By Glenn Tullia, Senior Manager, St. George BankBusinesses today need to be more efficient than ever before.
How many times has your business been faced with customers who only want to pay using card, not cash? Or perhaps over the phone or online rather than in person?
It’s not surprising to see cash and cheque usage is reducing as more people embrace technology and look for quicker and more convenient ways to make payments.
According to the Reserve Bank of Australia's research "The Changing Way We Pay: Trends in Consumer Payments", the use of cash in people's wallets had fallen from 62 per cent of transactions in 2010 to 47 per cent by the end of 2013. The RBA also predicted cheques would eventually be phased out as they would become too expensive to use.
This could mean that sizable payments such as property sales will be completed electronically in a matter of years.
Having been in the banking industry for more than a decade, I’m familiar with a number of alternatives to cash and cheque payment solutions that will make it simple and more streamlined to safely and securely collect, monitor and manage your customer payments. For example, you could accept payments directly to your bank account, debit your customers accounts, allow online or BPAY payments or accept credit card payments from your office.Solutions such as mobile payments are becoming more popular because it allows businesses to take payments quickly and efficiently – and also keep track of those payments simply and easily. Mobile applications developed for smart phones and tablets allow small businesses to accept transactions on the go. Transactions can be authorised in real-time, providing you with guaranteed cash flow whilst keeping your customers happy by offering alternative payment options to cash and cheque.
Having an effective payments system is critical for businesses to run smoothly, whether you’re a sole trader, a growing business using the Internet or a large business looking for integrated payments. These days there is a range of products designed to help collect payments through a variety of channels. With new developments happening every day it’s worth doing your homework to make sure you get the payment solution that meets your needs.