Efficient Payment Solutions Essential for SME Survival

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have long been hailed as the lifeblood of the economy. Now, in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, they are critical for its recovery. Not only do they contribute 35-50% of national GDP globally, they also drive over two-thirds of new job creation[i]. Ultimately, the more SMEs succeed, the better our economy performs. However, their success – and survival – hinges largely on cash flow management.

This is according to Francois Hamer, Business Development Lead at Pay@ – a leading payment aggregator and provider of secure payment solutions.

With cashflow management being the reason why 82% of small businesses fail[ii],  Pay@ has developed Yap – an electronic bill presentment and payment tool for on-the-go invoicing and payment requests, specifically for SMEs. Hamer explains that Yap not only helps businessowners collect payments, but also gives them access to reconciliation, settlement, and reporting services that are similar to those of far bigger companies with far more sophisticated bill payments environments.  “The Yap web app works on any web-enabled device, meaning that there’s no more need for manually written up paper slips that get mislaid by clients which then delays payment. Additionally, users can track the status of payments and have access to real-time transaction confirmation and notifications. In addition to the single payment request or invoice-on-the-go functionality, the tool also offers a debtors’ book collection facility with the ability to upload and distribute bulk payment requests. Best of all, there are no sign-up fees or monthly costs, they are billed per transaction.”

Bills are sent to customers either via QR Code, SMS or email. When it comes to making payments, Yap users have a wide variety of options to choose from, enabling them to pay at any time and from almost anywhere. Payment methods include instant EFT, online card payments, physical cash and card payments at retailers such as Pick n Pay, Massmart stores, Shoprite-Checkers, and U-Save as well as mobile apps such as MasterPass, Nedbank Scan-to-Pay, SnapScan and Zapper. “These options enable customers to make payments safely and conveniently,” says Hamer.

Damian Conway from the iShack Project, which is working to develop off-grid energy services and convenient, affordable payment options for thousands of under-served residents of informal settlements, says: “Our clients often don’t have bank accounts or have limited access to banking services. Yap gives us the ability to send them a payment instruction for their services which they then receive on their phone and can quite easily go to one of the big retailers that they would in any event be visiting for shopping and make a payment. It is very convenient for them and seems to work well. Now there’s no need for vouchers or mobile wallets or anything like that, it’s all very simple and we’ve had only positive reports about the process. What we’re finding too is that it has the added knock-on benefit of improving our ability to remain in touch with clients because we have more up-to-date and accurate records of cell phone numbers.”

For more information, go to  http://www.yapit.co.za

About Pay@

Established in 2007, Pay@ is one of Southern Africa’s leading payment aggregators and is trusted by prominent South African organisations to optimise their billing and payment processes. Pay@ offers consumers a growing variety of secure, innovative and convenient bill presentment and payment platforms. Its robust system ensures highly efficient processing, with unallocated payments for example being eliminated and transaction success rates of more than 99.996%.

[i] https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/12/small-businesses-will-need-more-support-for-covid-recovery/

[ii] https://www.preferredcfo.com/cash-flow-reason-small-businesses-fail/