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How to write a payment reminder SMS message

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Last editedMar 20232 min read

Having an SMS payment system in place is one of the easier methods to collect payments and improve the chances of receiving your payment on time. 

There is some etiquette to adhere to, such as ensuring your tone is friendly and the message is not pushy or invasive. But if you follow the advice in this guide on how to control payment through SMS, then you can immediately reduce the time and stress of chasing payments.

Let’s look closer at how to politely ask for payment via SMS.

What is SMS payment?

An SMS payment system involves sending a reminder about a due payment via text message to a customer’s phone. It is an effective way to ensure a payment is made on time, though the process also involves multiple messages should the payment not be forthcoming.

Knowing how to politely ask for payment via SMS is the key, as it always begins with a friendly reminder of the upcoming due date. If the payment then doesn’t arrive on time, then send another friendly text message informing the customer that the payment is now overdue. The tone of each message will then get firmer from here on out if the payment remains unpaid. 

Benefits of an SMS payment system

Chasing up payments is a chore and can be stressful, especially with difficult customers. An SMS payment system that sends reminders and follow-ups that evolve the tone of each message does all the heavy lifting for you.

Calling late-paying customers is a big hassle and often leads to calls being ignored. Emails can work, but who knows if your reminder email went into their spam folder or was just lost amongst a dozen other emails they received around the same time? But everybody checks their phones multiple times a day, and text messages are far less frequent than emails and thus much more likely to actually be seen.

You can also include a payment link in the SMS so that the customer can pay right there and then when they read the message. Let’s look more closely at this important aspect of an SMS payment system.

GoCardless users can use Instant Bank Pay to insert a payment link into their reminder SMS messages. These links allow the customer to pay almost instantly upon clicking the link.

The Paylinks feature can be found on the payments page of your GoCardless account. Clicking on it opens a new window where you can view and manage your existing paylinks, as well as create a new paylink by clicking on the ‘Create new pay link’ prompt. Enter the details of the payment, choose whether it is a one-off or recurring payment, then select ‘Use Instant Bank Pay’ and ‘Create Paylink’. 

How to ask for payment politely via SMS

Have a friendly and matter-of-fact tone in the first reminder message of an SMS payment system. Include details such as the amount due and the services or goods rendered, and the payment due date.

Maintain the friendly tone in the first follow-up message reminding the customer that the payment is now overdue. This is because there could be genuine reasons why the customer forgot to pay, and thus there is no need to take a more serious tone until this message is also ignored.

A stronger tone must be used if both of the first two messages are ignored. Include all details of the due payment and inform the customer that you have made attempts to contact them for payment, and that the overdue payment must be paid soon. Briefly explain the next step if it remains unpaid, such as legal action or account cancellation.

The final reminder will inform the customer that you are now taking action. The message should still include all details of the payment – amount due and date, plus the goods or services rendered – as well as a brief recap of prior contact attempts. Also include one last chance for them to contact you or make the payment.

We can help

GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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