Payment efficiencies achievable for retailers of all sizes

January 8, 2013 By    
United Propane Gas’ check scanner can be operated on site and eliminates the company’s need to continuously run to the bank to deposit customer checks.

United Propane Gas’ check scanner can be operated on site and eliminates the company’s need to continuously run to the bank to deposit customer checks.

The check-depositing process can be an annoying one for businesses. Trips to the bank several times per week mean time away from more meaningful tasks like selling and servicing customers. Plus, there’s always the worry that a check may get lost, as well as the possibility that funds may be unavailable later in the day at a bank.

United Propane Gas, a Top 50 Propane Retailer that has 65 offices and uses more than 50 banks, is one industry business that’s encountered these frustrations. But the company’s CFO says it gained more control of the payment-depositing process after converting all of its non-cash payments to electronic form.

According to a case study electronic payment processing company ReliaFund produced, United Propane Gas partnered with SSI Fuels Inc. to implement a receivables processing management system. The system integrates with e-payment functions from ReliaFund, which provides check scanning, ACH payment processing and credit card services.

“We’ve cut payment processing costs significantly at every step, and our office managers now focus on selling gas and servicing customers,” says Kevin Willie, CFO of United Propane Gas.

Now, United Propane Gas says it has quicker access to returned check information and better access to historic check images. Willie says a system like it makes sense for companies like United Propane Gas that handle more than 100,000 checks per year. But, according to the case study, Willie says businesses of all sizes can benefit by moving into check scanning and e-payments, as well.

“Every factor of savings we experienced is available to distributors large or small, and payment efficiency may be even more meaningful for smaller operators that don’t have large staff resources,” Willie says. – Kevin Yanik, Managing Editor

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the senior editor of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at kyanik@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3724.

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