Accepting Payments During Natural Disasters and Emergencies

Updated on June 2nd, 2022
Accepting Payments Even In The Wake of Natural Disasters and Emergencies

2016 was one of the worst of years — in terms of natural disasters. Globally, natural disasters caused $175 billion in damage. In North America alone, there were 160 disaster events in 2016. That’s more than any year since 1980, and they were responsible for $10 billion in damage.

Unfortunately, business owners are still responsible for compensating employees and paying their expenses — even in the wake of a natural disaster. To make matters worse, there’s also the possibility that you could face a family emergency, such as a family member, or even yourself, getting sick or becoming the victim of a data breach. Again, you’re still responsible for your financial obligations.

While many organizations will work with you during this traumatic time, you still have to keep the cash flowing. That may seem unlikely, but it is possible as long as you are still able to accept payments.

Automate Your Finances

Automate Your Finances

If your business uses a subscription-based model or you have a recurring contract with a client, such as monitoring a website or landing page, then you can accept payments automatically with recurring billing. Most invoicing and payment platforms allow you to withdraw a specific amount of money on an agreed-upon date. For example, you could set it up so that $1,000 is automatically withdrawn from the client’s bank account or a credit on the first of the month and placed into your business account.

This is probably the easiest and most convenient technique, but it will only work if you’re providing recurring services for a client.

I would recommend that you go a step further, and automate all of your finances by:

  • Linking all your accounts, checking, savings, credit cards, 401(k), IRA, and any regular bills, together. This is so that a percentage of your salary, for example, would automatically be transferred into your savings or IRA.
  • Next, you want to automate transfers from your checking account. It’s suggested that you put “10 percent towards investments, 5 percent towards savings, and 85 percent towards fixed costs and guilt-free spending.”

What I like about automating all of your finances is that despite the chaos around you, you’re still able to put money aside for your retirement or into your emergency savings fund; which may have been depleted during this trying time.


Outsource Your Billing

What if you don’t have a subscription-based business or recurring work for a client? You could consider outsourcing your billing.

The first place to start is through your accountant or financial advisor. Even if they don’t provide billing services, they may be able to refer you to an individual or organization that does provide this service. You can also hire an individual, whether it’s a freelancer or someone that you trust, like your spouse, to do your billing for you.

Keep in mind, however, that if they’re in the same region as you are, or in your family, they’re probably not able to do their outside job. That’s when a freelancer or service like AP Outsourcing, OSG Billing, or Cogneesol, maybe a better option. Because they’re not in your immediate area or personally involved with you, they can keep sending and processing invoices.

Go Mobile

Go Mobile

The leading invoicing platforms of today, like Due and Freshbooks, all offer mobile apps. This is so that you can send, review, and approve invoices while on the go. There are also numerous digital wallets that allow the transfer of money with just a click of a button. So, if you’re really in a pinch, you could ask a client for an advance or the total amount due and then promise to invoice them later. But, this is not an optimal position to be in.

If you’re concerned about not having access to the internet, you can use tethering and mobile broadband. With tethering, you rely on your cellular data connection, while for mobile broadband you would use a separate device.

One problem with this technique is that during an emergency, access to a strong cell connection may be slim; since people are trying to reach loved ones or organizations to assist them.

Another option is tapping into someone else’s Wifi. I definitely wouldn’t recommend public Wifi, but if you have a friend or family member whose internet connection is up-and-running, ask for their password while visiting them.

How have you been able to accept payments during a natural disaster or emergency?

John Rampton

John Rampton

John Rampton is an entrepreneur and connector. When he was 23 years old, while attending the University of Utah, he was hurt in a construction accident. His leg was snapped in half. He was told by 13 doctors he would never walk again. Over the next 12 months, he had several surgeries, stem cell injections and learned how to walk again. During this time, he studied and mastered how to make money work for you, not against you. He has since taught thousands through books, courses and written over 5000 articles online about finance, entrepreneurship and productivity. He has been recognized as the Top Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and Finance Expert by Time. He is the Founder and CEO of Due.

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