Email Basics: What Is a Remittance Email?

Melanie Balke
|
April 30, 2024

Few things are as important as payment details.

Whether you completed a large contracting project or finished a ten-minute haircut, your invoice must be paid. Moreover, both parties must have a record of said payment. This confirmation is traditionally done with old-fashioned paper receipts or digital invoices. However, there are times when neither party has traditional receipts.

That’s when you use a remittance email — also known as remittance advice.

Defining the Remittance Email

Solid gold ingots. "What to Know: What Is a Remittance Email?"

Functionally, a remittance email is akin to a receipt.

Practically, it’s a tangible record and confirmation of a paid invoice.

Traditional remittance advice is sent snail mail style. It goes into an envelope and through the postal system. However, most modern businesses prefer emails. (You may still receive old-fashioned remittance advice in the mail, though! It’s more common when dealing with an older business owner or a more “traditional” company.)

The Importance of Remittance Emails

Unlike cash register receipts, remittance emails are often sent to cover large invoices that will be paid at a later date. Thus, they serve an organizational purpose. A well-managed remittance advice slip system aids businesses in processing payments and tracking financial transactions. Outbound remittance slips cover incoming payments; incoming messages deal with expenses.

Track Your Transactions

Truthfully, its organizational use is its most prevalent perk.

Ideally, your remittance slips are automated. They’ll follow a set format and contain easily scannable information. For small businesses, a simple visual inspection should be enough to inform accounts receivable teams of a transaction’s crucial information. However, in larger enterprises, automated systems often store and sort remittance slips as needed.

Either way, an efficient remittance email system promotes efficient payment processing. The resulting remittance data is also critical to any business’ record keeping.

Promote Positive Interactions

Your remittance advice slip should follow a standardized format. From a technical perspective, that predictability boosts email deliverability. However, it also improves internal processes.

Well-formatted remittance slips record and track all the invoices your business has ever touched. They’ll contain all the relevant information for both parties’ financial management. Most modern accounting systems account for this and process the necessary electronic communication accordingly. Advanced sales software may even scan the data for errors and alert the necessary participants.

From a technical standpoint, these interactions are handled by a triad of CRM systems, sales software, and accounting systems.

However, from a human standpoint, remittance information is a professional reassurance of payment.

What to Include in a Remittance Email

Most electronic remittance advice slips are automated messages. They’ll follow a standardized format and include all necessary details. It’s not a creative system, but it’s necessary. Otherwise, interpreting remittance advice would require costly manual data entry!

Even so, it’s always good to know the details.

Regardless of your industry or specialty, a remittance advice slip can be broken into three distinct sections:

  • Financial information
  • Tracking information
  • Personal information

Basic remittance advice may require little more than a few lines of information, while extensive cash flow records require equally lengthy paper remittance advice. In both scenarios, the relevant information must be provided for both parties.

1. Financial Information

Without the financial information, remittance advice slips are meaningless! These details are the most essential parts of a remittance slip, although the specifics may vary.

These are the building blocks of your remittance email and most of the information you’ll need to know to complete the payment process. Generally, essential payment information includes the following details:

  • Amount paid
  • Balance remaining
  • Financially relevant information (e.g., bank account number and routing number)
  • Payment amount
  • Payment method (e.g., electronic transfer or wire transfer)
  • Payment reference number

It’s a straightforward solution, but there’s one massive caveat.

The specifics of payment communications vary by payment method. Similarly, you’ll be looking at different details if you’re working for accounts payable versus accounts receivable.

2. Tracking Information

Next, you’ll need organizational information. Most proof of payment slips include the payment date in addition to an invoice number.

These seemingly extraneous details help streamline what was once a notoriously challenging process. Including the payment date, for example, helps automated systems maintain searchable, accurate records. Similarly, invoice numbers ensure payments are associated with the correct invoice.

Larger global businesses may have even more information. That data is often encoded as alphanumeric strings, which are later read by remittance software.

3. Personal Data

Finally, payments require personally identifying information. This category of data helps accounting systems determine the provenance of multiple invoices. Should trouble ever arise, these details will also help one party locate the other.

When sending remittance advice, “personal data” includes the following information:

  • Addresses or valid post box information
  • Contact name or company
  • Email addresses (although these are already known when using electronic communication)
  • Phone numbers
  • Additional contact details as needed

How to Improve Your Payment Processing

Overall, remittance emails are primarily automated. Many modern email suites include standardized templates for remittance emails, and printable paper forms are freely available for snail mail delivery.

It may seem silly to say, but I cannot emphasize it enough: All remittance advice contains sensitive information. Treat your remittance emails carefully, or you’ll be on the hook for much more than an accounts payable invoice!

I strongly recommend finding professionals to manage your proof of payment system, and I know a team ready to tackle the job! I’ve assembled a crew of email marketing professionals. They understand the intricacies of email and know the artistry of perfecting email deliverability. More importantly, they’re more than ready to tackle your digital payment processing system.

You’ll find them at The Email Marketers, and you can have their expertise for yourself!

Schedule a free strategy session to see how an on-demand contingent of email marketing professionals can streamline your remittance email system. Then, see how the same team can amplify your marketing communications!