Online childcare payments provide benefits to both parents and your business, improving your relationships while saving everyone time and money. Perhaps you have already received requests for online payment from your clients, and you are in the process of determining the benefits and value to your childcare facility.
Online payment processing offers speed and security to the bill payment process, relieving you and your staff of administrative tasks better suited to automation. Meanwhile, parents embrace the convenience and peace of mind online payment provides.
What are Online Childcare Payments?
Simply put, online payment is a process that allows parents to pay their monthly bill via a secure portal using a debit or credit card. It can also include automatic payments processed directly to and from a bank account.
Instead of sending a check in the mail or writing one at the front desk, your client can log into a parent portal with their password and pay anytime. The payment is processed immediately, so parents are assured the payment has been made and you receive the funds without waiting for checks to clear.
If you accept cash, replacing cash payments with online payment can eliminate lost cash as well as lost checks. In both instances, you save your staff from receiving payments, providing receipts, and manually entering information into your billing system.
Online Payment Myths
You may have perceived online payment as difficult to implement.
- Documentation and paperwork required for setup
- Software and equipment costs
- Training staff and parents to use the system
None of these myths are true. Many childcare management solutions include online payment as a feature of the software, so there are no additional documentation or paperwork hoops to jump through. Also, there is no separate fee for the online application. All costs are included in the solution.
After many years of improvements, online payment is easy and intuitive for both parents and your staff.
How Do Parents Benefit from Online Childcare Payment Processing?
Parents greatly appreciate convenience and online payment is extremely convenient for people who are juggling work and home. Online payment can be made from home or a mobile device any time of the day or night.
Writing a check and putting it in the mail or remembering to deliver it to your facility becomes a challenge when there are so many other things to remember to do. Even though it may take a mere five minutes to fill out a check and mail it, sometimes that’s four minutes too many.
Then there is the wait for the check to be taken to the bank and clear the account. If their childcare provider doesn’t deposit the check promptly, it can remain outstanding for weeks, which can create a cashflow issue.
Online payment eliminates these problems.
- Payments are reflected immediately in their bank account on their credit card account.
- Online payment portals are easy to use.
- Payment is secure behind a password, and the transaction is secured by sophisticated banking protocols.
- Parents can easily access their payment history and obtain statements anytime.
Parents’ lives are already complicated. Make this part of their lives easy.
How Will Your Childcare Business Benefit?
You and your staff may spend hours each month entering payments into your system, taking checks to the bank for processing, chasing down late payments, and calculating added fees. Wouldn’t those hours be put to better use planning activities for the children, keeping up with your marketing, or communicating with parents?
After all, time spent in data entry doesn’t add value to your business. Automating payment processing by providing online bill pay eliminates many of the steps and processes your staff performs that have little or nothing to do with the children in your care.
Automating the payment process also shows you hidden savings, money you didn’t realize you were spending that could have gone for something else. Manual data entry itself takes time and also has the potential to introduce errors into the system. Then you waste time tracking down and correcting the errors.
Online bill payment also means you and your staff do not need to sort, store, and record checks or money-orders physically. You don't need to keep cash on site where it could be lost or stolen.
- Eliminate the time spent following up on delinquent payments.
- Improve your cash flow.
- Design and access multiple types of reports.
- Improve internal controls.
- Automatically transfer funds to your bank account.
With the time and money, you save you can spend more time planning activities, managing fund-raising efforts, and take time to breathe now and then.
Improve Your Relationships with Parents
One of the most hated tasks your staff must perform is to confront parents about payment issues. Employees don’t like approaching your clients with a problem. Parents, who are probably aware they are late, do not want to make excuses and promises. It just isn’t a good conversation.
Online childcare payment eliminates these conversations. Parents are more likely to pay on time with online bill payment and, if they set up automatic payments, they will never be late again. That’s one less worry off both your backs.
Automated billing and payment also provide automatic calculations for late pickup fees, late payment fees, and activities that require additional payment. Parents can access detailed invoices and tax statements. Your business can pull reports to help you track cashflow along with expenditures.
Online payment offers advantages to every one of your stakeholders, and if you run multiple locations, you can centralize your financial operations.
Online payment for services is becoming more common all the time. Some parents may have come to expect it. The ability to sit down at home and pay a bill without the need to write a check, find an envelope and stamp, and take it to a mailbox saves time and creates convenience.
With payment taken care of, you and your clients can enjoy your daily encounters at drop off and pick up without the worry of talking about payment or late fees. You don’t need to worry about suspending accounts or following up on delinquent bills. Online payment is fast, easy, and provides payment in real time. No waiting for checks to clear or for deposits to be carried to the bank.
These are just some of the reasons parents love online childcare payments.