By Duke Williams

Online payments are convenient, secure and easy. But these days they can also help keep you, your employees and your customers stay healthy and ensure your insurance business stays productive during the coronavirus pandemic.

Amid the virus health concerns, many employees across country are being encouraged to work from home, while older Americans are being advised to stay inside.

That spells trouble for those consumers who prefer to pay their insurance bills in person or by the mail, many of whom are older. And it presents a tricky situation for insurance agents and companies who have shifted their work remotely for the time being.

Not only should your clients avoid going out to pay their bills, but even if they do, your business may not have anyone there to accept payments.

That could be especially problematic in the insurance industry, where timely payments are paramount to maintaining coverage, something many Americans are undoubtedly nervous about as the virus spreads.

Even paying by mail could be problematic, as it requires having stamps on hand or going to the post office – and again, your clients should be focusing on social distancing, not worrying about making a payment in person—and your office may not have anyone there anyway to accept it.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston found in a 2017 study that the average American paid 8.4 bills in person, by mail or by phone, compared to 6.5 bills paid online and 6.4 bills paid through automatic withdrawal. That means a significant amount of people still aren’t paying online –presenting a new opportunity for you to increase the number of online payors, a true benefit especially during the pandemic.

If your insurance agency or company doesn’t accept online payments, it’s not hard to add that functionality to your website quickly, especially if your team is now all working from home. And it’s even easier to get your customers set up as well. And under the current circumstances, they’ll will be especially thankful of your new feature.

Not only that, online payments also allow your customers to know exactly when the payment is received, while mailing payments is dependent on the postal service delivery timing. This helps your customers manage their own cashflow. Given so much uncertainty right now, they will appreciate when they receive confirmation of their payments, knowing it’s one less thing to worry about.

As the coronavirus continues to spread, now is better than ever to shift your payment processing online with a straightforward plug-and-play payment system that you can quickly add to your website and just as quickly offer to your customers.

At a time like this, you need to focus on the health and safety of your employees as well as your customers all while ensuring the longevity of your business. Online payment processing can help with all of that and at no cost to you.

Duke Williams is founder of Simply Easier Payments, a payment solution partner for insurance and other industries accepting mobile or online payments.

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