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  • Electronic payment systems

    Electronic transactions are becoming increasingly popular, and more consumers now expect the convenience of being able to pay by card.

    Electronic payment systems allow your customers to pay for your goods or services electronically, and include:

    • tap-and-go (contactless) payments
    • credit and debit cards
    • EFTPOS
    • online payments
    • smart phone and tablet card processing.

    Offering electronic payments will make it easier for your customers by giving them an extra option to pay.

    How to choose

    There are many options available in the market, so there will be one that suits your business' needs. Here are some things to consider:

    • how your customers want to pay – the use of cards or contactless payments are growing
    • initial cost of the system – some can be purchased outright, others can cost less than $10 a week
    • transaction fees – some may charge a flat fee, others may charge a percentage for certain types of transactions
    • how easy it is for you and your staff to use
    • whether it can be integrated with your record keeping or other business systems.

    There are plenty of options out there; you may want to talk to other business owners, your local small business association or financial institution to find out more.

    Cost of transactions

    You may choose to pass on the cost of certain transactions as a payment surcharge, but remember, you are only allowed to charge customers what is allowed by the Reserve Bank of Australia. Since 1 September 2017, all businesses (regardless of their size) are banned from imposing excessive payment surcharges.


    There are many advantages of electronic payment systems; some businesses have even become entirely cashless. Benefits can include:

    • less admin and paperwork
    • being more cost effective per transaction (tap-and-go payments cost nine cents less than cash payments)
    • saving time and money per transaction (cash transactions cost 2.5% more when you include the time it takes to complete each transaction, balance the till and take money to the bank)
    • reducing the risk of external and employee theft (card payments reduce mistakes and minimise security risks – cash businesses are more appealing targets for thieves)
    • quicker transaction times for your customers (a tap-and-go payment takes on average about 20 seconds whereas a cash payment takes 38 seconds)
    • convenience for your customers (not everyone will always have enough cash to pay for your goods or services – make it easier for potential customers).

    See also:

    Last modified: 28 Nov 2019QC 55934