Why offer electronic payment methods?
What is an electronic payment?
An electronic payment — or electronic funds transfer (EFT) — is a payment that occurs without the physical exchange of currency, cheque, cash or money order.
How do electronic payments work?
Electronic payments require two or more institutions to digitally communicate through a third party, in a process known as “clearing.” The Australian Payments Network (AusPayNet) facilitates clearing for most types of payments. Here’s an example of how this process works:
You pay employees by direct entry, and their banks and your bank automatically communicate via the AusPayNet electronic payment system. AusPayNet then confirms the funds are available for deposit, and the payment clears.
The clearing process for electronic payments is almost instantaneous, whereas clearing a paper cheque can take several days.
What are electronic payment methods?
Debit and credit card payments
Debit and credit card payments are among the most common electronic payment methods. They work for point-of-sale and online purchases, and users can link them to recurring subscription services, like Netflix Australia or MYOB Business.
Businesses that accept card payments must pay interchange fees. These fees are what card providers — like Visa or a cardholder’s bank — charge businesses to cover the cost of processing and clearing payments. Businesses may add a surcharge for card purchases to help cover their interchange fees.
Direct entry payments can be debits or credits. These payments are common for routine transactions like payroll, utility bills and tax lodgement. Unlike debit and credit card payments, direct entry payments don’t trigger interchange fees for businesses.
These payments occur between financial institutions either for themselves or their corporate customers and have an average transaction value of $3.2 million. They occur via the SWIFT system, which is a digital messaging platform for financial institutions.
More than 60,000 Aussie businesses and utility providers accept BPAY. An invoice from a business that accepts BPAY will include a BPAY biller code that customers can use to make a payment. Customers can log into their bank account and enter the biller code, reference number and payment details to pay their bill.
You can also use BPAY to pay taxes, but be sure to include the unique payment reference code, in addition to the biller code, to ensure the tax office applies your payment correctly.
A digital wallet is an application that lets users make purchases with their mobile devices. Notable examples include Apple Pay, PayPal and Google Pay.
Digital wallets simplify online and point-of-sale payments, and they let users exchange payments (such as sending your mate $10 from your PayPal account to theirs to cover your portion of a shared pizza).
Are electronic payments secure?
The short answer? Yes. Australia has several institutions that oversee and regulate payment systems, such as the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. That oversight enhances the security of electronic payments, as does the technology behind electronic payments.
What are the benefits of electronic payments for businesses?
Most Aussies prefer to pay by credit or debit card, and digital wallets are becoming increasingly popular. Businesses can improve customer satisfaction and sales outcomes by accepting the types of payments customers prefer.
Electronic payments help businesses collect quickly, especially if customers can pay you from their mobile devices via their digital wallet.
Lower admin costs
Decades ago, a B2B invoicing process might’ve looked like this:
Your customer has a month-to-month contract. Every month, your accounting team prepares and mails an invoice. When the customer is late with a payment, someone in your office calls the customer to request payment. The customer says they overlooked the invoice and will send payment right away — and then you still have to wait for the cheque to arrive, and someone will need to deposit it.
Today, most payments are electronic and require far less human effort. By offering the right payment options, you can automate the entire process: from invoice generation to late payment reminders to payment collection and invoice reconciliation.
Get paid faster with MYOB
MYOB is a business management platform with a bench of payment options built in. This includes accepting all the major credit cards, in addition to BPAY, Apple Pay and Google Pay. With MYOB, you can invoice customers, track the status of outstanding invoices, accept payments and account for income, expenses and GST to make tax time easy.
Catering for the six core workflows that any business will need to address – customers, suppliers, employees, projects, finance, accounting and tax, MYOB is the business management platform for you, whether you’re just starting out or whether you need a raft of software solutions to manage an increasingly complex business.
Cloud based, you only pay for the software you need, but you can have the confidence to grow your business with a business management platform that can scale and extend to meet your upcoming needs.
At MYOB, we have you covered. Try FREE for 30 days!