“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
This is a common phrase people use to convey that if something works at least somewhat well, then leave it alone. It’s good enough.
This is sound advice for some things, like if you have a perfectly good car but want a new one, just because.
However, this practice falls short in other areas of life. Take insurance for example. Insurance is an industry that places heavy emphasis and value on tradition. And in this case, tradition dictates that business practices remain largely the same, and adopting new tech isn’t necessary since, after all, what’s already in place is good enough.
“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
Not so fast. Let’s talk payments.
Insurance professionals everywhere have been accepting paper checks since the dawn of the modern insurance industry. The practice reigned supreme for a long while, and for some agencies, it is still the preferred way to accept payments from insureds. However, paper checks, and its cousins wire transfers and cash payments, come with a slew of caveats and complications.
Both paper checks and cash have to be snail-mailed or handed off in person. Wire transfers are costly, require a ton of manual work, and both of the participating banks require representation on the phone to initiate the transfer.
What if an agent is pressed for time and needs those funds immediately? Every insurance professional has been there — when it’s 4:45 PM on a Friday, the banks are closing soon, and there’s nothing to do but watch the clock tick by while waiting on the insured, impending doom hanging overhead.
“Inconvenient,” is an understatement.
Traditions are great. But even good ones need updating every once in a while.
That’s where electronic payments come into play.
According to a Federal Reserve Payments Study, paper checks have been on a staggering 6% yearly average decline since 1999, and by 2014, only 3% of consumers said they preferred to use paper checks.
Conversely, and unsurprisingly, the preference for electronic payment options has been on the rise, with the Federal Reserve Study reporting that credit card payments were recorded as the “highest growth rate” (at a 10.2% increase) among core payment types from 2015-2016.
At the end of the day, e-payments are undeniably more convenient and easier to track than old-school methods.
“In our space, if you don’t have an electronic payment solution, you’re way behind the times,” said Russ Goldstein, President of Agile Premium Finance.
It’s truly astonishing what a little mobility can do to help a business’ overall bottom line.
For insurance professionals and customers, the entire process of making and accepting payments has flipped on its head. Funds can be remitted in seconds and deposited into a bank account just as quickly.
This instantaneous gratification may seem the norm in 2018, but a few years ago this was still unheard of.
More and more, insurance professionals everywhere want a more seamless, end-to-end solution for tracking and reconciling payments. Paper checks, wire transfers, cash, and the like may not be broken, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best option.
With mobile payments, the question isn’t “why?” it’s “why not?”
ePayPolicy is the simplest way to collect insurance payments online. The processor allows insurance professionals to accept electronic payments via credit card and ACH, while also allowing agents and brokers to pass on transaction fees to the insured. ePayPolicy serves over 800 national clients and continues to expand its growing list of independent association endorsements and management system integrations each day. To find out more, visit www.epaypolicy.com.