As part of the National Payments Plan, the government is encouraging businesses and individuals to move away from cash and cheque payments, and towards electronic payments. It is estimated that this switch could save €1 billion annually in the economy. Ireland is one of only five EU members currently using cheques, and although usage has declined significantly in recent years, we issue twice the EU average. (Over 61 million in 2013, or 17 per person).
From the 19th of September, public sector bodies and government departments will stop sending or accepting cheques when dealing with businesses. Although businesses are moving away from cheques quicker than individuals, this is a major step towards a “cashless society”.
So what does this mean for business owners? E-payments are safer, faster, and cheaper for business. Sending a cheque will cost at least €1.50 after stamp duty, bank charges and postage, while an e-payment will cost roughly €0.20. Cash flow will also improve, as payments will be quicker, and there will also be greater transparency, meaning no more”cheque in the post” excuses. It also offers business an opportunity to change the behavior of the customers, by encouraging e-payments, which will certainly cut down on admin costs and improve efficiency when it comes to your cash flow.