Technology has changed the landscape on how businesses can accept payments for goods and services. The old days of collecting cash payments and then taking them to the bank to deposit them into a business checking are becoming outdated, as new forms of payment processing take hold.
If you are starting a new business, here are seven payment options you need to consider to make your payment processing easier and faster.
The BACS (Banker’s Automated Clearing Scheme) payments system allows you to accept direct debit authorisations from customers and it allows you to make direct credit payments to the bank accounts of your suppliers and employees. You need to get a SUN (Service User Number) number to set up an account up before you can use the BACS service.
The SUN number is used to track the debit and credit transactions your business makes and to ensure that your payments are processed efficiently. You must be sponsored by a major bank based in the U.K. to qualify for a SUN number. As a new business, you typically won’t qualify for sponsorship until you have been in business for three years and you’ll have to rely on a third-party who has a SUN number to process your BACS payments.
PayPal is useful to send and receive money from many different areas of the world through your website. PayPal is also useful if you are going to do auctions on your business website as they will bill the buyers and send them reminders about ongoing auctions you may be doing. You need to set up a premier or a business account with PayPal to take advantage of its services.
A premier account is useful for businesses that expect to do a lot of credit card transactions per day through the website. The business account allows you to accept credit card payments and send out mass payments. Signing up for PayPal is easy and is done online. You’ll pick the services you want to use at the time you sign up for an account.
Faster Payments allow customers to send money directly to your bank account. The customer will need the sort number for your bank and the account number you want the payment to be deposited in. The payments typically get deposited on the day it is sent by your customer. You need to be a member of a bank that utilises the Faster Payments system to take part in the program. You should also be aware that there are limitations on how much can be sent at one time over the Faster Payments system. The limits vary depending on how the payment is sent.
CHAPS (the Clearing House Automated Payment System) is another system people and businesses in the U.K. can use to make payments to accounts housed at member banks. The CHAPS system is typically used when a business has to make high-valued payments to suppliers. CHAPS is particularly useful if you are establishing a real estate business where fund transfers typically have to take place on the same day you are signing the paperwork to consummate a real estate transaction.
The CHAPS system transaction happens in real-time and the recipient doesn’t have to wait for the money to clear. They can use it the moment it is deposited into their account.
Android Pay allows your customers to pay you through their Android phones. You will need to have an account with Google’s mobile payments system and have a Point of Sale (POS) device that accepts contactless credit and debit cards. The customer needs to download an app from a participating bank and enter the debit or credit card information into the app. All the customer does is swipe the phone over the monitor on the POS device and the transaction is automatically processed without handling cash and debit or credit cards.
Accepting the Apple Pay system over an iPhone is very similar to the process used to set up the Android Pay system. You will need a contactless POS terminal system to accept the Apple Pay system.
Nochex Online Payment Services
You are able to accept online transactions with a Nochex account. You will need to set up either a merchant or a U.K. Trader Account in order to utilise the Nochex system. The U.K. Trader Account is good for new businesses as the account doesn’t have any set-up or monthly fees while you are starting out.
If you’re just starting to break into the world of business, the above are a just some of the key payment options you should consider implementing.