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What is BPAY and why does it matter?

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Last editedMar 20232 min read

What is BPAY? 

BPAY is an abbreviation of ‘bill payment’, a service which makes it possible for customers to make payments through their online banking app. According to research carried out by RFI on behalf of BPAY, it is the most widely used bill payment service in Australia, handling more than 1.6 million payments every business day. This, combined with the fact that more than 150 financial institutions offer the option of BPAY – ranging from banks and building societies to credit unions and neobanks – means that any business which is serious about maximising customer convenience needs to understand BPAY and what it does and doesn’t offer.    

How to use BPAY

One of the selling points of BPAY as a system is that it is relatively easy to use. This probably accounts for the degree to which, over the course of 20 years, it has become Australia’s leading payment method. According to research, 60% of Australians pay their bills using BPAY and 88% recognise the BPAY logo when it appears on a bill they are given or their internet banking platform. 

The process of using BPAY itself can be broken down into a few simple steps:

  • The customer signs into their online banking platform and follows the prompts to make a BPAY payment 

  • The customer enters the amount they want to pay, together with the biller code and a reference number from the invoice

  • The financial institution in question validates the payment and sends a receipt to the customer

  • The funds in question are deposited into the account of the business concerned the next day

The advantages of using BPAY

From the point of view of a business, BPAY offers a number of advantages. The first of these is the fact that funds being cleared within one day will provide a boost to your cash flow. In addition to this, the process of reconciliation within your business accounts is made simpler and more efficient by the unique customer reference number (CRN) assigned by BPAY to every customer. By cross-referencing the CRN on a payment with your own invoices, it’s easy to keep track of which customers have paid and which payments need chasing up.    

From the customer’s point of view, the convenience of BPAY includes the fact that it enables them to pay from a transaction account or savings account, or use a debit card. Some businesses also accept payments via BPAY using a credit card, but customers should check this first.   

For customers navigating the Australian payment network, BPAY is designed to simplify and streamline processes as much as possible. The introduction of BPAY View is another step in this direction.  

What is BPAY View?

BPAY View is a modification of the BPAY system which means that customers receive their bills in their online or mobile banking app rather than in printed form. They are then able to pay the bill instantly or schedule a later payment. Using BPAY View, customers can also track payment notifications and access precious as well as current bills.   

Is BPAY Instant?

Although offering huge convenience and simplicity, using BPAY doesn’t mean that payments go through instantly. The processing times are as follows:

BPAY processing times

There is some variation in the time it takes to process a BPAY payment. If the customer makes a payment using BPAY, the money will usually land in your account on the next business banking day. Some payments made before 6pm Sydney/Melbourne time, and when Sydney or Melbourne banks can make the settlement, are processed on the same day, but payments made after 6pm or on the weekend or a public holiday will take a day to land.   

Although these times apply to ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac, the precise details may vary for some other financial bodies, so customers should always check with the bank they use.  

How can GoCardless help?

When you partner with GoCardless, you can enjoy the benefits of BPAY seamlessly, as well as working with other payment options. We facilitate Becs Direct Debit to collect recurring payments in a manner which is secure, simple to use and customer-friendly. We also offer the innovative PayTo system, which provides an instant form of Direct Debit combining reduced fees with seamless integration with your existing software and third-party apps.

Over 70,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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