Bank of Valletta has reported an almost 40% increase in the number of local businesses switching to its digital batch payment system, with check payments halving from the same period last year.
“Over the past few months, we’ve seen a dramatic shift towards digital payments by businesses of all sizes, from small family businesses to large corporations. Payments by check are also down almost 50% from last year, quickly supported by payments through online banking and other channels, ”said Franco Xuereb, Executive eBanking at BOV.
The business sector has been severely affected by COVID-19. According to Tonia Naudi, head of corporate payments at Bank of Valletta, traders have moved from traditional and more expensive payments in cash or by check to cheaper digital payments.
“The habitual use of traditional payment methods can give an impression of convenience, and until businesses change, the hidden costs of cash and checks borne by these businesses are rarely calculated,” Naudi said.
“Let’s say a company with 50 employees shifts their monthly salary payments from checks to digital payments. Payments by check would cost the company € 600, while BOV batch payments would only cost € 72, a saving of € 528. And that’s without taking into account slow payments, security risks, manual intervention errors, storage space requirements and manual recording, filing and reconciliation of accounts.
With batch payments, supplier payments and salaries are consolidated into a single file by the payment issuing company and uploaded as a single file to BOV online banking. Payments from BOV to BOV are instant, while payments to beneficiaries whose accounts are held by other banks are made within 24 hours.
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