Less Delays, More Time to Design: An Online Payment Solution for Architects
Although some may question it, architecture is essentially a service industry. And like in all services, the process itself (meetings, invoices, payments) can be just as important as the end result (the finished project). At the end of the day, if you offer a coherent, efficient and well-structured service that complements a good design, clients will be satisfied and are 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 customers.
Many boxes must be checked to provide a good service. But perhaps one of the most crucial involves billing and payments, which are vital for cashflow and thus fundamental for businesses. In project-based industries like architecture and design, fees are usually paid out in various installments defined by specific time frames, from the initial design delivery to construction. Therefore, receiving a consistent, predictable income in all stages is indispensable; it avoids non-payments and delays that can hinder project delivery and cause complicated situations.
However, widely used payment methods like cash and checks consume a great deal of time, can get lost in the mail and are subject to human error. In a modern context where speed, efficiency and flexibility are more appreciated than ever, this can be quite inconvenient – especially for customers accustomed to receiving services through a simple click. As a result, many design firms are looking at online payments as a potential solution. Why? They are easier, faster, and let customers plan financially. Designers can quickly send invoices once a project milestone is reached, and customers are able to pay immediately. This was precisely the objective behind ClientPay, a simple and reliable web-based solution that accepts multiple payment options from any location.
From chasing unpaid invoices to instantly receiving online payments
Understanding the industry’s specific demands, the system is tailored for the payment processes and structures of the design world and has already been successfully tested by many firms and professionals. Interior designer Sarah Schwuchow, owner and principal of Sarah Jacquelyn Interiors, is one of those cases. Since using online payments powered by ClientPay, Sarah’s business has been able to expand much faster – and her clientele has adapted rapidly. Now, she can’t remember the last time she deposited a check.
Her story began when a client had to send four payments in four days in a row because of bank transfer limits. Questioning what would happen when dealing with larger payments, she realized that it was not an efficient way to do business, which motivated her to work with ClientPay. Now, Sarah is able to accept credit and eCheck payments from anywhere and use innovative tools that make it easier to get paid.
The fact that I am able to accept a variety of different payments gives my clients options. And the fact that they have options has made it so much easier for them to pay their billing and their invoices. – Sarah Schwuchow, Interior Designer
A process that before took Sarah days and weeks with traditional methods is now quite fast, easy and simple. All it takes is sending one hyperlink that a client can open to instantly pay that invoice, without redirecting to a third-party site and without the need to log into a payment portal. Payments can be done immediately or in installments, without the risk of non-payment. If they are scheduled, the client’s credit card or bank account is automatically charged. And thanks to advanced data encryption and cybersecurity safeguards, both the firm’s data and client’s sensitive information are protected from interception.
Once the payment is finalized, professionals like Sarah automatically receive an email with all the information, taking away a lot of the mystery associated to online payments in a way that is modern, secure and professional. Furthermore, ClientPay also helps to adapt to current flexibility needs. As remote work and socially-distanced interactions become the new norm, businesses’ abilities to accept payments virtually instantly makes them more attractive in comparison to competitors who don’t. Like any digital process, it reduces waste by eliminating the need for paper invoices and receipts, lowering the carbon footprint and responding to an increasingly environmentally conscious audience.
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 unpaid invoices, architects and designers can focus on what they do best: conceptualizing, creating and delivering good projects.
ClientPay guides professionals through the entire process, providing support and onboarding sessions. Learn more about ClientPay’s payment solution for design professionals.