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By Richard Mills, Director of Business Development, Interac Corp.

With the impact of the pandemic continuing to be felt across Canada, the subsequent fallout for the restaurant industry and customer habits have been overwhelming. The industry has forged a different and unexpected path with resilient business models set in place. These business models were part of the initial pandemic survival response and have transformed into everyday practices. A key driver for these changes were consumer behaviours and the new ways through which Canadians are interacting with restaurants, as well as businesses at large. Many are reducing their use of cash as a payment method and are relying instead on digital payments.

Another noticeable change is the day-to-day financial management that previously involved processes that were paper-based, cheque-driven and manual. These are typically slow and inefficient ways of working and require businesses to spend valuable resources processing and reconciling payments. To help boost overall operational efficiency, the restaurant industry is turning to innovative business payment solutions, such as Interac e-Transfer® for Business available with participating financial institutions. This payment solution offers higher transaction limits up to $25,000 depending on your financial institution, real-time money transfers with real-time confirmation and rich remittance data, allowing businesses to reconcile transactions with less paperwork. In other words, it can help streamline accounting processes and accelerate a paperless office strategy. For those in the restaurant or franchise businesses specifically, this could provide them the ability to make just-in-time supplier payments as these payments would be confirmed and deposited within as little as five seconds, minimizing the likelihood of late payments and maximizing eligibility for supplier discounts. Further, businesses could settle bill payments for regular expenses such as rent or utilities more efficiently.

If you’re managing a dine-in restaurant…

It could mean the ability to manage payroll or gratuity payouts in real-time, with employees receiving payments or tip-outs at the end of shift, maximizing cash-flow for the employee and employer alike with flexible routing options. These payments could also be made using an email, SMS, or account number. In practice, the flexibility of Interac e-Transfer for Business has shown to meet a variety of payment needs when used.

If your establishment relies on takeout and delivery…

Interac e-Transfer made it easy for a Canadian restaurant to collect food delivery payments while simultaneously serving the needs of their tax-exempt customers. Given some third-party food delivery apps were unable to remove sales tax from orders at present, the restaurant of a local inn signed up to receive Interac e-Transfer to offer a payment solution to their customers. By enabling the service, they were able to receive payments instantly while serving the unique needs of their community.

If you focus on supply chain…

Receiving payments instantly can be a game changer if a business is largely reliant on cheques, as there can often be uncertainty around whether a cheque will clear or when it will arrive in the mail. This is exactly the case for one Canadian food co-op which deals with customers that pay for products upon delivery via cash or cheque. With Interac e-Transfer, the co-op is now able to receive payment instantly before delivering their product to customers, reducing the number of cheques and cash they receive, as well as eliminating the risk of undelivered inventory. With the rich remittance data Interac e-Transfer for Business allows, a supply chain could also request helpful information like the product expiry date along with the payment to further streamline the delivery experience by using Interac e-Transfer for Business Request Money.

Getting paid quickly means money arrives in the bank quickly, which helps improve cash flow. In a recovery-focused economy, these examples demonstrate that the demand for digital payment options like Interac e-Transfer within the restaurant industry will only accelerate.


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®Interac, Interac e-Transfer and the Interac logo are registered trademarks of Interac Corp. Used under license

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