Electronic payment methods
- Electronic data interchange (EDI)
Instead of receiving your invoices on paper, we can transmit them to you electronically, using EDI capabilities. This can save mailing delays and reduce paper-handling costs, and can feed right into your own inventory management and/or accounts payable systems. IBM charges no fee for electronic invoicing. If you are interested in electronic invoicing, please call us at the telephone number located on your invoice.
- Electronic payments:
At the other end of the accounts payable process, you may choose to pay your bills electronically, rather than cutting and mailing checks. IBM supports several electronic payment methods including direct debit, electronic funds transfer, credit cards, and purchase cards (P cards). Paying electronically can eliminate delays in the mail which could result in late payment fees, and the possibility of lost checks. For more information on our electronic payment options contact your accounts receivable CSR at the telephone number located on your invoice or get more details on each option below.
- Direct debit option
This program authorizes IBM to initiate a debit entry to your bank to electronically transfer payments on a pre-set timing. Direct debit can be chosen for most types of billing and is quickly and easily set up. While you still receive an invoice for review prior to the payment date, direct debit eliminates the need for you to issue a check, and ensures that you will not incur late payment fees. You may choose to pay some invoice types by automatic bank transfer via direct debit, and others by EDI, check, or credit card.
- To start:
You authorize the automatic payment by signing the authorization form (PDF, 7KB) and providing a voided check. Mail both to your IBM Customer Support Representative (CSR) for processing. The form specifies the types of invoices to be paid via direct debit, and spells out the agreement between us. It also shows the timing of the payment, normally 15 days after the invoice date. As long as the timing is set to be within 15 days of the invoice date, you'll earn an 0.25 % discount (1/4 of 1%).
- The set-up:
We record, in a highly confidential and secure database, your bank routing and account numbers with your customer number(s), the types of billing you've specified, and the payment timing. There are very few people with access to this database, and your authorization form and voided check are kept in a securely locked file.
You'll receive invoices according to the types of billing chosen and the contracts governing them. For example, if you've specified services, and you have a supportline contract with quarterly billing, you'll receive an invoice early in each calendar quarter. Invoices show the particular service or products, time periods involved, and other information to let you know what the charges are for. The invoice also shows the date the automatic transfer will occur.
- Your review:
You'll review your invoice when you receive it. If you should find anything wrong, and need to have the debit amount changed, or stopped altogether, you can contact us at the phone number shown in the upper left corner of your invoice, or send a note to the email address that appears on your invoice. As long as there are three workdays left before the automatic payment date, we'll be able to make the change before the payment occurs.
- The payment:
When the payment date arrives, our accounts receivable system gets the bank routing and account information from the confidential database and sends the appropriate record to our bank, which communicates electronically with your bank, which transfers the payment to us. This clears the invoice from your account. If you've qualified for the discount, we'll reduce the amount of the payment accordingly.
- Post-payment adjustments:
If you determine after the payment that the invoice amount was wrong in some way, you contact us. In the first ten days after the payment, we have the capability to electronically transfer the excess money back to your account. After that, we would have to send you a check for the amount.
- Changing or ending automatic payment:
If you decide you want to add more types of billing to be paid automatically, or additional customer numbers, or if you need to change the bank routing/account information, contact us for an amendment form. If you find it necessary to stop paying automatically, we need written notice. Although we'll try to stop on the date you wish, the automated nature of the process may require more time. If you've been paying automatically for just a short time, and have no previous credit history with us, it may be necessary for us to ask for a cash deposit or credit card number if the contracted billing will continue.
- Unsuccessful electronic payment:
If the automatic payment process fails and your payment is not transferred on schedule, you'll be contacted by the Customer Support Representative responsible for your account to make other arrangements for payment. IBM does charge a late payment fee of 2% for payments not received by the 30th day from the invoice date. No discount will be applied if the automatic payment transfer fails.
- Benefits for you:
The automatic payment process eliminates the need for you to cut a check and can save you money in the accounts payable process. It also ensures that your payment will be on time, which means you will not receive collection calls or letters from us as long as the payments are successfully transferred. And, you eliminate the risk of incurring late payment fees. You can even save 1/4 of 1% of the invoice amount by signing up to have the payment transferred within 15 days of the invoice date. If you are a new customer with no IBM credit history, direct debit eliminates the need for an advance deposit.
- Our commitment to you:
The automated nature of our process provides an assurance that your bank account will not be debited for any other type of billing or any other customer numbers than what you specify on your authorization form. Neither our Customer Support Reps nor anyone else is able to access your bank account. (By the way, that means that if an invoice is issued that does not get automatically designated for automated payment, even you will not be able to authorize it to be direct debited!) The individuals who are authorized to process the setup for your automatic payment must get special clearances and are subject to regular management review and business controls.
