Money: we all need it, but we’re not all skilled at handling it. Some people consistently struggle with the concept of frugality: as soon as they make money, they see it vanish into thin air. This might not be so bad when you’re handling your personal finances (depending on how much you make), but when you’re running a business, this is inevitably disastrous.
This is why smart people turn to financial tools to help them manage. Any available assistance is going to be a huge boon, they reason, and there are plenty of options available online. But don’t look solely to bleeding-edge innovations: the classics are classics for a reason, and SMS messaging makes a formidable bedrock for financial management.
“How does that work?” you might well ask. Allow me to explain exactly how SMS messaging can help a modern business manage its financial processes.
Verifying identity is an essential part of handling transactions, particularly ad-hoc business payments that may come up. Think of any kind of business that stores funds for its clients and allows withdrawal, such as a savings fund: if a request comes through to pay out some money, that request must be suitably authenticated, but how should that be done?
You can use biometric identity verification, of course, but in many cases, that’s overkill to the extent that many clients would find it infuriating. But 2-factor authentication using SMS messaging is a great middle ground. It’s extremely secure, and it’s highly convenient (people almost always have their phones with them).
This authentication process can be used for many types of incoming and outgoing payments, making it much easier to securely handle business expenses while out of the office. You can use time-limited codes, and suitable mobile apps can even autodetect incoming codes and use them to fill in the corresponding fields.
There’s a delicate balance involved in keeping a business going, and it often involves trying to get incoming payments confirmed in time to handle outgoing payments. This demands speedy transaction confirmations — and for sluggish clients, it demands a convenient way to act.
Using SMS messaging, you can provide and receive confirmations. It’s just a matter of connecting an API, such as Messente’s, to your system, which shouldn’t be a problem given the flexibility of the API. For instance, Wave has a free accounting suite that’s suitable for Zapier integration, so you could hook it up to the Messente API easily enough, then simply set SMS messages to send alongside (or in place of) transaction confirmation emails.
For any client that isn’t great with modern formal processes, having the option to simply send a text to confirm payment is going to be very appealing — and save you from spending a lot of time chasing them for an update.
Internal business communications can be a real headache. There are project management systems, team communication tools along the lines of the popular Slack, social media accounts, email inboxes, phone lines, notifications, and even intranet messages. The inevitable consequence is that people start to pay less attention to specific channels, and messages slip through the cracks.
The great thing about SMS messaging is that it’s never lost its sense of urgency. Email inboxes are stuffed with so much spam that people let their emails pile up and be forgotten (or rapidly cut them down). Social media is filled with noise; most of it totally unimportant, so people don’t take it seriously. Even social messaging apps have been contaminated with brand chatbots.
But the humble SMS messaging channel is still relatively pristine. There are some ads and wrong numbers, but it’s mostly just notable messages from people you actually know — and since there’s no internet connection required to receive them, you can get urgent messages as long as you have basic signal.
For colleagues trying to keep a business going, being able to exchange SMS messages is great for ensuring that important messages get the required amounts of attention. If you’ve never thought about using them in that way, give it a try! You might just find that it works a lot better than barraging someone with numerous repeated messages on other platforms.
Whether you’re having internal financial discussions or trying to track important elements of your cash flow, SMS messaging can help you make your communication significantly more reliable, fast, and effective. Why not give it a try?