Interac is always on the lookout for how to solve common business problems and improve efficiencies.
We’ve been listening to the needs of Canadian enterprises when it comes to payments. We understand the frustrations. The quotes in the article below all come from real-life leaders at Canadian businesses and not-for-profits who provided us with valuable insights around payment methods — and shared ideas about what could be improved.
Today we can offer enhancements to the Interac e-Transfer service that alleviate some of the payment headaches for your organization. Interac e-Transfer for Business is an enhanced set of features built for the needs of Canadian businesses of all sizes. This solution will help organizations streamline their accounting processes, enable paperless office strategies, and process payments faster.
Here’s how Interac e-Transfer for Business can help with common payment headaches …
Problem #1: The wait
Traditional payments and processes can take time.
When your organization makes or receives a payment, it likely comes in the form of a cheque or electronic funds transfer (EFT). These have remained the default payment mediums for business in Canada. In 2019 some 2.65 billion transactions were made using these methods, representing a total value of $8.3 trillion.
That’s a lot of working capital to tie up, and for how long? An EFT can take several business days to process, while a cheque can take even longer to arrive by mail — and more time to clear after deposit. (It’s not cheap, either: According to one estimate, each cheque can cost up to $15 to process.)
The pandemic has made these processes seem even more impractical. No wonder Canadian businesses are ready to add another tool to the toolkit.
Solution #1: Real-time transactions to free up cash flow
Interac e-Transfer for Business transactions happen right away (within five seconds, to be exact).
Speed is a familiar benefit if you’re among the majority of Canadians who use Interac e-Transfer regularly for things like paying back a friend for dinner or splitting the cost of a gift. Now, with Interac e-Transfer for Business, paying your customers or suppliers can be just as fast and smooth.
Problem #2: The uncertainty
When is that cheque going to arrive in the mail? It’s often a bit of a mystery.
Some payment methods, like cheques, don’t give businesses end-to-end visibility during the process, in the sense that you don’t know exactly when the payment will arrive or go through.
And with traditional payments, there isn’t much data attached to the payment — if any. This is why personnel who handle accounts receivable have to undertake an often labour-intensive process to reconcile each payment that arrives with the original invoice.
Canadian firms say the lack of information that comes with some payment methods can even create confusion around what a particular sum is supposed to be paying for in the first place.
Solution #2: Structured information to streamline your accounting processes
Has the payment been made? There should be no question. When you send or receive an Interac e-Transfer for Business transaction, the payment is processed instantly and the confirmation is immediate.
We know Canadian businesses want transparency inside the payment, too. Interac e-Transfer for Business transactions are data-rich and ISO 20022 compliant, which means they contain the structured information needed for seamless processing — no more guesswork.
Problem #3: Disorganized data
Not only is the reconciliation step labour-intensive, it’s an opportunity for human error to enter the picture.
And the data that is included with a payment is often input manually, which means it isn’t clear sometimes. (Think of the memo line on a cheque. Is it always clear what the message is supposed to be telling you?)
The data on a payment or invoice is also often disorganized in the sense that it typically can’t be plugged in to your other tools. Businesses are stuck dealing with payment processes that aren’t connected to their online banking, internal accounting, or enterprise resource planning (ERP) program.
Solution #3: Rich data can enable a paperless office strategy
The data richness received with Interac e-Transfer for Business transactions can help enable solutions for automated payments processing, optimized payment tracking and enhanced interoperability with your organization’s software — streamlining your organization’s accounting processes.
So not only will it help payments become faster and easier, adopting Interac e-Transfer for Business can enable automated, streamlined digital accounting processes and help you move forward with a paperless office strategy.
And isn’t it about time to break free from the tyranny of paper and make money move faster?