Recurring billing is a very big advantage for collection agencies. It allows agencies to simplify the monthly billing process, reduces late payments and provides consumers with a convenient billing solution. When recurring billing is set up the agency can automatically debit customer accounts through most major credit cards, debit cards and Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments. The benefits of recurring billing include improved and predictable cash flow, automatic scheduling of payments and cost reductions from paperless processing
But what about security? This is where the problem of having a homegrown payment processing system in the collection agency becomes apparent. Recurring billing requires safe storage of consumers’ credit card numbers for later use. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) has very strict rules about storage and use of credit card information. Non-compliance with the regulations results in hefty financial penalties and fines that can put a collection agency out of business. If your agency is set up to take credit card payments and collect recurring payments by billing that card monthly, your agency is subject to the PCI-DSS rules and must be audited annually to confirm compliance.
If you have a payment collection system that was created in-house or is a collection of various software packages from different vendors that are all connected together, you run the very real risk of being found non-compliant. This is why it is a good idea to work with a payment processor provider that provides a complete and fully-compliant package of payment-collection services that can be integrated with your current system. Their systems, by law, must be fully PCI-DSS compliant and up to the current standards. In addition, their systems are audited annually to ensure continued compliance. The advantage of that is that system-compliance is no longer something you need to worry about. Since it is their software, they have to ensure it is compliant.
So before you go building a payment processing system and using it to implement recurring billing, look into the security aspects of it and make sure it is fully PCI-DSS compliant. Then contact BillingTree to see how they can help you with their fully-compliant payment processing systems.