If your customers are consumers, you probably get many payments by cheque. But did you know that the cheque guarantee scheme will no longer operate after 30 June this year? If a cheque bounces you will have no protection and will lose out unless the customer has made an honest mistake and puts it right.
The Federation of Small Businesses has discovered that 75% or more of small companies do not know about the stopping of the scheme. They believe that the banks will continue to honour between £50 and £250 on all cheques issued by their domestic customers.
What will it Mean for Your Business?
You are advised to consider what this means to you. Do you offer credit and debit card facilities yet? In sectors such as window cleaners or plumbers and other trades, when the work is completed, payment is often made by cheque. Carrying around bulky card payment machines will take some getting used to, supposing they make the initial investment on one. If you have a number of operatives who collect payments, the cost could be prohibitive all in one go.
Other Payment Options
Small businesses need to be considering other options as well. The alternative of your people being responsible for cash collected in large numbers is not likely to be popular. Advances in technology are making it easier to pay using a mobile phone, but customers need to have a smart phone. It’s worth keeping an eye on developments to see what might suit your business, and what you can afford. It remains to be seen whether the banks will offer convenient loans for these purposes. But it would be in their own interests to make sure that their clients can collect payments from their customers.
Don’t forget to ask your outsourced bookkeepers for advice. They will be keeping on top of developments, and may well have ideas you haven’t thought of.