Automated Payment Systems General FAQs
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1. What is a recurring payment?
A recurring payment is a regularly scheduled payment which continues over a period of time, rather than a one-time payment. Generally, recurring payments occur monthly, but they can be scheduled with different intervals, such as weekly, quarterly, annually, and so on. Recurring payments can also be scheduled for a fixed period of time, or continue indefinitely. Many types of businesses and industries offer recurring payment options to their customers. Collecting recurring payments using an automated payment has many benefits for businesses and customers alike.
Benefits for Your Business
Providing automated payments is an easy way to increase retention, grow loyalty, and improve customer satisfaction – all while streamlining your payment processing and reducing operational expenses. Our convenient, automated recurring payment options provide bottom-line benefits to your business.
Dramatically reduce delinquencies
Eliminate postage, envelopes, statements, and other billing costs
Eliminate employee or customer theft
Improve your cash flow and business forecasting
Streamline your payment processes with our complete set of solutions
Build customer loyalty, retention, and improve customer service
Convenient for Your Customers
Once your customers have set up automated payments with their checking or savings account (ACH or echeck), credit card, or debit card, life gets simpler: no more checks to write, bills to mail, and less worry about late payments endangering their credit rating. With recurring payments from Automated Payment Systems, everybody wins.
The Right Solutions for Your Industry
Many types of businesses can benefit from our secure, automated recurring payment solutions. Enjoy the benefits of collecting regular fees and subscriptions as well as the ability to run special promotions with deferred or installment payments:
Online Services – Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and digital gamers
Membership and Subscriptions – Health clubs, magazines and publications
Digital Services and Telecommunications – Wireless, cable and satellite providers
Insurance Services – Auto, home and other insurance services
Real Estate and Utility companies
Educational and Municipal Institutions
Medical and Health Service Providers
When you choose APS you will experience only the best in support, service and rates. Collect customer payments the smart way, with Automated Payment Systems. After all... It’s YOUR MONEY!
2. Who can benefit from Automated Payment Systems?
If you are a business owner who collects recurring payments, or you're considering the benefits for your business, APS can help you. Think health clubs, dance & gymnastic schools, personal trainers, music & singing lessons, karate schools, alarm companies, HVAC service providers, security companies, franchise fees, yoga, charities, religions, tanning salons, pest control, child care, animal care, storage facilities, ISP providers, utilities, associations, the list is endless! Talk to one of our Sales Representatives to find out if APS is right for you.
3. How will my customers feel about automated payments?
All your customers should appreciate the convenience. Each customer will benefit from the cost and time savings. Nearly every person who has a bank account or credit card already has one or more automated payments that they have authorized. Automated payments, or autopay transactions, are convenient for payments such as car loans, insurance premiums, service fees, membership dues, or any other recurring payment.
4. How safe or secure is an automated payment?
The customer's payment is fully protected under the bank regulations for electronic payments. Automatic payments are more secure than writing checks or manual payments. There are no checks or receipts to get lost or stolen resulting in unauthorized charges or identity theft.
5. Will my customer still need to receive our company's billing statement?
The need for your business to send a statement may be eliminated. Your business name and/or a payment description will appear on the customer's bank statement.
6. How does the cost of an automated payment compare to the costs of traditional billing methods?
Most businesses estimate that the cost to send each customer statement is somewhere between five and ten dollars. This includes the costs of postage, paper, printing, computer, staff time, phone charges, bank deposits, delays in receiving payments, and all other office procedures. The cost of an automated payment with APS is about one fourth the cost of a postage stamp. The choice is simple!
7. What are the additional benefits that I can expect by using automated payments in my business?
Automated payments can be a key factor in building a financially stable business. Once you see the advantages, you will be highly motivated to promote automated payments within your business.
Reduced Delinquencies — With traditional billing methods such as statements, coupon books, or "remember" payments, your company can experience high delinquencies. These are a result of customers paying their bill "when they get around to it." When their bill is set up as an automated payment, that bill gets paid on time, which means YOU get paid on time.
Continual Renewals — Automated payments will increase customer retention. Your customers do not have to make the decision to pay each month. Business revenues will continue to stay high even during times when income may be typically slow.
Improved Cash Flow — Imagine what your business would be like if every one of your customers payments was deposited in your account on the day it was due. Sending out statements, coupon books, or “remember” payments are a thing of the past. Those old, traditional methods are expensive and inefficient. Automated Payment Systems is the most advanced and least expensive way to process your automated payments.
Remember, “The success of your business is largely determined by how much money you have collected, not by how much your customers owe you.” Stop wasting valuable time and money and start collecting YOUR MONEY the smart way!
