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March 25, 2020

Online Payments: A Help During the Crisis

Summary:

Switching to online payments can help an agency, its employees and customers stay healthy and productive during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Online payments are convenient, secure and easy. These days, they can also help keep you, your employees and your customers stay healthy and ensure your insurance business stays productive during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Amid the virus health concerns, employees across the country are being encouraged to work from home, while most Americans are being advised to stay inside.

That spells trouble for those consumers who prefer to pay their insurance bills in person or by the mail, many of whom are older. And it presents a tricky situation for insurance agents and companies that have shifted their work remotely for the time being. 

Not only should your clients avoid going out to pay their bills, but, even if they do, your business may not have anyone there to accept payments. 

That could be especially problematic in the insurance industry, where timely payments are paramount to maintaining coverage, something many Americans are undoubtedly nervous about as the virus spreads.

Even paying by mail could be problematic, as it requires having stamps on hand or going to the post office – again, your clients should be focusing on social distancing, not worrying about making a payment in person—and your office may not have anyone there anyway to open the mail.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston found in a 2017 study that the average American paid 8.4 bills in person, by mail or by phone, compared with 6.5 bills paid online and 6.4 bills paid through automatic withdrawal. That means a significant amount of people still aren’t paying online — presenting an opportunity for you to increase the number of online payers, a true benefit, especially during the pandemic.

If your insurance agency or company doesn’t accept online payments, it’s not hard to add that capability to your website quickly, with a plug-and-play system. It’s even easier to get your customers set up. Under the current circumstances, they’ll be especially thankful. 

See also: Coronavirus Boosts Cyber Risk  

Online payments also allow your customers to know exactly when the payment is received, while mailed payments depend on the timing of the delivery. Your customers will be able to manage their cash flow better.

As the coronavirus continues to spread, now is a better time than ever to shift your payment processing online. Many more of your customers are open to the change, because they’re trying to avoid personal contact. They’ll thank you for the opportunity.

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About the Author

Duke Williams is founder of Simply Easier Payments, a leading no-cost total payment solution partner for insurance and other industries accepting mobile or online payments.

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