Going Cashless? 3 Free Simple Key Must-Know Electronic Payment

Thanks to booming technology and the wide use of smartphones and laptops, it’s so simple and easy to go cashless with various electronic payment options. 

Electronic payment is any kind of non-cash payment that doesn’t involve a paper check. Methods of electronic payments include credit cards, debit cards, and the ACH (Automated Clearing House) network. The ACH system comprises direct deposit, direct debit, and electronic checks (e-checks). 

Types Of Electronic Payment Transaction

There are three types of transactions related to electronic payments. 

1. The one-time customer-to-vendor payment 

This method is used when customers shop online at an e-commerce site, such as Amazon. They click on the shopping cart icon, type in their credit card information, and click on the checkout button. The site processes the credit card information and sends out an e-mail notifying that the payment was received. On some websites, the customers can use an e-check instead of a credit card. To pay by e-check, they type in their account number and their bank’s routing number. The vendor authorizes a payment through the customer’s bank, which then either initiates an electronic funds transfer (EFT) or prints a check and mails it to the vendor.

2. The recurring customer-to-vendor payment 

This method is used when customers pay a bill through a regularly scheduled direct debit from their checking account or an automatic charge to their credit card. This type of payment plan is often offered by car insurance companies, phone companies, and loan management companies. Additionally, long-term contracts normally require this type of automated payment schedule such as gym memberships. 

3. Automatic bank-to-vendor payment 

This method can only be used when customers’ banks offer a service called online bill pay. Customers log on to their bank’s website, enter the vendor’s information and authorize the bank to electronically transfer money from their account to pay their bill. In most cases, customers can choose whether to do this manually for each billing cycle or have their bills automatically paid on the same day each month.

Benefits of Electronic Payment

1. General benefits
  • Complete and develop e-commerce: In many different ways, online payment can perfect e-commerce in the true sense of online transactions. With safe and convenient e-commerce payment, the development of global commerce is inevitable for a large and constantly increasing population.
  • Increase the circulation of money and goods: Electronic payment helps the payment process to be quick and safe, ensuring the interests of all parties, and minimizing risks.
  • Modernize the payment system: Electronic payment creates a new kind of money (Cryptocurrency) that not only satisfies banks but also meets the needs of buying ordinary goods. The transaction process is simple, fast, and transaction costs are significantly reduced.
2. Benefits for banks and businesses
  • Increase revenue: Electronic payment not only helps to expand the customer system but also increases access to the world market. Additionally, it helps to get more sales from existing customers and other value-creating services.
  • Reduce business costs, selling expenses, transaction costs, and at the same time increase business efficiency.
  • Reduce office costs, shorten operation time, standardize procedures, improve the ability to search and process documents.
  • Reduce staff costs, reduce sales and marketing costs.
  • Expand the market through electronic payment methods. Banks, instead of spending more money to open branches, can provide Internet Banking services to expand the scope of service provision.
  • Diversification of services and products: Banks can develop and provide new services to customers such as phone banking, home banking, Internet banking, money transfer, withdrawal, automatic payment.
  • Implement the globalization strategy without having to open more branches, saving money, and serving a larger customer base.
  • Trade promotion, brand promotion to the world: Through electronic payment, banks and businesses can post all financial information for foreigners to know, in order to increase their brand’s value. Intellectual properties and services serve the purpose of advertising promotion.
  • Facilitate the establishment and strengthen business relationships.
  • Create conditions to spread and popularize images and product brands with international customers.
3. Benefits for Customers
  • Fast, convenient: This is probably the first benefit to mention of the electronic payment method. In the past, to top up a phone, top up a game card, and pay the utility bills, customers had to go to a store or to a specific address to pay. Now, with just a computer or smartphone connected to the Internet, customers can pay for everything 24/7.
  • Save cost and time: Not only fast and convenient but an online payment service also helps to save money and time. Customers just need to sit at home, perform a few simple steps and it’s done. Moreover, online payment services at banks often apply promotions to help customers enjoy the best service at the cheapest price.
  • Information security: Online payment service providers all have the best information security mechanism for customers. So customers don’t need to worry about their account information being leaked out. Compared to using cash, online payment is much safer and more secure.
  • Flexible payment: Customers are provided with many different payment methods such as e-wallets, domestic bank accounts, international cards, making it more convenient to make online payments according to their needs. 

