Fewer delays, more time to design: an online payment solution for architects
Although some may suspect it, architecture is essentially a service industry. And as with all services, the process itself (meetings, invoices, payments) can be just as important as the end result (the finished project). Ultimately, if you provide a consistent, efficient, and well-structured service that complements good design, customers will be satisfied and likely to return. They will also spread the word and recommend the office, which is ultimately the best way for design professionals to build a good reputation and attract new clients.
Many boxes need to be checked to provide good service. But perhaps one of the most crucial relates to invoicing and payments, which are vital for cash flow and therefore fundamental for businesses. In project-based industries like architecture and design, fees are typically paid in installments defined by specific timelines, from initial design delivery to construction. Therefore, receiving a constant and predictable income at all stages is essential; it avoids non-payments and delays which can hinder the delivery of projects and lead to complicated situations.
However, widely used payment methods like cash and checks are time-consuming, can get lost in the mail, and are prone to human error. In a modern context where speed, efficiency and flexibility are valued more than ever, this can be quite inconvenient, especially for customers accustomed to receiving services via a simple click. As a result, many design firms are considering online payments as a potential solution. Why? They are easier, faster and allow customers to plan financially. Designers can quickly send invoices once a project milestone is reached, and clients can pay immediately. This was precisely the objective behind ClientPaya simple and reliable web-based solution that accepts multiple payment options from anywhere.
From chasing unpaid invoices to receiving instant online payments
Understanding the specific requirements of the industry, the system is adapted to the payment processes and structures of the design world and has already been successfully tested by many companies and professionals. Interior designer Sarah Schwuchow, owner and director of Sarah Jacquelyn Interiors, is one such case. Since using online payments powered by ClientPay, Sarah’s business has been able to grow much faster and her customer base has adapted quickly. Now she can’t remember the last time she deposited a check.
Its story began when a customer had to send four payments in four consecutive days due to wire transfer limits. Wondering what would happen when she processed larger payments, she realized this was not an efficient way to do business, which motivated her to work with ClientPay. Now Sarah is able to accept credit card, debit card and e-check payments from anywhere and use innovative tools that make it easy to pay.
The fact that I am able to accept a variety of different payments gives my clients options. And the fact that they had options made it so much easier for them to pay bills and bills. – Sarah Schwuchow, interior designer
A process that previously took Sarah days and weeks with traditional methods is now quite quick, easy and simple. Simply send a hyperlink that a customer can open to instantly pay that bill, without redirecting to a third-party site and without needing to log into a payment portal. Payments can be made immediately or in installments, with no risk of non-payment. If programmed, the customer’s credit card or bank account is automatically debited. And with advanced data encryption and cybersecurity protections, company data and sensitive customer information is protected from interception.
Once the payment is finalized, professionals like Sarah automatically receive an email with all the information, eliminating much of the mystery associated with online payments in a modern, secure and professional way. In addition, ClientPay also makes it possible to adapt to current flexibility needs. As remote working and socially distanced interactions become the new norm, the ability for businesses to accept payments almost instantly makes them more attractive compared to competitors who don’t. Like any digital process, it reduces waste by eliminating the need for paper invoices and receipts, reducing the carbon footprint and catering to an increasingly environmentally conscious public.
Ultimately, an efficient and user-friendly online payment solution greatly facilitates the service-oriented part of a design process. As less time is spent chasing after unpaid invoices, architects and designers can focus on what they do best: conceptualizing, creating and delivering great projects.
ClientPay guides professionals through the process, providing support and onboarding sessions. Learn more about ClientPay’s payment solution for design professionals.