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Accelerating cash flow in your SME through real-time payments

For many SMEs in the UK, cash flow is the lifeblood of their business. However, statistics reveal a concerning reality—a significant portion of SMEs struggle with maintaining a healthy cash flow. A 2023 report by Enterprise Research Centre found that one-third of UK SMEs have less than three months of cash reserves, leaving them vulnerable to even minor financial disruptions.

This is where real-time payments (RTP) can be a game-changer. Unlike traditional bank transfers, which can take days to clear, real-time transactions settle instantly, offering SMEs a powerful tool to accelerate their cash flow and navigate financial challenges more effectively.

Unlocking the power of OCTs

Real-time payments are often facilitated by a system called Original Credit Transactions (OCTs).  Imagine a scenario where your customer pays you for your product or service online.  With an OCT system, the funds are instantly credited to your designated account and are not held in limbo for days. This eliminates the waiting game and provides immediate access to your hard-earned revenue.

The significance of OCTs goes beyond speed.  They offer greater transparency in the payment process. You receive real-time transaction confirmation, eliminating the uncertainty associated with traditional transfers.

Additionally, OCTs enhance businesses’ financial liquidity by ensuring that funds are immediately available. This can be especially critical for smaller enterprises or startups that operate with tight cash flows and cannot afford to have capital tied up in processing transactions. With the immediate crediting of funds, businesses can more effectively manage their finances, respond to market demands more swiftly, and invest in growth opportunities without the typical delay associated with traditional payment methods. 

business owner celebrating customer conversion rate data insights ecommerce payments for their business

Streamlining funding transactions

Securing funding can be a time-consuming and frustrating experience for SMEs.  Traditional methods often involve lengthy applications, credit checks, and waiting periods before receiving the necessary funds. This delay can disrupt cash flow and hinder growth opportunities.

Real-time payments streamline funding transactions by enabling instant access to capital. Imagine needing funds to purchase inventory for a new order. With an RTP-enabled system, your lender can instantly transfer the approved amount to your account, allowing you to seize time-sensitive opportunities without cash flow limitations.

Pay by Bank and SEPA: Powering faster payments

Here are two prominent real-time payment solutions making waves in the UK and Europe:

  • Pay by Bank. This system allows customers to pay directly from their bank accounts to your business account instantly. It eliminates the need for debit or credit card processing fees and offers a secure and convenient way for customers to complete transactions.
  • SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area)SEPA allows instant Euro payments across borders within the participating countries for SMEs operating in the Eurozone. This eliminates currency conversion delays and simplifies international transactions, fostering growth in a globalised marketplace.

The impact of these real-time payment solutions on cash flow is undeniable.  Instant access to funds frees up working capital, allowing you to invest in your business, meet financial obligations promptly, and take advantage of unexpected opportunities.

Enhancing cash flow management

Beyond immediate access to funds, real-time payments offer additional benefits for cash flow management:

  • Simplified reconciliation processes.  Real-time settlements eliminate the need to wait for bank statements to reconcile your accounts. This saves valuable time and resources, allowing you to focus on core business activities.
  • Use of Merchant Payment AccountsThese accounts are specifically designed to receive payments from customers.  Real-time transfers ensure your merchant account reflects incoming funds instantaneously, providing a clear and accurate picture of your cash flow.
  • Reduced operational costs. Real-time payments can significantly lower the costs associated with payment processing by facilitating transactions that are processed immediately. Traditional payment methods often involve various fees, including those for transaction processing and account maintenance, which can accumulate and impact a business’s overall financial health. With real-time payments, these costs are minimised as the need for intermediaries is reduced, and transactions are streamlined. 

The Future is Real-Time

The future of payments is undoubtedly real-time.  As technology evolves, we can expect even faster and more secure payment solutions to emerge.  By embracing real-time payments today, SMEs can gain a significant competitive edge and navigate the ever-changing financial landscape with confidence.

Ready to unlock the power of real-time payments for your SME? Trust Payments offers a suite of secure and reliable online payment solutions, including real-time payment processing. Explore our offerings and learn how we can help you accelerate your cash flow and achieve your business goals.  

Security statement

Security is our top priority at Trust Payments and we strive to ensure that all data is kept secure at all times We keep all customer data safe with AES256 encryption, SSL Certificates, and a minimum of TLS1.2, between your website and our datacentres.

Our systems are scanned quarterly using the Qualys PCI Platform, an independent Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) and approved vendors – Omnicybersecurity (UK) & Forgenix (US) – to ensure compliance with the security requirements of the card schemes.

We follow a number of rigorous security procedures on a daily basis including, but not limited to, continuous monitoring of our perimeter, dark web monitoring, and internal checks to ensure that CIA triad is maintained at all times.

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