I have been running a small business for over ten years now. I am told that because I have not gone broke already, that I am doing it well! Whatever the truth is, the thing I find hardest is getting paid on time. We have all manner of systems in place to make sure the money arrives when due. We send invoices, confirm payment dates and then follow up payment when late, but no matter how much labour and planning we put into collecting money, it arrives on time only 30 percent of the time.
As a business you therefore have two choices. First, you hold back payment to your suppliers, which is not the best way to manage a proactive relationship. Or, you can leave a large enough cash balance in your account (and the bank only pays you 0.01 percent interest on this money) to cover the short fall between money in, and money out, and depending on the amount of work you have going on, this amount may need to expand or contract.
Not every small business has the luxury of either of these cash flow strategies, so I am always interested in new technology that comes along that promises something better.
I have been working with PayPal on various Cyber Crime promotion initiatives for a couple of years and a couple of months ago when I was complaining about how hard it was to receive a sporadic credit card transaction payment, they said – ‘we might have something that can help, but not until March’.
That product has now arrived. ‘Paypal Here’, uses an app and a credit card swipe reader to turn your smart devices (iphone, Android, iPad etc) into a terminal that can receive payments via Mastercard or Visa. It means a lot for small business, especially those that carry out a job and want to get paid immediately at its conclusion. Many service and trade businesses have customers who have a credit card, these businesses can now offer a new payment alternative.
I have seen this type of product in action when in the US in January. My cameraman used a competing product called ‘SQUARE’ (not available in Australia), at the end of the shoot each day, he would swipe my credit card, I would sign on the screen using my finger and the receipt would be emailed to me. My bill was then settled, and that was the last both he and I needed to think about it.
You can now use the same technology, albeit through the Paypal network, so the money will be deposited into your Paypal account, which can then be credited to your company account.
The best thing about this service is payment certainty, and the question you need to ask yourself is whether paying around 2.5 percent per transaction is worth the price of ensuring your money arrives on time.
Paypal Here is available now on iOS devices, and will role out on Android devices in April.
Here are the other features of the device:
- A smartphone application and accessory that turns a mobile phone into a credit card reader.
- Ideal for tradies and other small businesses
- Encrypted card reader is a lightweight device that attaches to a smartphone.
- Tracks cash transactions and allowing merchants to directly invoice customers.
- PayPal get 2.4 percent + 30 cents for swipe transactions, and 2.9 precent + 30cents for manual key-in and scanned transactions
- Do not need to open a new bank account to use PayPal Here.
- Need is a Premier or Business PayPal account which can be linked to their existing bank account.
- Payments are deposited immediately into the sellers PayPal account.
- Security: It is a risk that a lost or stolen card that has not been reported could be used on the device. Once the card holder reports the lost or stolen card, the card would no longer be able to be used.
Vist the Paypal website to read more about Paypal Here – https://www.paypal.com/au/webapps/mpp/credit-card-reader