School adaptation to online payment options
As we experience continued adoption of contactless card payments across Ireland, organisations with high volume, low value transactions are likely to see the shift from cash to card transactions. As consumers opt for more convenient and secure electronic payment options, Irish organisations run the risk of missing out on sales unless they make the shift to accepting digital payments.
Schools and the cost of cash
Traditionally, schools accepted cash and cheques for fees, voluntary contributions, school-trips, etc. but with many teachers, parents and school staff citing the collection of cash and cheques to be inefficient, schools are beginning to respond. Recent research by Visa found that in Ireland the cost of handling cash was 2.5 cents per euro of turnover compared to 1.6 cents for a card transaction, resulting in cash handling costs being over 50% more than that of card payments. For smaller organisations, these costs represent a large portion of back-office expenses including time spent on cash reconciliations, bank deposit charges and security costs.
The Government has also recognised the need for our existing payment systems infrastructure to become more efficient through electronic payments. With an estimated annual saving of €1 billion, the National Payments Plan has been introduced. Part of this plan includes the rollout of an electronic payments pilot project in primary and post primary schools. Easy Payments Plus, a subsidiary of Payzone, are an approved supplier within the pilot, allowing parents to make payments to schools online, electronically and in store through Payzone’s network of over 3,000 retail agents. We are the only provider who can offer a completely cashless solution.
The future of electronic payments
As we move forward, payments are no longer restricted to within the walls of a school or business. Payments can be accepted through debit or credit cards anytime, from anywhere. The rising use of payments through mobile devices will be the next step for schools as consumers have an increasing number of choices about how they pay.
With many schools across the country taking the initiative to implement electronic payments, they are providing a convenient solution for parents while freeing up time for school staff to focus on what really matters.