e-Day countdown: one month until cheques to e-payments switchover

19 Aug 2014

Businesses and public-sector bodies in Ireland have one more month to prepare for e-Day, the day Government departments and offices, local authorities and State agencies will no longer issue or accept cheques.

Last September, Minister of State at the Department of Finance Brian Hayes, TD, launched e-Day, to give organisations 12 months to prepare for the transition to electronic payments.

What should I do to prepare for e-Day?

If you are a business being paid by, or paying to, public-sector bodies, then the best thing to do is to ensure that whoever is paying you has details of your bank account, so you can be paid electronically.

If you pay public bodies by cheque, you will need to check with them what alternative options will be accepted. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), direct debit and payment card options are among the alternatives that will be offered by impacted Government departments and offices, state agencies and local authorities. Each of these will advise its customers on what options will be available.

Source: MerrionStreet.ie

The 19 September e-Day is an initiative under the Central Bank’s National Payments Plan to cut costs and improve cash flow in the Irish economy.

Ian Talbot, chief executive of Chambers Ireland, said the move from cheque to electronic payment methods is a positive one that will save money for both the Government and businesses alike.

“In fact, it is estimated that the economy will save €1bn per annum by a comprehensive move to electronic payments,” said Talbot.

Businesses can save money by eliminating the use of expensive cheques, reducing administration costs and improving cash flow as funds will move more rapidly between accounts, Talbot added.

“We urge all businesses to ensure they are fully prepared for e-Day by making sure they have alternative payment methods in place and are fully up to date with the new procedures,” Talbot added.

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) issue 80pc of all business cheques, and they also receive 78pc of all business cheques, a Central Bank report released today suggests.

Online payments image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic