E-payments still slow but critical for Australian businesses

A new survey reveals that a little less than half (45%) of Australian businesses currently accept customer electronic payments using methods like PayPal or digital wallets.

Despite this low rate of electronic payment acceptance, two-thirds (64%) of the organisations surveyed, admitted that the practice is very critical to their business.

The study was commissioned by HCL Technologies and conducted by Roy Morgan Research and involved 20,000 Australian executives across Australian businesses and industry.

Another noteworthy finding from the research is that according to most businesses, cost and efficiency are good reasons to avoid minimum spend restrictions. However, 17% of the businesses still impose minimum spend limits for electronic transactions to reduce fees.

Interestingly, despite acknowledging the increasing significance of payments provider technologies, relatively few organisations have any knowledge of Australia's New Payment Platform (NPP) - a SWIFT initiative expected to launch in 2017. This platform aims to facilitate real-time electronic payments between businesses and consumers. According to the study, only 5% of organisations are aware of NPP while 22% say they have heard something about NPP but aren't aware of the details.

Jason Hulme, general manager of financial services at Roy Morgan, said that “financial institutions and their customers will experience unprecedented levels of change over the next few years as new payments methods continue to emerge.”