Disadvantages of Electronic Payment

Besides the benefits and advantages, electronic payment methods also have certain disadvantages such as:

  • Tampering and technical risks: Nowadays, counterfeiting is becoming more and more sophisticated and is an organized activity. Although the number of forgery cases did not increase much, the size of each case increased by a large amount. This is a potential risk for banks and their customers.
  • Need reinforcement and vigilance from many sides: Experts say that the risk of information insecurity coming from devices connected to the Internet is increasing. Therefore, customers themselves need to pay attention to strange points in cash machines, card machines, When using e-wallets, Internet Banking, users need to pay attention to their devices with programs installed. anti-virus program or not, be careful not to click on strange links.

Above are the key benefits of electronic payment methods. Hopefully, the article has brought you a lot of useful information.

We would love to hear your thoughts and questions on electronic payment in the comment section below.

Amazing Ultimate Guide To Effective Family Finance Management

Every family needs a good guide on how to manage finances. This helps the family not to spend more than they make and not to be in debt. Let’s have a look at the 5 management principles and 5 common mistakes in managing the family’s finances, as well as 8 secret tips to effectively improve your management.

5 Important Principles In Family Finance Management

1. Transparency

When living in the same house, using separate sources of income will get newlyweds into trouble. To avoid arising awkward situations later, the couple should disclose all sources of income, expenditure, and debt (if any) of themselves to each other.

This helps the couple to grasp the current family financial situation. After that, it is easy to distinguish common and separate financial resources and plan family financial management.

2. Create a detailed spending plan

To make a complete and detailed spending plan, couples should list and classify their expenses and the proportion of each expenditure on income.

Here is the principle of the 6 jars, considered the golden formula for effective spending management, introduced by author T. Harv Eker in the book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. The 6 main jars represent the 6 main expenses of a family. Eker shows the proportion of expenses in income as the chart below.

Divide income into small amounts for better control of personal and family finances.

Divide income into small amounts for better control of personal and family finances.

Newlyweds can also adopt more optimal spending methods, such as buying in bulk (in bulk). To do this, you should refer to more companies following the Groupon model (Groupon = Group + Coupon). These companies encourage many people to form groups, buy the same items offered on the website to receive preferential prices, helping you save more money.

3. Monitor your budget periodically

After you have a detailed spending plan, you need to keep a close eye on your expenses. This helps your family not to be “excessive” when spending beyond the plan.

This monitoring is as important as planning. Because, if you make a plan without doing it right, the plan will be thrown away!

We recommend using a notebook or software to track your family’s income and expenditure.

4. Financial dispute resolution

In addition to understanding each other’s spending habits, the couple should also discuss and agree more on resolving financial disagreements if any in the future. The principle of equality and sharing should be put first.

5. Saving and investing continuously

Saving

Every family will have a lot of emergency situations that they themselves do not anticipate. At that time, the savings will be the lifeline for the couple. In addition, these savings can serve many different purposes such as buying big assets, seizing new opportunities, ensuring children’s education…

The savings that each person should set aside each month is usually 20% of income, like the 6 jar model that we introduced to you above.

Invest

Saving is definitely necessary and then investing, why is it important?

Surely you are not familiar with the concept of money making money anymore, right? Investing is one of the fastest ways to make money. This is an additional source of passive income for the family, you can use the income from investments to cover your married life, save or reinvest.

Only relying on fixed income sources is too difficult for husband and wife to balance income and expenditure, especially in urgent situations.

