The paper credit application has been a staple of the B2B trade credit process for decades, and remains a prevalent means of collecting customers’ credit information today. However, savvy credit departments are increasingly moving their credit applications – and the entire credit investigation process – online. Online credit applications simplify the credit investigation process, increase data accuracy, reduce credit decision times, streamline evaluation of ongoing requests for additional trade credit, and enhance collection efforts down the road when a customer encounters distress.
Here are just a few benefits of implementing an online B2B trade credit application in your organization?
- Efficiency: Online applications can be processed faster and more efficiently than paper. Online forms automate many of the manual tasks associated with paper-based applications, such as data entry and document handling. This means that your online credit application process can be completed more quickly and more securely than on outdated paper forms.
- Accuracy: Online forms reduce errors and inconsistencies that can occur on paper. This is because online forms are designed to be user-friendly and easy to use, which means that your customers are less likely to make mistakes when filling out their applications. Additionally, well-designed online forms validate data in real-time, helping to catch errors and inconsistencies before they become a problem – all without burdening your staff.
- Enhanced Customer Experience: Online B2B credit applications provide a more convenient and user-friendly experience for your customers. Online forms are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, on any device – desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Your customers can apply for credit at a time and place that is convenient for them. Multi-step forms break the B2B credit application process down into manageable pieces, and can be reconfigured as your business needs change. All of this adds up to an application process that is less intimidating and more accessible to a wider range of customers.
- Increased Employee Mobility: Just as customers can complete your credit application anytime, from anywhere, your employees can too. Sales representatives can send credit application signing requests to customers from anywhere. Credit managers can review applications, references, and supporting documentation in the office, on the road, or while working from home.
- Better Data Management: Online applications store data electronically, making it easier to track and manage. This means that you can access your customers’ credit applications and data at any time, which makes it easier to manage your credit portfolio and make informed decisions about your customers’ creditworthiness. Additionally, online credit applications can be integrated with other systems, such as your CRM or ERP, making it easier to manage your data and keep your systems up to date.
- Enhanced Security: A well-designed online B2B credit application system will offer modern security features to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access, theft, or misuse. SSL encryption protects information in transit to and from the credit management platform, while data at rest encryption protects data stored in the online credit application system.
Moving your B2B credit application online has many benefits. By taking advantage of these benefits, you can streamline your credit application process, enhance your customers’ experience, make better, faster decisions about your customers’ creditworthiness, and improve collections performance down the road.