The first thing I’ll do when I get home from work tonight is check the mail. I don?t know why, but I treat every trip to the mailbox like I’m going to collect a prize. Did the new issue of Sports Illustrated arrive? What did Netflix send me today? Did my parents remember my birthday this year (in their defense, they bat around .900)? Granted, there is a lot of coal in the stocking (bills, auto registration, etc.), but the good outweighs the bad in my opinion.
And Saturday is no different, except I usually retrieve it immediately since my dogs send out several warning barks. But it sounds like that will all change soon. In the age of digitalization, the United States Postal Service is hurting financially, and, along with first class mail, Saturday delivery may be one of its first casualties.
So aside from my own enjoyment, what else will suffer from the lack of mail on the sixth day?
Lost in much of the discussion is the question of what businesses will do to compensate for the delay in delivery. Businesses rely on mail to deliver products, communicate with customers, and collect money. Will they just have to accept these delays and move on? Not necessarily.
While their fulfillment and communication methods will have to accommodate for the changes, their receivables process does not have to make many sacrifices. The same advancements in technology that may axe Saturday mail have opened the door to a new way of getting paid – through electronic invoicing. Businesses that use electronic invoicing instead of paper mail can cut out the middle man that is the USPS, and actually get paid faster.
Electronic invoicing solutions allow businesses to email bills instantly to their customers. The electronic invoice includes all the same bells and whistles of their paper counterparts – amount due, product/service descriptions, date of purchase, payment due date – but also gives the customer the option to pay instantly with a click-to-pay button. From there, the customer can pay via credit card, and sometimes ACH (bank account to bank account), through a secure payment page. Even if they choose to continue to pay through the mail, the process was at least expedited by the initial instant delivery.
Other benefits of electronic invoicing include decreased paper and printing costs and fewer trips to the store to pick up stamps. Some solutions, including PaySimple, also allow businesses to set up recurring invoice schedules that automatically deliver bills on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. This is a great time-saver for businesses with subscription or membership-based models.
So, instead of letting the USPS’s woes become a burden, businesses should transition to an electronic invoicing solution before the changes take place. They’ll actually find themselves in a better position from which they started. As for me, I’ll continue to get my prized mail on Monday – Friday, but will have to find other sources of joy on the weekends.