Payment System for a Coworking Space
We love the internet for multiple ways it saves our time and simplifies our lives. We got used to shop, book premises, make appointments, order services, and solve many other issues on the go or from the comfort of our home or office.
Most if not all entrepreneurs search for available coworking space online. They are ready to pay for the booking if such option is provided by your enterprise. Not yet? Well, it's high time to learn more about automated coworking payment systems along with benefits they can bring to your business.
Here's a definition from Business Dictionary.
Financial system supporting transfer of funds from suppliers (savers) to the users (borrowers), and from payers to the payees, usually through exchange of debits and credits among financial institutions. It consists of a paperless mechanism (such as electronics funds transfer) for handling electronic commerce transactions and is also called payment mechanism.
In plain English, a payment system for coworking space is the possibility of paying for booking with a bank card or any other online payment method.
Speaking about coworking niche, undoubtedly e-payment is the way to go. After finding a suitable meeting room, the user pays for booking it online. This will save you a lot of time and automate the revenue. You don't need to take any extra effort to accept the payment. With coworking payment system money will be immediately transferred to your bank account.
This completely solves the issue when users book their workstation and never show up.
Besides, a coworking payment system will help you earn more. When residents run out of meeting room credits they can choose another payment method (such as Company Bill for teams to book now and pay later) and pay by card. There is no need to bother a community manager or team leader.
The online payment system can be used for booking a hot desk or fixed desk as well.
However, a payment system is not a universal win-win solution. For instance, it is not a perfect fit for billing when you offer private office space for rent. A private office price is usually high, so people don’t have such credit limits on their bank cards. An office is commonly rented by a company rather than an individual. Companies require invoices for tax accounting purpose, so in this case, it’s better to use the combination of invoice and bank transfer.
There are two types of payment systems you should know about. When choosing the best coworking payment method, you can consider both of them.
- Pros: Payment methods from famous service providers are usually much easier to integrate with the coworking software of your choice. They provide robust documentation for developers. The users trust payment systems they know, they normally have a better experience with popular brands known and used by millions of people. The fact that their payment is processed by a global leader preserves their peace of mind.
- Cons: If you are using a global payment company, your fees tend to go up a bit. Those giants offer slightly limited local payment method support as well.
- Pros: Local service providers are more affordable compared to global companies, which means your fees are going to reduce. They accept more types of local payment methods and provide better support for local languages. As a result, the invoices along with other financial docs are better localized.
- Cons: The problem with local payment systems is that they are harder to integrate with your website or coworking software due to the poor APIs. They mostly support only local language and payment methods, so your foreign clients may have difficulties. The chances that coworking software supports the integration are small as well.
Accepting online payments at a coworking space is convenient both for you and your customers. You allow space residents to pay for room booking and invoices with credit or debit cards. This is a cut down on lengthy payment process. You enable instant payments by simplifying booking and reduce time to get paid to just 1-2 weeks.
Some customers prefer paying later by invoice. The built-in simple invoicing tool will save you time and money by not requiring the purchase of separate invoicing software or processing every room booking separately. Members book rooms and add an expense to outstanding month invoice. At the end of the month, administrator or moderator finalizes invoice, and members can pay with a credit card or indicate to pay by bank transfer.
All-in-all, taking a decision of integration a coworking payment system boils down to pure math. Be rational and refer to opportunity cost. Ask yourself a question: how much money can you save if you automate a certain payment routine? Let's say if you automate room booking.
Your manager spends 2 hours a week for managing booking payment requests of total value $250. You pay them $20 per hour, so the total cost is $40 per week.
Now if you integrate a payment system that automates it for 3% of revenue, you’ll pay $7.5 to the payment system instead of $40 to your manager.
Conclusion — you will save money by automating payment in this case. Makes sense? Try to calculate it for your business to see the numbers.
When we are choosing software solutions, the price can become a decisive factor. Still, the cheapest/lowest fee does not always equal the best. You should always think about the total implementation cost. How much will you pay to integrate the system into your workflows?
Always compare the initial price and the total amount. From our experience, if you’re automating meeting room payments (sometimes the same applies to hot desks), a clever choice is to opt for a payment system that is the easiest to integrate and the most developer-friendly.
However, if you’re automating office payments, then it might be best to go with the lowest fee.
I strongly recommend you to sit down and calculate the total opportunity cost. I prepared a simple free template to calculate total profit or loss from implementing a payment system at your coworking space.
Well, in this article we set out our view on automating the process of accepting payments for the services you render. We believe that integrating a payment system is exceptionally beneficial for your business and convenient for your customers. They are used to pay online for products and services. So, it's natural for you to provide them the convenience at your coworking space.
On the other hand, offering customers online coworking payment options may increase your revenue. When they run out of credits, they can pay for booking a meeting room with a bank card. Indirectly you also save money on automating payments and putting your staff to a more useful task.