I want to receive payments
Being able to readily accept payments is crucial to any business, because the quicker you're paid and the less time spent chasing payments, the healthier your cash flow (and work/life balance) could be.
Depending on your business type, you may already have a good idea of how you'd like to receive payments. But with new payment technology becoming available every year, are you aware of all your possible options and what might work best for your business?
Find your business type in this table, then see below for more information about some of the payment receiving options available. Or click on the links in the table to view details of selected Westpac services that may be relevant.
How sales happen
About your business
Ways to receive payments
|Over the counter||A shop, café, restaurant, clinic or public office, or anywhere else where payments are made by card in person.||EFTPOS|
|Mobile business||A food van or market stall, or any trade or service that requires you to take card payments on the go.||Mobile EFTPOS
|Invoice issued||Any business that issues customers with invoices, which they can pay online at their convenience.||
EFT / BPAY ®
|By phone or mail||A business with infrequent card sales, and/or one that takes orders that aren't made in person or online.||Virtual Terminal|
|Online||An e-commerce operation, or a business that directs customers to pay for goods or services by card online.||Online payments|
|In batches||A business such as a gym that wants to schedule future periodic payments. Or a charity that wants to process mass payments following a fundraising drive. Or any other business that has recurring billing needs or wants to process payments in bulk.|
An Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale (EFTPOS) system accepts both credit cards and debit cards, including those linked to enabled mobile devices. Your EFTPOS terminal can be positioned on the counter; or carried to tables if it has wireless capability.
EFTPOS terminals read either the card’s magnetic stripe or its embedded chip, and there are two main types:
1. A standalone device – such as Westpac EFTPOS 1
2. EFTPOS that integrates with a compatible point of sale (POS) system – such as Westpac Presto Smart (wirelessly connects to a wide variety of POS systems) and EFTPOS1i (integrates with 200+ POS systems via Linkly software).
Most new credit and debit cards feature ‘tap & go’ technology that allows customers to simply hold their card or enabled mobile device close to the EFTPOS terminal to make a payment. No signature or PIN is required up to an agreed limit.
At the end of each trading day, you 'settle' the terminal to access that day's takings. Depending on your bank, you may have a fixed time every day when your accounts settle or (as is the case with Westpac), you could have more flexible instant settlement options.
Monthly plan costs and/or transaction (and other) fees generally apply. Make sure you’re clear about the likely costs before choosing your EFTPOS system.
If you’re running a business on the go you can choose a mobile EFTPOS terminal (such as EFTPOS 1) that doesn't need to be connected to power or phone lines.
For portability and convenience these units run off rechargeable battery packs and use mobile data (using your bank's preferred network provider). This enables you to take the sale straight to your customer for instant card payment – at their table or home, your market stall, or wherever your business operates.
If your business issues invoices, a straightforward way to accept electronic payments is to include your bank account and BSB numbers on each invoice. Customers enter these details in their online banking to transfer funds from their account to yours.
EFT is a simple and inexpensive way to receive payments and avoids the old problem of bouncing cheques. However, the process of reconciling invoices against payments can be convoluted. Biz Invoice (see below) helps eligible account holders with this aspect of keeping track of payments against invoices.
BPAY – which processes payments and delivers cleared funds direct to your nominated account – is another way you can accept electronic payments. Fees similar to credit and debit cards apply to BPAY, but it does provide the advantage that you don't have to give your bank account details out to too many customers. Plus, payment reports can be imported into your compatible accounting software for easier admin.
If you hold a Westpac Business One Low or High Plan1 transaction account or a foreign currency account (other than in Chinese Yuan RMB)1 you can use our handy Biz Invoice invoicing tool through online banking1. Biz Invoice lets you create an invoice template, then generate, email and manage invoices from your smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC. It is complimentary with your account, though other fees and charges may apply.
In addition to the default EFT payment option featured on the invoice template, if your Biz Invoice is linked to a transaction account and you’re an eligible sole trader, you can add BPAY as an option, allowing you to accept credit cards – for which fees and charges apply2. Please note, this does not apply to foreign currency accounts.