8. Will I have to purchase or lease any special equipment or software with Automated Payment Systems?
Absolutely not! APS offers many secure online and offline methods for you to send and receive your company’s automated payment information. This is another advantage when you choose Automated Payment Systems. Your business can have all the benefits associated with automated payments, without purchasing or leasing any special equipment or software. Whether your business uses a simple ledger card system or advanced computer software, APS already has, or will customize a simple and efficient way to process your automated payments.
9. I have decided to use Automated Payment Systems in my business. How long will it take to get set up?
Getting started with APS is easy. Most business can be set up and begin processing in less than 24 hours. The necessary forms can be downloaded from this web site and e-mailed or faxed to APS.
10. Does APS provide any online tools to help me manage my billing and payment processing?
APS Online is a complete set of online payment processing tools, providing you with the most simple and advanced way to manage all your automated customer billing needs.
By simply logging in to your secure online account, you will be able to:
Enter single customer collection or payment transactions. You can process transactions from checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and debit cards.
Enter recurring customer collection or payment transactions. Transactions can be set up for a specific number of payments or set to run continually. They can also be set up to run at any frequency, such as monthly, weekly, quarterly, etc.
Upload batch files. Batch files can be in any format and can be scheduled to process on any day you choose.
Access historical reports for all processing activity.
Search for specific customers, payments, or account information.
Allow your customers to make payments directly to your business from anywhere through a separate, secure customer payment portal. APS can easily create a customer payment link for your business website.
APS Online gives you complete control over all your billing and payment processing needs.
11. What forms or automated payment authorizations will I need? Does APS provide these for me?
APS will provide you with all the necessary forms and payment authorizations that you will need. These forms can be customized for your specific needs. If your business is already using automated payments and you have an existing payment authorization, you may continue to use yours, just as long as it contains the necessary information.
12. When our automated payments are processed by APS, how soon are the funds deposited into our bank account?
When APS processes a batch of automated payments for your company, those funds may be deposited into your businesses bank account as soon as the next banking day. Certain credit card transactions, and transactions requiring verification may take several days longer. If any processing day falls on a weekend or holiday, those funds will be processed on the next banking day.
13. Why should we consider changing to APS when our company already uses a different payment processor?
If any company wants to use automated payments in their business there are only 3 choices:
Apply and qualify under the strict credit requirements of a bank. Your company must purchase special software and undertake complete training program. You must also do all the data entry and processing. You will pay bank rates.
Use a retail third party processor and pay rates that are many times higher than bank rates. Some retail processors charge fees as high as 15% or more on the money they collect. (See Question 14)
Use Automated Payment Systems and pay rates that are lower than the banks. APS recognizes the need to provide hands-on support, along with superior service and rates. Any business approved to process electronic payments through their own financial institution or other processor can experience many challenges. In general, financial institutions and banks provide minimal support, usually referred to as a ‘pass through’ processing environment. You provide them with billing data, they ‘pass it through’, and you hope everything works. If it doesn’t, you fix errors and try again. Financial institution numbers change regularly, expiration dates on credit cards must be updated, and file formats are complicated. Sending accurate data to the bank for processing is not an easy task. Other alternative collection methods usually result in fees and charges that are far too high, coupled with binding, long term contracts.
APS is a managed support payment processing service. We provide hands-on support by continually analyzing your transaction information for correctness and completeness. We first verify, then correct any errors for you, virtually eliminating unintended consequences. The result is more money collected for your business, as well as happier, more satisfied customers.
APS offers many methods for you to send and receive your automated payment information. APS Online is a complete set of payment processing tools. You may also choose to let APS do all your data entry and processing. APS has been processing automated payments since 1987. We specialize in electronic payment services. By utilizing APS's many years of experience you will maximize your income and minimize your billing costs. When you choose APS you will experience only the best in support, service and rates. The choice is simple!
14. How does Automated Payment Systems compare to a "full service" collection company?
If your company is considering using a "full service" collection company, there are several important facts that you should consider. Among other things, consider these:
In nearly all cases, the business that uses a "full service" collections company will pay service costs that are substantially higher than the costs that the business would incur to do those same services on their own.
Business owners feel that they give up much of the control over their customers accounts by turning them over to another company.
Business software programs are readily available for nearly all business types. Within the software will be all the necessary features you will need to easily manage your business and manage the customer accounts.
Your customers will appreciate the relationship they have with your business. That’s the reason they came to your business in the beginning; to do business with you, not to be turned over to another collection company.
For a more complete comparison, please download document #15 from the Downloads page.
If your automated payments are not being processed by APS, you are definitely paying too much!