4 Common Misconceptions About Accepting e-Payments

This article was written by Todd Sorrel, co-founder of ePayPolicy, and originally published by Agency Nation.

With 40% of online transactions happening on mobile*, one of the biggest conveniences an agency can offer to their clients is collecting premium payments online. It’s one of the simplest but most effective way to improve the overall client experience.

As co-founder of ePayPolicy, every day I’m talking with agency decision-makers across the country and field the many questions about offering an e-pay option.

Currently, there are many electronic payment misconceptions across the industry, but today I want to dispel the top four so you can see how simple it is to meet your clients where they want you to be, digitally.

Checks work

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right?”

On the surface, accepting check as the only form of payment may not seem broken, but sometimes what’s broken isn’t always apparent.

Take typewriters; they work great and can still be used today. But why don’t agencies use them? That’s a no-brainer. It’s easier and way more efficient to communicate and do business with a computer.

Like typewriters, accepting e-payments is a similar transition.

Sure, paper checks work, but the cost of paper-check processing is hidden: you have to bill your client, you wait for the check to arrive, you have to wait for the check to clear, and you have to endure all the excuses that come with them—slow pays, partial pays, not filled out or signed, no non-business hours processing, etc., which can make the process of managing them feel about as slow as molasses running uphill in the winter.

On top of the potential hassle of check processing, your personal and commercial insureds want the convenience of online payments, including credit card and ACH (automated clearing house) options.

And last but not least, the cost of processing paper checks is a hidden drag on your bottom line.  There are various studies out there that estimate the cost of check processing, which varies from a few bucks up to $20. A good middle of the road estimate by the Aberdeen Group places the cost at $7.78—5x more than e-payment processing.

With a digital payment option, you can cost-efficiently fix your agency’s hidden ‘broken’ revenue leak lost to check payment processing and managing related hassles.

I can’t afford to eat the 3% processing fee

In insurance, where most revenue is commission-driven, you can’t afford to give up 3 percent just to accommodate a client wanting to rack up points and miles.

We get it.

That’s why, with our system, all fees are passed through to the payer. Plain and simple.

You can offer your clients two e-payment options, with a 3.25% fee on a credit card transaction or $3 per ACH. Plus, clients aren’t the only ones who appreciate the convenience of online pay. Accountants do too because we only net-fund the amount you are seeking from the payer. This amount lines up with your outstanding agency invoice, so there’s no sweep later for transaction fees. In a nutshell, it’s simple funding.

Onboarding online payment technology is a nightmare

Raise your hand if you’ve heard from others that automating your online payment system with your local bank is an absolute pain to onboard and implement.

Or your concerned that tech implementations are hard on your agency staff.

Or you don’t want the hassle of accepting credit card information or dealing with swipe machines at your office.

You can toss those concerns out the window. We’ve streamlined our online sign-up process to just five steps, so getting started with our system is the easiest thing you’ll do today. Plus, there’s no set up fees, no cancellation fees and no contracts. And if you need a hand, you can call in and speak to a person about getting started or hit our chat window—whatever works for you.

Bottom line: There’s no tech to onboard, no added fees to you and no contracts for our service. It couldn’t be simpler.

Online payments can be unsecure

We know that you want zero liability associated with accepting online payments, and we defend against your risks by eliminating them, in various ways.

When you empower your clients with online payment options, you eliminate the paper shuffling that comes from having to manage client’s sensitive payment data via email or phone. No more encrypting, collecting or exposure to their data.

At the same time, your agency-branded payment page is hosted by ePayPolicy. Payments are run through ePayPolicy’s system, so there’s no sensitive data touching your agency’s system. And when integrated with your preferred AMS system, everyone benefits from an extra layer of security through double-authentication.

Security is our top priority and we’re proud to be PCI level 1 compliant, which is the highest level of e-commerce security certification required by the payment card industry. This is a third-party audit we go through on an annual basis.

Meet your clients where they are

Taking online payments may seem optional today, but there’s no getting around the fact that we’re living in an on-demand, get-it-now digital economy.

Why put a potential wedge between you and your client when you can add an easy and fast digital payment option? There’s no better time to meet your client’s expectation today than with online payments.

* Google Analytics, U.S., based on data from Google Analytics accounts that have authorized Google to share aggregated website data, June–Sept. 2017.

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