If yours is a smaller eCommerce business, an off-the-shelf online payment system that’s hosted externally to your site could be the way to go. A plug and play solution – such as Westpac hosted PayWay1 – takes care of payments in a safe and secure environment, whilst avoiding the expense of setting up your own bespoke system.
This could be ideal if you just want to give customers the convenience of paying bills (including periodic payments) online, in the knowledge that their credit card details are being entrusted to a reputable financial institution.
If your customers don't physically present a card when you make a sale, you may not need to have an EFTPOS terminal taking up desk space. You and your staff can take card payments via a secure web page (known as a Virtual Terminal), inputting the card information much like anyone would who’s buying from a website.
If you choose a system such as PayWay Virtual Terminal1, you’ll be able to process card payments online for orders that have been received via a physical order form, by email or over the phone. The funds involved will be set up to sweep/settle to your nominated business transaction account.
Customers are increasingly looking online to research and complete a whole range of purchases and payments. The challenge for businesses is to provide the most convenient payment methods that best fit the product or service offered and the technical resources and budget available.
The online payment solution you choose will depend on the way you sell online. Which of these statements best describes your situation?
If you have access to IT experts, you may wish to consider a fully integrated eCommerce solution (see below).
If you have little or no IT support or access to it, you could try a hosted plug and play option (see above).
It’s worth considering a hosted plug and play option with this scenario too (see above).
Again, a hosted plug and play option could be the way to go.
With Westpac hosted PayWay1 you have the option of adding your own Virtual Terminal to take card details over the phone or via a physical order form – and you can even be set you up with a 1300 number and interactive voice response.
If you are taking many online payments and have a talented developer working on your site, you may want to investigate using an API (application programming interface) such as Westpac's own PayWay API. Another option is to choose an approved third-party payment gateway, which is an intermediary between your shopping cart and the bank that securely processes encrypted payments.
Either option will allow your website or software to talk seamlessly directly to the bank's credit card processing functions for real-time, straight-through payment authorisation.
With this approach, you need to be mindful of securely managing card information that will meet the Payment Cards Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). If you’re after a simple solution that already complies with these standards, you could consider hosted plug and play1 (see above).
If yours is the type of business that receives regular weekly/monthly/annual payments for things such as subscriptions or repayments, it may be worth considering a system such as PayWay Recurring Billing1.
It lets you set up and forget payment schedules, and offers the option to securely store your customers’ credit card and bank account details. Receipts – which can be customised with your logo – are issued by email following each card payment or direct debit, and you’ll be able to view reports ranging from failed payments and expiring credit cards to invoice reconciliations.
If you’re currently manually processing a large number of credit card transactions, you could consider a batch payment solution such as PayWay Batch Payments1. Rather than process transaction by transaction, you build a payment file containing credit card details, transaction references and payment amounts. Periodically the file can then be uploaded into a secure portal for processing, including (with PayWay) real-time authorisation.
The right payment solution could help speed up your payments, whether they are face to face, online, or in response to an invoice. Your business banker will be happy to chat through the options and support you in seeking the services you need for your type of business.
1. Westpac’s products are subject to terms, conditions, fees and charges; and certain criteria may apply. Before making a decision, read the disclosure documents for your selected product or service, including the Product Disclosure Statement and T&Cs for Westpac business bank accounts, EFTPOS 1, Presto Smart, PayWay, foreign currency accounts and online banking; and consider if the product is right for you.
2. BPAY Eligible Account Holders: To be eligible to set up BPAY Payments with Biz Invoice you must be registered for online banking and be a sole trader who is the sole owner of the Westpac Business One Low Plan or Business One High Plan account to which Biz Invoice is linked. Each BPAY transaction will incur a transaction fee. Read the disclosure documents, including the Biz Invoice and , before deciding. Terms, conditions, fees, charges and eligibility apply. Full details are available on application.
The information in this article is general in nature and does not take your objectives, financial situation or needs into account. Consider its appropriateness to these factors; and we recommend you seek independent professional advice about your specific circumstances before making any decisions.