Is Cloud Invoicing the New Normal in Contactless Business?
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Today’s rapidly evolving world has caused many changes to the way we conduct business. Massive technological advancements and the Coronavirus pandemic have forced businesses in all sectors to revisit the way they communicate, distribute, and interact with clients and fellow business partners.
The transition from the physical to the digital has been one of the most definitive aspects of our current societal and cultural era. But we are still learning how to adapt and keep up with the pace of these changes.
Business and technology provide us with some very measurable insights into how things have changed. Particularly since the Coronavirus started to spread. They also indicate how things may continue to change in the future.
In 2021, one of the ways we can witness the many shifts in business behavior pertains to the industry’s chosen method of invoicing and payment.
In China, 78% of consumers have switched to online shopping, and mobile traffic data leaped up by 40% in 2020. Mobile or digital-based payments have integrated into society and normalized the use of cashless payments all over the world. But what does that mean for big businesses?
Cloud Invoicing vs. Traditional Invoicing in China
The main difference between Cloud invoicing and traditional invoicing is the presence or absence of paper. Historically, paper has been our main form of documentation. We have used it to record and communicate information for hundreds of years.
However, as the digital world continues to develop and advance, we have started using it to store our information much like we used to do with paper.
Invoicing pertains specifically to the documentation of an amount owed to a person or company. Traditional invoices (which are still used today, though less frequently) are simply paper documents stating the context, date, and amount owed from one party to another.
Cloud invoicing calls upon the power of a digital cloud to organize accounting, billing, project management and time tracking. All in one place, and all entirely digital.
Sometimes also referred to as e-invoicing (electronic invoicing), this method of accounting communication has rapidly gained traction over the past decade. Particularly in the past two years, as the world had to swap traditionally physical interactions for digital ones.
In China, there is some debate around whether a cashless society is to everyone’s benefit. Many authorities believe that it may be limiting. There’s also an argument that it’s unfair to those who don’t have access to mobile devices or simply don’t understand how to use them.
For this reason, cloud invoicing may not be as popular in China as it is amongst other countries around the world. However, the sheer number of Chinese mobile consumers alone may be indicative that changes in this opinion could be imminent.
The Benefits of Cloud Invoicing
Cloud software is designed to make everything about running a business a smoother, faster, and more efficient process. Clouds are essentially digital spaces filled with information, kept in one place and easy to operate. This makes them perfect for both small and big businesses.
● Data Security
One of the biggest threats facing both businesses and consumers is cyberattacks. Data leaks are a major concern of the Chinese government. A recent ruling was passed that states that data on Chinese consumers cannot be stored by anyone outside of the country.
With cloud storage, businesses can safely hold data in a secure space that cannot be accessed by anyone, except those who created it. This means a stronger reputation for data security with consumers, and an improved ability for workers to protect their company’s own precious data.
● Access from Anywhere
Another useful aspect of cloud-based invoicing is the fact that clouds are accessible from anywhere in the world, provided you have an internet connection. Considering the massive surge of remote workers across the globe, accessibility to information has become a top priority for businesses of all sizes.
● Easy, Fast Invoice Creation
In the past, creating invoices was something that could take a considerable amount of time. Researching the details of the appropriate payment and waiting for a postal service to deliver it were lengthy processes.
Creating a digital invoice means that not only does the invoice creation happen much faster, but it can be delivered to the recipient within seconds. What business doesn’t want speed and efficiency in accounting?
● Automated Processes
When you’re on the job, time is money, and you’re constantly looking for ways to streamline the execution of important tasks. With a cloud, you can develop personalized automated processes that intelligently connect one piece of data to another, saving time and allowing you to multitask more effectively.
Why Contactless Business is the Future
The Coronavirus pandemic may have pulled the timeline of digital dominance a little closer. But a cashless, contact-less consumer to business relationship was always inevitable, experts say.
Between 2009 and 2019, cash payments declined by 35%. That was before the pandemic prompted even further the notion that we should veer away from physical cash payments and into the digital world of financial exchange.
Digital communications and payments are undeniably faster, easier to track, and more efficient than the traditional paper-based interactions of yesterday—whether it’s cash or invoice documents.
China has recently cracked down hard on cryptocurrency mining. But the grip of mega cryptocurrency industries like Bitcoin and Ethereum on the rest of the world remains strong. Studies suggest that their presence will only grow bigger over time.
In terms of 2021 and the Coronavirus that continues to present major health and economic challenges throughout the world, contactless business is likely to carry on emerging. It’s a safe and effective means for supporting major industries.
Contactless business means a lower likelihood of infection, streamlined communication between countries, and a better relationship between consumers and corporations. And cloud-based invoices are a great place to start.