Billing and Payments

7 Stats Proving Why CPAs Should Accept Payments Online

John Lehman
September 19, 2019

It’s one thing to hear payment companies talk about how beneficial online payments solutions can be for your practice. But, for many CPAs, these words mean nothing without hard evidence to back them up.

If you’re looking for some measurable proof that shows why your firm should start accepting payment options, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll go over seven statistics that clearly show why online payments solutions are a crucial tool for modern CPA firms.

Go beyond the stats with our free guide: Getting Paid: Recent Trends CPAs Need to Know

77% of consumers prefer to pay with a debit or credit card

Recent studies have shown that paper payments are going the way of the dinosaur. According to a recent TSYS U.S. Consumer Payment Study, debit cards and credit cards were the most popular method of payment amongst consumers of all income levels, with debit cards being the preferred method for 44 percent of participants and credit cards a close second at 33 percent.

Consumers are using their cards to buy groceries, eat at restaurants, and of course, make purchases online with all kinds of retailers. While the study shows that some businesses still see cash as the preferred method of payment (such as coffee shops or other low-value businesses), it's clear that cards have become dominant force for payments amongst consumers.

69% of consumers pay bills with a credit or debit card

Not surprisingly, consumers preference for card payments extends beyond buying their day-to-day goods.

Another U.S. Consumer Payment Study conducted by TSYS showed that today’s consumers prefer to pay their bills online with their debit cards—as much as 45 percent of those surveyed! Credit cards fell into second place at 24 percent, while check payments for bills were preferred by only 15 percent of consumers.

If anything’s clear from this data it’s that convenience is king—using a card to make these big payments each month is significantly faster (and simpler) than checks.

67% of consumers use recurring billing via credit or debit card when paying bills

Speaking of convenience, one of the perks of paying your bills online is being able to automate the whole process. CPAs can direct their service to simply charge from their client’s account every month and get more time back into their day near the beginning of the month.

If this sounds appealing to you, you’re definitely not alone. The same U.S. Consumer Payment Study from TSYS mentioned before showed that 42 percent of consumers were using their debit cards to set up recurring payments to their monthly bills, with 25 percent using their credit cards. Contrarily, only 13 percent of consumers were making recurring payments via checks.

79% of consumers report high satisfaction with paying bills online

According to a recent study conducted by Fiserv, 79 percent of consumers were more satisfied with online bill pay than other methods, ranking these systems between 8 to 10 out of 10. Consumers can make easily pay their bills from their computers, or even their mobile devices, without needing to wait on their mail service or navigate through phone trees.

It’s no surprise, really—the easier it is to pay a bill, the more satisfied a customer will be with a service. And satisfied clients are much more likely to continue working with you (as well as recommend your services to others).

79% of consumers expect professional services to offer the same payment options as big national companies

Given how easy it is for customers to purchase their favorite goods online through the likes of Amazon and eBay, it’s difficult for many of them to continue using a comparatively outdated form of payment, such as mailing a paper check.

In fact, a survey from Fiserv showed that as much as 79 percent of clients expect professional service firms to offer the same online payment options as these larger companies.

More customers today have grown accustomed to the simplicity of billing from their digital devices, and prefer to see that same level of simplicity elsewhere. It’s more important than ever to meet these expectations in order to keep your clients satisfied.

65% of consumers expect to be able to pay their bill via the professional's website

Today, consumers are not only able to pay their bills with a credit or debit card, but do so straight from their utilities’ website. Many of these services will have a “pay your bill” button featured prominently on their homepage, making it convenient for their customers to login to their accounts and send off a payment right away.

As you might have guessed, this has set an expectation amongst consumers for all the services they subscribe to. Another Fiserv study showed that 65 percent of customers expect professional services to offer bill pay from their website or from a mobile app.

While you probably won't need to build a mobile app for your practice, adding a payment link to your website is extremely easy and would be well worth your time.

68% of accounting firms now accept credit and debit cards

In the past, accounting firms have been hesitant to accept credit card or debit card payments from their clients for a variety of reasons.

However, in recent years, more and more firms have been changing their tune after seeing the value of offering credit and debit card payment options.

Data from a recent AICPA’s National Map Survey showed that as much as 68 percent of accounting firms were accepting credit and debit cards, particularly $5M - $10M firms. Between the ease of use, increased cash flow, and advanced security features, offering online payments to your clients is simply a win-win for both of you.

So, what’s the biggest take away from these statistics?

Simple. Credit cards and digital payments aren’t going anywhere. The sooner you start accepting these payment options, the more you’ll delight your clients, futureproof your firm, and foster its success in the decades to come.

Ready to start accepting online payments in your practice? Schedule a CPACharge demo here