Can a Mobile Payments Technology Solve Slow Invoicing?
We all know that mobile payments systems are incredibly versatile, and it seems like they’re getting more so every day. We’ve seen them allow for mobile order-ahead functions, smooth the way at the doctor’s office, and serve as an investment vehicle. Now, however, some—including POM’s CEO and co-founder Johannes Vermeire—are looking to one particular mobile payments system, the quick response (QR) code, as a way to help small businesses get their invoices paid faster.
Slow-paying invoices is a serious problem in small business. Not for all small businesses, of course; some clients are extremely conscientious about paying invoices in a timely fashion. That’s not the case with every company, sadly, which leaves small businesses in the lurch.
That’s where POM’s advances come in, offering small businesses a “mobile invoice payment solution,” which basically gives users the ability to generate QR codes tied to invoices that allow the code to be scanned and payment to be sent accordingly.
The concept itself is sound logic, but it starts to fall apart in the execution like many other concepts. Yes, QR codes do represent a fast and easy way to pay and make payments. Indeed, they also represent a secure way to make payments, with WEX considering them “safer than a credit card.” The problem here, however, is that businesses aren’t paying invoices slowly because writing out a paper check is just so gee-golly hard, like a check-writing pen measures 30 feet in length and weighs over 200 pounds; they’re paying invoices slowly because they may not actually have the cash on hand themselves to cover the invoice. They may have the cash on hand, but may want to improve the look of their financials one month by fobbing off the bill onto another month’s reckoning.
In the end, QR codes may ultimately be solving the wrong problem. The problem is not that businesses are paying slowly because the current method is cumbersome and difficult to use. It may be the problem for some, but it’s far from the only or even main cause. Addressing all the other potential causes is the way to get invoices paid faster, but mobile payments technology like QR codes could certainly help things along.