- Credit cards:
Major credit cards may be accepted in payment for transactions with IBM. Currently we accept American Express, MasterCard, Visa, Diner's Club, and Discover Card. If you wish to use a credit card, please provide your credit card number and expiration date when you initiate the transaction with IBM, that is, when you place an order, enroll in a class, call for service, sign a contract, etc. If billing will be on a recurring basis (quarterly, for example), your IBM representative can supply you with an authorization form, which you can sign and return to the IBM Representative if you wish to specify the billing to be collected via credit card.
You will receive an invoice-like document to provide the details of the charge and confirm that we have charged it to your credit card. Your credit card statement should show the "invoice number" as well as a brief description and a phone number you may call if you have any questions about the charge.
Currently, purchasing cards issued by American Express, MasterCard, and Visa are accepted. Due to a demand for the service, IBM can provide level 2 or level 3 support.
IBM is not obliged to accept credit cards for all transactions.
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Automated Clearing House (ACH) Debits
Effective January 22, 2007, a new electronic payment method called Automated Clearing House Debits was announced by IBM Payment Systems. An ACH Debit is a transaction specific, non-recurring 'direct debit', authorized by the end user Customer and triggered by IBM. It is less expensive and more efficient than paper checks. ACH can be authorized at the time of order/contract/enrollment or used to pay for already-issued invoices.
If you pay your invoice(s) this way within 15 days of the invoice date, you'll earn a 0.25 % discount on your payment.
Please contact your sales rep or your Accounts Receivable administrator for more details.
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Electronic funds transfers
IBM has the capability to receive customer initiated electronic funds transfers, such as, Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments and wire transfers (FEDWIRE). These types of payments give you many of the same benefits of the Direct Debit program, but requires you to initiate each payment to IBM through your bank rather than IBM drafting the payments on a regular schedule. There are several types of ACH payments you can initiate through your bank. The Corporate Trade Exchange (CTX) format provides both electronic payment and remittance information and is IBM’s preferred ACH format. Other ACH formats and wire transfers are accepted, but often require you to separately communicate the remittance information to your Accounts Receivable CSR. For more information on making ACH payments or wire transfers to IBM contact your Accounts Receivable CSR at the telephone number located on your invoice.
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Invoice payment terms are printed in the heading of each invoice. The overwhelming majority will say "payment due upon receipt of invoice - late payment fee may apply".
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Late payment fees
If an invoice is subject to late payment fees, in addition to the statement that appears in the heading, near the bottom of the invoice will appear the date by which the invoice must be paid in order to avoid being assessed a late payment fee. Most invoices are assessed late payment fees thirty days after the invoice date. For calendar quarter maintenance and software license charge billing, the late payment fee date is the last day of the second month of the quarter.
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The timing and frequency of invoices varies with the type of billing and, to some degree, with the choices you have made regarding the frequency.
Invoices for purchase of hardware and / or one-time software license charges: invoices are created every weekday.
Invoices for maintenance agreement charges: normal recurring invoices are created at the beginning of each calendar quarter (January 1, April 1, July 1, October 1). Additionally, at the beginning of each month, invoices for maintenance billing periods of one month, six months or one year are produced, if you have opted for that billing frequency instead of quarterly.
Hourly service invoices: these are normally issued within one week of when the service was performed.
Invoices for recurring software license fees: normal recurring invoices are created at the beginning of each calendar quarter (January 1, April 1, July 1, October 1). Additionally, at the beginning of each month we produce invoices for monthly license charges, for those customers who have not yet converted to quarterly billing.
Invoices for parts: parts invoices are issued once each week. If you use the toll free number (1-800-388-7080) to order maintenance parts, the invoices will usually be issued within 10 days of shipment.
Invoices for publications: these invoices are issued once a month for publications shipped the previous month. Generally they will be issued between the 5th and 12th of the month.
Invoices for consulting and services: invoices for consulting and services contracts, including business continuity and recovery services, and family of service offerings, are issued on varying schedules,
depending on the specific contract signed. For regular, recurring charges, invoices would normally be generated at the beginning of the quarter, or month, to cover the period in advance. For contracts calling for billing as services are performed, the invoice may be issued weekly or monthly, covering services performed over the preceding period.
Invoices for educational services: every two weeks, we issue invoices for educational courses and / or materials. These cover classes attended or materials provided during the past month.
Invoices for IBM Credit Corporation Financing: The IBM Credit Corporation issues its invoices a few days before the first of each month, with the invoice date reflecting the first of the month.
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Options to change the reference, installed-at or invoice-to address information that appears on your invoice(s)
- Request your change via the Internet :
Go to Invoices On-Line
- Annotate the change(s) on the remittance portion of your invoice when you mail the payment.
- Call the toll free number in the upper left corner of your invoice.
- Send a note to the address that appears on your invoice, be sure to specify what type of billing it is that requires the address correction.
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