5 Common Mistakes In Managing Family Finance

1. No clear plan

No financial management plan will easily lead to uncontrolled spending, no reserve fund for the future, especially for children. In addition, in emergencies, the family will become troubled, which can cause disagreement within the family.

2. Do not track and manage expenses

Many families are subjective with monitoring and managing expenses or completely rely on the balance of the wife. There are many ways to monitor, it is important that the couple know how to work on this task together. Since we are living in the era of technology, let’s get used to monitoring and managing with utilities or software (apps) on phones for the whole families.

3. Disagreement on habits and spending

“You spend your sugar, I spend my sugar” or “you have to give me all the money to keep, it’s forbidden to have a separate fund”. Mistake!

Being too financially independent will be difficult to use for common purposes, or when there is urgent joint work, both husband and wife are not available. The lack of a separate account interferes with the other party in social communication, now going out without money is very difficult to manage.

Understanding the spending habits and needs of the other person to make it easier to set up a general fund, a separate account, then making a plan to manage family finance are all equally important.

4. No division of financial responsibilities in the family

Most of the couples 8x and earlier, the husband working, the housewife is the model, the division of financial responsibilities in the family is very easy. The husband is responsible for the family’s income. The wife is in charge of spending so that the expenses are appropriate and there is a reserve fund.

Nowadays, most couples have their own source of income. The sharing of financial responsibilities between husband and wife, if not clear, will easily lead to an urgent need for money without any available money because both have used up their income.

5. No reserve fund

Saving is extremely important. Read also the 5th principle above to find out why. Don’t fall into an unwanted debt situation because of a lack of reserve funds.

8 Tips To Effectively Manage Family Finance

1. Have a family expenses plan

Let’s start with planning. The monthly expenses should be less than the couple’s income. Planning will help you determine if you can eliminate unnecessary and wasteful expenses for your family.

2. Please consider carefully before buying

Before you buy anything, check prices and quality in many places to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Do not forget to read the reviews of the users first, then choose a reputable brand and address.

3. Take time to discuss with family

Take time to talk to family members about budgets and household expenses. Check that your current budget fits what you need to spend. Discuss removing unnecessary items or add if necessary.

4. Have a financial goal

Next, you need to set a financial goal to decide and organize the plan. Based on that, you will determine what needs to be prioritized and closely monitor your financial funds to achieve your goals.

5. Don’t ignore the extra costs

You should not only focus on the fixed monthly expenses but ignore the costs incurred. Each month, you will have different needs. For example, during Tet, you need to increase spending on house cleaning, clothes, food, fun activities, lucky money, etc. And the budget for this must be properly allocated.

6. Spend with purpose

Before spending money on anything, ask yourself what is the purpose: “Why buy this product?”, “Why pay for this service?”. Analyze the reason for each expense to make sure you’re on track for your goals.

7. Saving with a purpose

Just like spending, you should find a reason to save. If you know why you have to save (buy a house, buy a car, etc.), you will easily resist the urge to spend money.

8. Monitor your credit report monthly

Every month, you should take the time to go through your credit report. Be wary of credit loans because if you don’t pay attention, you will borrow more than you can afford.

Best Productivity Tips For Finance Professionals In Creative Business

Are you a creator who runs your own business? Or are you dreaming of joining the dynamic world of the creative economy, turning your ideas into a solid career? 

The thought of being able to pursue your passion and above all, make a living from it sounds indeed intriguing, but being self-employed has never been a rosy path for even the most enthusiastic and determined people. Many have been taking on the challenge only to find out that there is too much on their plate, and their creative processes are interrupted by the overwhelming amount of administrative work, including raising business funds, planning and allocating your budget, and accounting. 

Yes, financial management matters, no matter what kind of business you are in and however you would like to prioritize your creation. It also goes without saying that good financial management requires productivity, in both how it is productively practiced and contributes to productive outcomes of the business. This article provides useful tips on how to do finances with efficiency, so you will never have to slow down at your creative work.

