Posted in Finance
Alternatives to Cash Payments
Still only using cash in your business? There are now many other options that you can try, especially online and through your website. We have a look at everything from Eftpos and bank deposit through to payments via your website, which is easy to incorporate with your web design.
An acronym for ‘Electronic Funds Transfer Point Of Sale’, this form of payment is becoming one of the most common in Australia because of its accessibility, ease of use and convenience. It works by installing an Eftpos machine, which debits a customer’s bank account when they use a debit card or credit card. Australians have a love affair with the plastic – especially credit cards – so it is a must-have for retailers.
Funds are usually credited to your bank account within 24 hours and it is a relatively secure form of payment. The biggest problem is fraud with people using stolen cards. The machines themselves are connected to the phone network to communicate with the bank and can often be integrated with business phone systems. Just be aware that there are fees associated with Eftpos, such as merchant service fee on credit cards (around 0.7% to 1.5%), an Eftpos fee on all transactions (usually 5c to 30c), and a machine rental fee ($9.50 to $40 per month).
The popularity of Internet banking has made it convenient for businesses of all sizes to accept payments via an online funds transfer known as a bank deposit. Depending on the type of bank account you have, it is usually free for all users. It is simply a matter of giving your customers your bank account details (BSB number and account number) and a reference number. Customers then use their own online banking facilities to transfer the funds.
It is a safe form of money transfer as the account can only receive credits or payments. You can wait for up to three days, however, for the funds to clear – it depends on your banking institution. Businesses can also set up what is known as BPAY where they register the service with their bank and then provide customers with account details to pay bills. It works alongside Internet banking and telephone banking and is very secure.
This has been around for some time now and is still popular as it gives customers the ability to pay bills and accounts from anywhere in the world and at any time of the day or night. As a business you will need to set up a telephone banking system, which is usually done with the help of your financial institution. It is then a matter of customers following the telephone prompts to pay their bill. The funds transfer occurs the same as Internet or Eftpos where it can take 1 to 3 days for the funds to clear. It is a great way for businesses to accept payments via credit card and it can also be built in as part of a phone system that can give customers the option to access other options such as information or queries.
This payment option is now a major player in the financial world largely thanks to the success of online auction sites such as Ebay. It allows you to create an online account and link it to your credit card or bank account. You can then give clients or customers your PayPal details so they can deposit funds. One of its major attractions is the security it offers – buyers and sellers are well protected against fraud. There are small fees involved with PayPal transactions.
It is very easy and cost-effective to have a payment option added to your website. It works on the same principal as telephone banking whereas customers enter their payment details provided by you. Payment is then usually made by credit card. It is very secure as information is encrypted to limit the ability of hackers or fraudsters to access any sensitive details.