This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, commemorating global awareness of the need to take care of and preserve our precious planet. Rather than focusing on recycling as an environmental solution, more companies are bypassing the paper trail and using the information superhighway to share documents instead.
Technology is leading the way toward a digital transformation where printed materials are becoming less necessary to conduct business. SMS enables the immediate delivery of virtual documents, from billing reminders and invoices to digital receipts and collection notices or any information that can be stored and shared electronically.
Text-based and contactless payment methods are here to stay
SMS is a secure and cost-effective way for businesses to pivot away from paper to more sustainable resources. Consumers are becoming accustomed to digital engagement thanks to its ease of use and enhanced security features. And in the age of COVID, text-based technology makes social distancing easier.
SMS is more efficient than other communication methods like email and phone calls, which means sending texts to communicate with your customers will increase your ROI. And businesses don’t have to worry about customers deleting your app, as most consumers are happy to opt-in to receive alerts that appear in their native texting app.
Common SMS use cases for paperless transactions
- Billing reminders
- Late payment notices
The items below can be shared by texting a web link or attaching an image file.
- Financial statements
- Policy documents
- Business forms
Benefits of going paperless with texts
Businesses can take paperless transactions to the next level with SMS and MMS. It’s easier than ever to fuse texting into your paperless engagement strategy. Not only does it save businesses money and improve workflows, but it also provides customers with a better experience due to its speed and versatility. Here are some key benefits.
Printed documents that once took days to deliver through the mail now take seconds. Sharing information or linking to a website from an SMS message eliminates waste and reduces our carbon footprint, while speeding up transactions between businesses and consumers. With cloud-based solutions that can be managed via a web interface or mobile device, businesses can send messages to recipients with just a few clicks.
Being able to access a document or make a payment from anywhere, anytime on a mobile device is the epitome of convenience. It also makes it easy for consumers to be alerted well in advance of any due date. SMS invoices and payments help with record keeping, too. Rather than searching an email inbox for a digital receipt or a link to a payment reminder, users can scroll through their texts to find a receipt or the business notification they’re seeking.
In addition to increasing on-time payments for businesses, giving consumers the option to pay a bill from their mobile device increases customer satisfaction. Aside from the immediate confirmation that their payment was received, having a digital receipt on their smartphone makes it easy to locate the document or information in the future.
Going green even saves greenbacks. Employers save time by having employees send documents digitally, but they also save on administrative costs. The average business spends $1 to send a printed invoice. The ROI of going paperless with a texting solution can often be measured within a few months when you factor in the savings on paper, printers and toner. And paying bills online or through text-based services like TXT2PAY eliminates the cost of postage.
TXT2PAY: the next generation of paperless commerce
Reducing paper invoicing with digital transactions helps Mother Earth, but it also gets invoices to customers’ handsets immediately, letting them pay a bill with the click of a text—and sending their payment to the business in seconds.
Zipwhip partnered with Authvia, a secure payment platform, to bring you Zipwhip TXT2PAY, a safe and hassle-free way to request and accept payments by text. Consumers will be willing to pay for goods and services faster, because they’re comfortable using SMS and already know what to do. Learn more about TXT2PAY.
New customers will be asked to provide card information as shown in the image below.
Going paperless with SMS isn’t new; many banks and financial institutions have been using texts to streamline their payment process and workflow and cut down on repetitive tasks. For consumers, texts are their preferred form of communication, far surpassing email and phone calls to receive reminders and alerts.
Here are some additional use cases for paperless transactions with SMS.
- Collect minimum deposits to open new accounts (credit unions and financial institutions)
- Use texting for payments as a quick, easy digital point-of-sale system
- Reduce physical contact to promote the safety of customers and staff members
Using texts for invoices and payment reminders also serves as an introduction for other communications. It starts a dialog that customers may not have realized was an option—texting with a company or merchant for a variety of reasons. It lets consumers know that questions and other transactions can also be handled over SMS.
Drive automated text reminders and notifications with an API
Take paperless transactions one step further with automation through an API. Businesses can send texts based on specific conditions like invoices and payment reminders as well as other situations.
Developers can use Zipwhip’s APIs with text enabled phone numbers to integrate texting into their CRM or workflow app. Zipwhip’s messaging APIs also include support for authentication, sending and receiving messages and storing and retrieving contacts.
We all play a role in finding ecological solutions to help the planet
Customers often reward companies that adopt Go Green initiatives. Reducing paper in favor of SMS transactions isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for business.
Here are even more sustainable ways to use SMS.
- Reduce reliance on paper when any document (digital) can be texted instead
- DocuSign forms (text a web link to individuals on the go)
- Web links to patient forms (background info provided by patient prior to visit)
- Staffing/recruiting (text document images or links to online resources)
- General business (text image of invoice or other document for any industry)
- Financial/banking (text a web link to online resources/statements)
- Mortgage/loan documents (text a web link or image of filled-out document)
- Send automatic reminders as members go through loan application process
- Follow up on incomplete applications (with an automated text reminder)
Learn more about business texting with our free e-book: The Ultimate Guide to Texting Your Customers. You’ll want it on hand as you start your business texting journey.