What is productivity? And why is it important for your business?

Before digging in the ways to improve your financial management performance, it is necessary to be clear about the meaning of productivity in this context. Does it mean less time and effort are spent in completing one product, thus increasing the number of products created in a specific amount of time as we normally understand it? If this is the case, then what counts as a complete product? Should product quantity or quality be of more concern when we deal with raising productivity? 

You may or may not consider these rather theoretical questions before, but probably on some occasions you have found yourself snowed under with work, trying to multitask to save time but felt nothing is done at the end of the day. At times you may have difficulties in overcoming procrastination because it seems impossible to tackle any task without knowing the full list of what ought to be done and in which order. It is just like you are going to prepare a complicated dish but do not know the required ingredients or the cooking steps, so you eventually give up and seek easier options such as eating out or online delivery. These alternatives work well as short-term solutions, however, they often come at a cost (unless you can ask someone to do the cooking for you voluntarily for free!) that is not friendly to those with limited budgets.

Working productively, therefore, means you have to go through all the possible solutions in order to balance out the cost – benefit scale, that is, to come up with “an ultimate recipe” which can help you make use of your existing resources for business development. Moreover, it is through this process of weighing options that you can stay focused on the set goals while keeping good eyes on the current situation. Everything is in check, so you will also have better chances of successfully handling unexpected events and investing in your business system to improve the value of your products.

Creative businesses and the role of financial management

For creative business owners, the range of their products seems endless. Art-based enterprises, including art workshops, music publishers, companies working in the fields of film, design and architecture are among the first that may come across our mind. 

Nowadays, in the era of technology, creation can take various forms and shapes, from the computer software that is being used for writing this article to several multimedia applications which are becoming essential in everyday communication. Although the boundaries of creative businesses have been broadened than ever before, what they have in common is that they create products on the basis of intellectual capital.

At first, it may be hard to imagine the link between creative work and financial management if you associate the former with innovative, out-of-the-box thinking and the latter with matter-of-fact figures that spare little room for any adventurous idea. Here we are not implying that a talented artist cannot have a niche for numbers or vice versa (which is a huge misunderstanding because many of them are), but it is equally true that keeping track of income and expenditure, cash flow, and balance sheet is not normally one’s priority when creative time alone seems insufficient. Still, no one can deny the significance of good finance managing practices in any business, and creative corporations or even individuals are no exception.

First, it always helps to have a realistic picture of your business performance, and an understanding of the financial situation is crucial in this regard. Is your business making good profits? When and where is the money going in and out? What is the status quo of your enterprise in terms of assets and liabilities? Such questions should be asked frequently and the answers are to be sought carefully if the managers want their business to be sustainable.

 Working for passion is one thing, but creative business owners may need to keep their feet on the ground when it comes to finances. Individual artists and designers who run their own businesses, start-ups, or small and mid-sized enterprises (SME) which can’t afford a team of financial professionals ought to look even closer into monetary matters, making sure that all the costs needed to create their products are calculated and taken into account. Don’t overlook any unpaid labor or external subsidies involved in the production process if you want to keep things in order or simply to charge the right price for your creation.

Second, proper financial management is an essential factor to attract investment. There is no doubt that investors want to make sure their money is in good hands and their trust will have certain rewards in return, be it financially, socially or both. One of the most straightforward ways to prove the profitability of your business (or at least, its potential) is to provide investors with a well-planned financial statement which shows how you are managing your budget to make a profit. In the case of digital fund-raising financed by crowd or fans that are being used by many creative businesses at present, it is even more important to convince the investors – future customers that you are making good use of their support to create quality products.

5 Tips on productive financial management 

Now is the time for us to see financial management from a more ‘creative’ perspective. What can be done to innovate unproductive accounting practices that result in loss of time, money, and energy? The following 5 productivity tips are basic steps that any creative business can apply.

