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Our guide to writing an outstanding payment letter to a customer

late payment resolution in recruitment


In our current digital world it almost seems like something from the dark ages to write a letter. Letters do still have their place in business and there is a skill to writing a good one that will get you the results you are looking for.

Outstanding Payment letters are a prime example where receiving a letter in the post will have much more of an impact than an email.

Your outstanding payment letters should be written to grab the reader’s attention as people often scan letters and quickly dismiss them without thoroughly understanding the content.  

Outstanding Payment Letter Introduction 

Make sure to start your letter with a heading that clearly states what the letter is regarding, for example:

‘Dear Mr Smith

Re: outstanding account £250

Your purchase order no. 1234ABC’

Providing details

  • Include statement of account
  • Chronological order of discussions in the past
  • Clear and precise payment date
  • If this is your first letter remain polite but firm

Essential Contact details for you

  • Provide contact name and phone number for their contact at your office
  • Provide your payment methods including bank details to make it easy for them to settle this without contacting you.
  • Be careful of your wording ask the customer to call you if payment has been made. DON’T ask them to ignore the letter as you need to get them to communicate with you. Sub consciously, if you tell them to ignore the letter, they will even if they haven’t paid you.

Subsequent letters

  • Ensure you keep a record of all letters sent.
  • Reference all communication within each letter to give an accurate timeline
  • You should stick to the original payment date where possible so there is no misunderstanding on your firmness to get this paid.

If you would like any further help Our Collection strategy toolkit provides a suite of template collection letters together with fact sheets.