without the use of cash or paper checks.

While traditional payment processing is highly manual and requires multiple physical touches, Zero-Touch payments are processed through digital channels, can be managed remotely, and automated to help you streamline collections and improve cash flow.

Over the last few months, digital payment use has grown increasingly due to the COVID-19 outbreak. If your business needs to shift to Zero-Touch payments, Paystand can help you get started.

Zero-Touch Payment Methods

Many people associate touchless payments with tap-and-go credit cards, but there are many other zero-touch alternatives that don't carry transaction limits and hefty fees. There are also options like digital bank payments, digital wallets, smart cards, and eChecks. Zero-Touch payment methods for B2B companies can be classified into two areas: credit and bank payment systems.

Zero-Touch Credit Payments

  • Credit Card (Virtual terminal): Virtual terminals let you securely charge credit cards remotely from a smartphone, computer, or tablet.
  • Smart card: A contactless credit card with a microprocessor that can be loaded with funds.
  • Virtual card: A digital form of payment that allows you to create a unique 16-digit virtual card number that can be tied to a bank account.

Zero-Touch Bank Payments

  • Direct Bank Payments: A direct (or digital) bank payment moves money electronically from one bank to another.
  • eCheck: A digital version of a paper check that electronically transfers money from a bank account, typically a checking account.
  • Stored-value card: A card with pre-loaded funds that can be used to complete a transaction, such as a gift card or a charge card.
  • Electronic Funds Transfer: A bank transfer processed over a computer network among accounts at the same bank or separate institutions.
  • Automated Clearing House (Virtual Terminal): Virtual terminals also allow you to process bank payments over a computer-based clearing house.

Recommended: Payment alternatives to cash and paper checks

Zero-Touch Payment Operations

Zero-Touch payment processing isn't only about collecting payments digitally; it's also about how you manage accounts receivable (AR) for your business. It involves digitizing and automating your AR process to collect payments faster, safer, and more efficiently.

A Zero-Touch payment strategy can include a number of different features and customizations to help you:

  1. Offer customers self-service payment options
  2. Digitize your documents, operations, and records
  3. Automate reconciliation, data entry and other manual AR tasks

Zero-Touch Credit Payments

Here are the core features that enable Zero-Touch payments:

  • Payment Portal: Allow customers to pay one or multiple invoices at a time via an online payment portal. Supports a variety of payment options.
  • Payment Links / Pay Now Button: Customers can make payments directly from email invoices, invoices, billing reminders, sales orders, and statements.
  • Email Invoicing: Email and schedule invoices to customers.
  • Billing Reminders: Send customers automated billing reminders about upcoming payments.
  • Recurring Billing / Auto-Pay: Enroll customers on monthly or custom payment schedules and withdraw money from their credit card or bank account.
  • Payer Portal: Allows customers to log in and view current and past invoices, payment history, download receipts, and update payment information.

Benefits of Using Zero-Touch Payments

Now that we've gone over the basics of Zero-Touch payment processing, let's take a look at how Zero-Touch can benefit your business.

1. Offer flexible payment options and get paid faster

You can accept multiple payment options remotely, including credit and debit cards, electronic checks/ACH, and zero-fee digital bank payments. Customers can self-service and set up recurring payments, allowing an automated approach to making payments:

  • Digital payment portal: When you set up a digital payment portal, there's no need for your team to be there to manually collect the payment. You can offer customers 24/7 access to make payments while reducing your overheads.
  • Custom reminders: It can help to send a friendly reminder when payment is due, but not all clients are the same. You can create customer plans for each client or category, from within the software.
  • Faster payment options: Paper checks may take weeks to arrive by mail, but the latest online payment options allow your customers to use a 'Pay Now' from within the digital invoice. It's fast, easy and means you get paid much faster..

2. Increase efficiency to save time and money

Payment information goes directly into your accounting system, eliminating data entry and reducing opportunities for errors and misunderstandings.

  • Scheduled payments (recurring billing): Send out invoices and initiate payments automatically at specific dates and times.
  • Auto-pay: Get pre-authorization and securely vault customer payment information so you can authorize, charge, and collect payments automatically .
  • Automatic Reconciliation: automatically reconcile payments to bank accounts and book payments to invoices and sales orders in your accounting software.

3. Significantly reduce transaction fees

No fees on bank payments: Paystand charges no fees on direct bank payments made via Paystand's bank to bank network (covers 98% of all commercial accounts and used by over 350K businesses).

  • Whole-sale card rates: access our wholesale credit card processing rates with no additional fees or mark ups.
  • Least-cost-routing: automatically steer customers to the payment rail that will result in the lowest cost to the merchant.
  • Payer-Pays-Fees: Control whether you absorb the cost of fees, split them, or pass them on to your customer. You can even set a threshold that makes the decision for you based on the invoice amount, customer location, or customer type.

4. Manage receivables remotely any time, any where

You don't have to be in the office to keep your A/R operations running smoothly. Zero-Touch allows you to send invoices, collect payments, store payment information, and manage your entire payment process remotely. That means you can get paid whether you're working from home, visiting clients, or out on the road.

  • Dashboard: includes useful analytics and charts that provide. insight into the performance of your business. You can use it to manage payments and refunds, run reports, monitor your integration, and more.
  • Virtual terminals: take payments on behalf of customers, when authorized, from your dashboard. You can also enter payment information from previous payments, filled-in forms, or existing contracts.
  • Reporting: run reports on your payments and accounts receivable, so you can see which of your clients are paying on time and which are frequently late. You could then adjust your payment terms to suit each client.

5. Better payment tracking and ledger management

Once a payment has been initiated, what happens next? Traditionally you would wait until the due date and keep running reports to see if you've been paid. And then start chasing if the money hasn't arrived. But with Zero-Touch payments comes automatic tracking:

  • Fund-verification: authenticate identity, verify good funds, and track payment settlement. Our real-time fund verification can immediately determine if an account has sufficient funds to pay. This eliminates chargebacks, processing fees, and costly, time-intensive follow-up.
  • View payment status: quickly see your collected and pending receivables using standard or custom time periods and group your receivables into categories based on status and type. Receive updates the moment a payment has been deposited in your account.
  • Digital audit trail: automatically create digital records of every transaction. Paystand also electronically certifies payments (from invoice request to paid receipt) to ensure your payment history is secure, electronically auditable, independently verifiable, and free of tampering.
  • Digital time-stamping: Paystand imprints an instant digital timestamp (cryptographic hash) on the blockchain for each transaction made over its network to confirm a payment occurred.

Learn More About Zero-Touch Payments

Schedule a free demo with one of our AR specialists to learn more about Zero-Touch Payments for your business.