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National Payments Plan Calls on Business to “Join the evolution”

Published on Sep 10 2014 8:24 AM in Technology

National Payments Plan Calls on Business to “Join the evolution”

With just over a week to go until e-Day on 19 September, the National Payments Plan (NPP) with the support of the department of finance has issued a reminder to businesses and public sector bodies to ensure a smooth transition to electronic payments in their financial dealings with each other.

The e?Day initiative was launched in September last year to allow time for the necessary actions of the various agencies and businesses to take place. A nationwide campaign entitled “Join the evolution” is underway, calling on businesses to review the way they transact payments and look to e-payment options as the more efficient method of doing so.

Minister of state at the department of finance, Simon Harris, noted the focus of e-Day is to encourage SMEs to move from cheques to e-payments, "e-Day is the day on which Government departments, local authorities and other State agencies will stop sending and receiving cheques from businesses. I encourage public sector bodies and businesses to engage with each other and their banks to ensure a smooth transition to modern payment methods."

In order to assist businesses to meet the e-Day requirements, the NPP has put in place a website www.jointheevolution.ie. Businesses are also advised to contact their own banks if they have additional queries.

Programme manager for the NPP, Ronnie O’Toole said, “Although Irish businesses are already migrating away from cheques and towards e-payments, we are still one of the most cheque-intensive countries in Europe. e-Day will help Ireland continue its progression towards e-payments, and create a quicker, safer and less expensive payments environment.”

The recent cheque survey by the Central Bank of Ireland shows that cheque volumes continue to decline in Ireland. Cheques issued in Ireland are projected to be 61 million in 2014, down from 69 million in 2013, and from 132 million in 2005. Based on the survey, cheques issued by businesses will be an estimated 28 million in 2014. Business cheque usage is reducing faster than consumer usage, and this trend is expected to accelerate in the wake of e-Day.

The National Payments Plan targets savings of up to one billion euro per annum for the Irish economy, which can be achieved through a shift to electronic payments.

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