There could be a lingering question if your business is slowly eating away profits: Does your company have a billing and payment problem?

Implementing payments and billing efficiently is vital to your business health, yet maybe something is broken and it’s impacting the way your business works today. In many cases, our everyday business lives come with so many varied challenges that the most important, foundational problems are ones hidden in the bedrock. Upgrades such as APIs and using closed-loop cards can help contain expense and ease user experience.

When it comes to billing and payment systems, there is a way to identify warning signs of a problem that may be costing your business big money, and could be eroding your reputation among customers and partners.

At the heart of the system are your customers, and associated transaction data reflecting their buying patterns, and purchasing volume providing signals of the vitality of your business. Evaluating this data usually tells a story, just like the doctor taking your blood pressure and temperature.

There are five symptoms of a billing and payments problem for businesses.

Average transaction fees are too high. The fee charged to a merchant for each transaction processed vary upon factors like: Type of card used, type of merchant, and the overall volume of transaction. Consider establishing a closed-loop card where lower fees are featured for business-to-business transactions. A major value to a closed-loop card versus an open-loop card, such as Visa, is a direct line of provision without a third party. This allows fee management, network control, minimal fraud risk and loyalty.

You are missing opportunities to increase your customer’s spend. Hidden in the transaction data of your customer’s purchases is a gold mine of opportunity. The data will tell you if your customers purchasing volume may be dropping, even down to the SKU level. Allowing you to proactively reach out to find out why and save the business. The data can highlight items your customers should be purchasing, but aren’t. Offer your customer a discount on this product to earn their business. Do you have the right tools and technology to uncover those insights and drive meaningful conversations? If not, you are missing out on significant revenue.

Dynamic pricing isn’t centrally managed. Commercial customers have the buying power to negotiate specialized, dynamic pricing based upon their spending and product quantities, their geographic needs, and/or seasonal purchasing requirements. To achieve this, the business needs to have access to centralized dynamic pricing control. Without it, you may be relying on your customer’s accounting records and disparate information causing invoicing errors and time spent correcting.

There's little control over your customer’s experience. You want to develop lasting and rewarding relationships with your best customers to promote loyalty. Consider how easy it is for your solution to integrate into their solution. If your billing and payments system has API integrations it makes it easy for your most valuable business asset, your customers, to do business with you. Optimizing the customer experience can also mean providing them with exclusive product pricing or rewards, access to instant credit, consolidated billing and/or monthly purchasing reports. Each of these will further their loyalty and increase repeat purchases.

Credit lines are not large enough to support your sales. A large part of your customers’ business vitality depends on their ability to spend. If the credit and terms you are offering aren’t flexible enough to grow with your customer or you can’t extend terms to customers because your capital is tied up, you are at risk of losing sales and potentially your customer.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, something is broken with your billing and payment system, and it’s time for an overhaul. A properly implemented billing and payment solution can help your business decrease transaction fees, standardize payment processes, personalize the customer experience and drive incremental revenue.