Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Coronavirus: Alternative Payments to Cash and Paper Checks

Woman standing next to a cell phone and coins

(Source: Paystand Blog)

March 31, 2020 — Scotts Valley, CA

(Image source: PayStand)

Options to protect your business, employees, and customers

The coronavirus outbreak is forcing many businesses to rethink how they accept payments. Merchants and customers are shifting to digital payment methods to avoid the risk of infection from handling cash and paper checks. It’s no longer business as usual. Now is the time to start making changes to avoid any lasting impact on your revenues.

Considering that US businesses process more than $12.5 trillion in paper checks alone annually, this disruption may come at a great cost and could represent potential business losses down the road.

If you’re looking for alternatives to paper checks and cash payments right now, here are a few options to protect your business, employees, and customers during this difficult time.

Alternatives to Paper Checks and Cash

There are several alternate payment methods that are safe, efficient and easy to use. Usage and processing costs for many of these alternative methods are often inexpensive and come with perks like zero-fee bank transfers and enhanced security.

  1. Credit Cards (Virtual Terminal): Virtual terminals let you securely charge credit cards from your computer and no card swiper is necessary. All you need is internet access and your smartphone, computer, or tablet turns into a credit card terminal. With tokenization, payment methods can even be securely vaulted for later use (recurring payments).
  2. Digital Bank Payments (Paystand / OBeP): Paystand offers zero-fee digital bank payments that move money electronically from one bank to another. Customers can log directly into their bank account and make the payment via an online payment portal. This method is highly secure because customers do not have to share their account numbers or other sensitive personal data.
  3. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT): An EFT is a transaction processed over a computerized network, either among accounts at the same bank or to different accounts at separate financial institutions. EFTs can be initiated by a person or a business and don’t require much more than a bank account in good standing.
  4. Electronic Check (eCheck): An eCheck is a type of EFT that relies on the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network to process payments. Funds are electronically withdrawn from the payer’s account, sent via the ACH network to the payee’s banking institution, and then electronically deposited into the payee’s account.

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