The Madness of Paper Checks & Insurance Payments
I’ve always loved a good analogy, as it makes concepts concrete and relatable. With March Madness underway I couldn’t help but turn to that annual phenomenon — the office pool — to help put what we do here at ePayPolicy into perspective.
With an estimated $9 billion bet on these games, participation obviously starts with an entry fee. Now I’ve been in pools with hundreds of people and in pools with only 10 people. Regardless of the pool size, the rules are simple now: digital payments only. Why? It’s only logical. Digital payment is instantaneous and it makes the pool easier to manage.
Using tech to provide simplicity
Imagine you’re the office pool commissioner. Imagine trying to work with a steady line of people dropping off checks and cash throughout the day. In addition to creating, distributing, collecting and scoring the bracket sheets, you’ve added a whole other layer of headache to contend with: money. It takes time for you to endorse and deposit and make sure those checks clear before you officially accept the payer into the pool. That causes a time delay neither of you can afford. Oh yes, and don’t forget about dealing with those people who inevitably wait till the last minute to pay their fee before tip off. What if their check bounces? Do you bounce them out of the pool, too?
Paying by check for a March Madness pool just slows the action to a crawl. Meanwhile, the games are scheduled and the Big Dance is in full swing. People are on high alert, boning up on stats and itching to make their picks. They don’t want to have to remember to cut a check (like, who keeps their checkbook with them at work in the first place?), sign it and drop it off at your desk. If you’re not there, they have to follow up to make sure you got the check.
Old methods work but are they the best option?
And even paying by cash is a drag. Having the exact entry fee in cash is not impossible, but it’s pretty rare for people to walk around with that kind of green in their wallet. In these days of credit cards and Apple Pay, you’re basically requiring participants to go the ATM. An added step for them.
And what if someone forgets (several days in a row) or is traveling and can’t get you a physical payment in time? You either have to cover their fee initially or not allow them to participate. If you choose the latter, that’s a smaller pool and a smaller payout to the winners.
You can quickly see how cash or check payments can make your commissioner job much harder than it needs to be. And the added pressure on everyone to pay in an an inconvenient way creates a barrier to participation. Here you are, inviting them to the biggest sports betting event of the year, but making it harder instead of easier to get their bracket in.
Where ePayPolicy’s digital payment service fits in
Now here comes the analogy part. In this scenario the office pool commissioner is you, a busy insurance agent or broker. The participants are your clients. You have something they want. They’re ready and eager to pay to play. So why are you putting up barriers? Because that’s exactly what’s happening when the only methods of payment you accept from your clients is a check or cash.
Now here’s the thing. Yours may be the only March Madness pool in the office. But out here in the business world, your clients have their choice of insurance agents and brokers. Paying by check is as much of a time-wasting hassle for them as it is for you. Your clients are used to paying for virtually everything else in their lives electronically.
Moral of the story? If you want to make it as easy for your clients to pay their premiums as it is to buy into the office pool, give us a call at ePayPolicy. We guarantee they’ll be excited about doing business with you — long after their March Madness bracket has busted.