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Worried about Security for Your Small Business? Consider ACH over Credit Cards

Security

Between phishing, Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, malware and more, small business security is as important now more than ever. An elevated level of security is just as necessary for areas that sometimes don’t always come under as much scrutiny as they should: Accounts payable and business payments. Something as simple as paying by credit card can open your business up to fraud or fees.

However, small businesses can adopt options such as ACH payments and accounts payable automation to provide a higher level of security for a company’s finances.  

The Drawbacks of Credit Cards for Business Payments

Credit cards are popular with small businesses for many reasons. They can help bridge times of negative cash flow, provide a form of automated payments and even give rewards points. However, you should consider two items when using credit cards to pay your bills.

Fraud

Credit cards continue to be prime targets for fraudulent activities–particularly fraud perpetrated by card not present (CNP) transactions. The term refers to credit card-related fraud around that doesn’t rely on the physical presence of the credit card–for example, online orders.

A payment fraud survey found that “CNP fraud represented 79 percent of fraudulent payments made in 2015 by value, a rise from 77 percent in 2014.”

Today, with online threats, skimming and more, it’s relatively easy for unauthorized individuals to gain access to your credit card number and security codes.  Using a credit card prudently prevents exposure of its information to unauthorized individuals.

Fees

Payment via credit cards often incurs extra expenses for businesses, such as interest fees. Other forms of payments, such as ACH, prevents that additional charge.

Accounts Payable Automation and ACH Bill Payments

Accounts payable automation provides a greater level of security for small businesses.

The process is relatively straightforward for businesses. Take, for example, bill payment. An accounts payable automation system allows a company to set up automated workflows that take each bill through prescribed pathways to approval, sends reminders and enables multiple forms of digital payments.

One of the most significant benefits of accounts payable automation is that it enforces the separation of duties. Those who are authorizing payment are not the ones approving the bills. For example, when a bill enters Bill.com, it applies your company’s guidelines to the bill based on the vendor, the amount and stakeholders. It begins the payment review process by sending to the first person in the approval workflow and advances it automatically throughout that workflow. Each step is automated and–more importantly–audited, leading to a higher level of security.

Accounts payable automation also limits access. Only authorized individuals within that workflow can access the invoice and its associated documentation and history. This is due to robust user permissions that you can assign through Bill.com. After all, not every employee that reviews bills needs full approval to contracts, banking information and approvals.

Finally, accounts payable automation protects sensitive banking and credit card information. Each business payment made through Bill.com is drawn on a Bill.com bank account–limiting the exposure of your valuable numbers, both for banking and credit cards.

It's time to discover the benefits of accounts payable automation for your business.

March 20, 2017
Stephanie Aparicio
Director of Payment, Risk & Compliance Operations, Bill.com
Stephanie is the Director of Payment, Risk & Compliance Operations at Bill.com. She has 15 years of experience in the Fintech industry and over 7 years in Fraud Risk. When she's not fighting internet crime, Stephanie enjoys doing all things sports with her two boys.