Cheques are still the #1 payment used by business, large and small. This means it is taking longer for businesses to get paid. For micro and small businesses, this could have a significant impact to money management, making it tight to invest in new products and services to grow the business.
While Interac e-Transfer continues to provide the easiest way for millions of Canadians to send money to each other and to the businesses and organizations they deal with, the service’s most recent features have been gaining a loyal user base as well – not only among individuals, but among small and medium-sized businesses too.
Let’s take a look at Request Money to see why. (We looked at our other recently-added feature, Autodeposit, in a previous post). Request Money allows a user to send a digital request for money from their online banking site or app to any individual or business with a Canadian bank account. The user can include a message, an invoice number*, or a due date*, and when the notification reaches the recipient (by email or text), they need only log-in to their own online banking in order to review and accept the request. Based on the same “good funds” model as e-Transfer itself, a fulfilled money request will trigger the immediate deposit of funds into the requestor’s selected account.
This capability creates value for growing businesses in several ways.
- Secure: no private financial information (like a bank account number) needs to accompany the request, and our world-class fraud prevention system – which helps to secure Interac e-Transfer – remains hard at work in the background.
- Trackable: instead of noting down emails or phone calls in a collections ledger, a firm can simply refer to its history of money requests via online banking to see who it contacted and when.
- Easy-to-use: no special training is needed for accounting staff as its interface is familiar to all users of individual online banking services.
- Fast: since money shows up almost as soon as a recipient accepts the request, time spent waiting for an invoice to be mailed and a cheque to be mailed back vanishes – and improved cash flow is the result.
- Cost-reducing: valuable resources no longer need to spend time opening envelopes and processing cheques, while our good funds model eliminates the risk and costs of cheque-bouncing, as well.
With these benefits, it’s no wonder that small and medium-sized businesses have begun using Request Money with such enthusiasm.
Some of the ways we are seeing businesses use the new feature are:
- Landlords are using it to collect rent and deposits
- Service providers like landscaping, home cleaning, personal trainers, childcare workers to collect for services
- Vendors are using it to get their invoices paid
- Organizations are using it to split project costs with partners (for example, by covering the immediate costs of a co-marketing event, and then recouping each co-marketer’s share quickly and easily).
Request Money is a significant step away from a vanishing business world of paper payments, high processing costs, and waiting, and toward a new world of immediacy and minimal expense. The world, in short, that small and medium-sized businesses want to work in.
Here are some publications that discuss some of the trends we covered at today’s webinar: Managing Cashflow with a Focus on Small Business
- Key Small Business Statistics: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada Small Business Branch
- 7 Ways to make your company more successful in 2018 (and beyond,) BDC
- Payments Pulse Survey: Small Business Edition
- How can payments modernization benefit Canadian businesses, Payments Canada
- Canadian Payment Methods and Trends: 2018
- Reality cheque: Will paper cheques soon be a thing of the past for small business, CFIB
- The Gustavson Brand Trust Index 2018
*Depending on the specific financial institution.