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Sponsored feature: INTERAC
As anyone who runs their own business knows, getting paid on time is tough. It can take weeks or even months to receive and process cheques, or acquire payment information to wire money, which can be a major stress to managing cash flow and ultimately, turning a profit.
While most Canadians are familiar with using Interac e-Transfer to send, receive and request money in real time, many aren’t aware the same service exists for small businesses.
Using Interac e-Transfer is easy. It only requires access to online or mobile banking through a financial institution to send or request money to anyone with an email address or mobile phone number and a bank account in Canada. There’s no need to share any personal financial information, making it safer, faster and more convenient than collecting banking information or sending a cheque in the mail.
“The Interac e-Transfer service has grown steadily over the last 16 years, and today most banks offer Interac e-Transfer access to small business customers,” says Charlie Trainor, director of product and platforms at Interac.
“Over the years we found a lot of small businesses using the Interac e-Transfer service because they found it convenient and beneficial in sending and receiving money for various reasons,” Trainor continues. “The convenience of being able to go into online or mobile banking any time, from anywhere, to send money and having the other person receive it in close to real time is useful when paying suppliers or casual employees quickly.”
In a series of focus groups conducted with small business owners, Interac uncovered what people liked most about the service, and whether there were any barriers. Not only were convenience and speed valued, but it served as an easy way to keep payment records.
“Users always know where the money is, and they can look back at transactions using online banking,” Trainor says. “Since the recipient of an Interac e-Transfer receives funds almost immediately, there’s no mystery as to when recipients are paid.”
Interac found that small business owners also wanted a better way to encourage others to use Interac e-Transfer to send them payments and a more seamless experience when working with security questions.
“Based on that feedback, we launched Autodeposit and Request Money, two new Interac e-Transfer features, over a year ago,” Trainor says.
With Autodeposit, funds are automatically deposited into a user’s bank account using a phone number or email, without having to answer a security question, which is especially useful for small businesses who may be receiving multiple Interac e-Transfers at once.
With the Request Money feature, users can go into their online banking and easily request funds they are owed from a customer or vendor, with the option of adding an invoice number and due date with certain financial institutions. This eliminates time spent waiting for an invoice to be mailed and a cheque to be mailed back.
A positive cash flow is imperative for small businesses to invest in their future success. Autodeposit and Request Money offer micro and small businesses a convenient, cost-effective and secure method of sending, requesting and receiving money.
With Interac e-Transfer, requesting or making multiple payments, managing invoices and reconciling finances becomes streamlined and easy. Providing more choices to customers and vendors alike can save small businesses time and money – and ultimately helps make owners’ money work for them.