You can provide convenience for your families by offering methods to pay from wherever they happen to be at the moment they want to do business with you.

With out of town family members helping with the cost of funeral arrangements, many credit card transactions are completed without ever seeing the person making the payment. More and more families want to be able to shop online or take care of payment arrangements without mailing a check or leaving their house. You can provide convenience for your families by offering methods to pay from wherever they happen to be at the moment they want to do business with you. This is important today because if they can’t do business with you without coming to see you, they are likely to find a competitor that offers such services in the future. There are basically three methods you can use to collect money remotely.

The eCommerce Store
The easiest method for accepting cards that are not present is an eCommerce solution. With this method, you can sell products and/or services using your website and an online purchase area commonly called a shopping cart. You can use specialized funeral industry software to build your eCommerce section on your website or ask your credit card merchant services provider to build a system for you. Your software system might offer a service for families to make payments toward a case that will go directly into your accounting system. There are many options out there for offering this type of service. Find the one that works best for you. Families can completely self-serve with this option. This reduces your internal labor costs since they browse what you have to offer add the products or services they like to their cart, and checkout directly on your website. There are some security concerns associated with online stores, especially when it comes to PCI Compliance. Work with your credit card processor and software provider to determine the best way to set up your eCommerce solution.

A Payment Button
If you don’t need a full eCommerce store, you can add a simple button such as “Pay Here” or “Click to Pay”. The coding snippet is easy to add to your website and you shouldn’t need a web developer to do it. Your credit card processor can help you do this. When a customer clicks on the button they are taken to a secure page that’s not hosted on your own computer system. This helps you meet PCI compliance requirements as the payment information provided goes directly to the processor’s site. Having a button like this allows your customers to make payments anytime including when your business is closed. It’s a very simple solution for accepting credit cards.

Text to Pay
Let’s say services are set for tomorrow and a family is desperately trying to come up with the balance of funds for the service. You’re all too familiar with this scenario. Imagine if you offered a service that allowed them to skip coming into the office to pay and pay you the moment they have the money. With a text to pay solution they can pay using their Smartphone. You can send a personalized payment link that allows them to review their invoice and pay it from wherever they happen to be. That’s one less person in your office tied up running a credit card payment. Your families will love this. Of course your customers can also pay you using PayPal as long as you set up a PayPal account.

No matter which option you think might be best for you, a credit card processor familiar with the funeral industry can help you determine the solution that would be best for your needs and help you navigate security and other concerns. Ask about recurring credit card payments too if you allow your families to make monthly payments to you. FBA

Jim Luff is a Marketing Manager with Chosen Payments, a national credit card processor serving the funeral care industry. He is an active member of the California Funeral Directors Association serving on the Legislative, Public Relations and Expo committees with firsthand industry knowledge and 25 years of experience working with Central California funeral homes. Jim can be reached by phone at 805-427-9180 or by email [email protected]