1. Use time wisely

Freelance artists or business managers, accountants or chief finance officials (CFOs), regardless of your position and workload, you are equal before time. Some people try to multitask to get ahead in the race against time while others take time to figure out their priorities – what urgent and important jobs they should do first and in what order. Do you see yourself in either type? Have you ever thought that you can save a lot of time by spending time on planning? Start with making your daily schedule which focuses on critical work items and seriously stick to it, you will see a whole difference in how setting a time limit for yourself can improve productivity. Self-reward when necessary, but also don’t go easy on yourself if the ‘deadlines’ are missed. 

2. Teamwork

Humans are the capital of creative businesses, and this is true in the case of financial professionals as well. The ideal is that everyone in the team should be building their capability over time and establish effective communication that enables them to exchange ideas and cooperate with each other to complete a task. However, in reality, it may be just as important to delegate because no one can handle everything at once. Rather than sacrifice your time to answer all the clients’ email or meticulously classify receipts and invoices, again, you’d better do high-priority tasks such as writing a good audit report or double check on the calculations and collected data for your financial plan.

3. Optimize tools

Financial and accounting platforms and tools have been introduced and utilized in recent years to free up labor wasted on repetitive, time-consuming tasks in financial processes. Far gone are the days when accountants had to manually input and categorize data since digital technologies and automation have been transforming the way things used to be operated, faster and with fewer errors. But that doesn’t mean there is no room for boosting productivity. In order to take full advantage of the existing tools, the key lies in developing the skills and knowledge of their users – financial staff. It will be such a waste if they aren’t aware of all the functions of the softwares they are using or don’t keep up with the updated features that can help them work more productively. As the saying goes, “Knowledge is power”, learning to become an expert in your field and you won’t have to worry about being replaced by new technologies!

4. Embrace change 

Enhanced productivity is the result of changes, not only in terms of implemented methods but also about adopting a forward-thinking attitude that welcomes innovations. As financial professionals, are you curious enough to question how things work the way they do? Are you willing to risk breaking down the routine to adopt a new approach which may increase efficiency but is likely to cause disruptions to the current system? If the answers to these above questions are ‘yes’, then you are having the right mindset to initiate changes and take on the challenges that follow. The reward for those who are ready to embrace changes is definitely worth all the effort. And remember that you are not alone in this transformative process. For example, receipt scanning and expense tracking services offered by Shoeboxed can relieve your burden of keeping and sorting out tons of paper bills, saving a great deal of time when there is a need to retrieve and organize data. Shoeboxed has different plans to cater for enterprises of all sizes, so this is perfect for start-up creative businesses which are often run by a small number of people with little accounting experience.

5. Experiment

How can you know which part of the financial system and processes need to improve its productivity? What might be the productivity techniques that are suitable for your business? Just following the trend and applying new tools randomly before thoroughly examining their potential effects and preparing for necessary interventions may lead to counterproductive results. But even the most cautious minds can’t foresee all scenarios, and despite that, we shall continue to learn from failures, test and retest available productivity solutions. In this long-run experiment, it is advisable that every detail in the workflow be kept record of so that important information is not going to be lost in the transition. Moreover, by doing so, it will be easier to identify the gaps in the system where efficiency can be further improved to optimize workflows, raising overall business performance. With Shoeboxed, you can experience all our amazing features such as digitizing data from receipts and business cards, or creating customized expense reports for free in one month before making your choice. See more on our website https://www.shoeboxed.com/

Conclusion

Creative businesses and other enterprises alike can enjoy tremendous benefits from productivity management that facilitates strategy execution and cost – profit management. Financial professionals, thus, should also play an active role in making financial functions and processes more time and cost effective. Productive financial management practices can start with 5 basic tips which have been discussed above: Use time wisely, Teamwork, Optimize tools, Embrace changes, and Experiment. 

Has any point mentioned in these tips been on your mind lately? Which tips are you interested in or have applied in your business? Share with us your thoughts and stories in the comment ??