From XU Magazine, 
Issue 19

Shieldpay: certainty of payment Know you’re getting paid, even before the job is done

At Shieldpay, we know that sometimes, getting paid is the hardest part. Certainty of payments is still one of the key issues for small businesses and their accountants alike. So what solution are to hand to help you fight late payment – or to fight fraudsters targeting your business?
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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At Shieldpay, certainty of payment is core to our mission – we protect both sides of any transaction by verifying the identity of both sides. Funds are held securely in escrow – the Shieldpay vault – and are only released when both sides agree they’re happy. We’re here to make getting paid more secure, more transparent and more efficient than ever before. And in today’s current climate – unfortunately, the costs continue to grow.

Late payment costs the UK £2bn every year

The average small business in the UK is owed nearly £25,000 in late invoices. Tallied up across the year, late payments end up costing small businesses £2bn annually.

What’s more, the UK will lose £1bn to fraudsters this year

With online fraud as much as £11bn annually and payment fraud increasing by 53% year on year, payment fraud is clearly a costly issue – and it’s continuing to grow.

UK consumers and businesses alone with lose £1bn this year to fraudsters when making payments from their bank accounts – a cost that can be entirely avoided with the right secure payment tools in place.

By verifying the identity of both sides of any transaction with bank grade security checks – Know Your Customers/Know Your Business and PEPs and sanctions checks – both buyer and seller can be confident in who they’re dealing with – that they are who they say they are, and that they a genuine person, or legitimate business.

One of our power users, from Harwood, has experienced these issues first hand

Launched in 2009, Harwood provide bespoke financial management solutions; all the way from bookkeeping to financial director services.

“We act as the financial cornerstone for all of their clients. We partner with Xero [and their apps] to provide our clients with all the benefits of real time financial reporting, in a user-friendly format.”

The challenge of cash collection

Harwood notes that cash collection is a common challenge for many clients – both in terms of ensuring customers pay to terms, as well as having the confidence to win and deal with new customers with the knowledge that payment won’t be an issue.

A question of trust

Harwood have a strong focus on embedding tech solutions to drive further efficiencies for their clients, and ultimately free up more time for value added activities.

“While technology has helped to massively improve the efficiency of many of our business processes, getting paid from clients, particularly when the relationship is new can still be a slow process.”

Total confidence

Many accountants are understandably weary of recommending apps and solutions to their clients, until they’re tried and tested, but as Will has experienced first-hand, “the platform and support around it allows us to recommend [Shieldpay] as a payment solution with confidence, knowing that it will improve cash collection and business efficiency for our clients.”

In addition to Escrow…

In addition to Escrow, we can do the standard payment piece, too. Fast, direct payments for when you’re dealing with a trusted partner.  

We still verify both parties with our bank grade security checks, but the payment isn’t held in escrow – it’s passed straight through, like you’d be used to with other payment providers you might have used.

The payee will receive funds within 3 or 4 days of payment, rather than 8 to 10.  So, once you’ve dealt with a new partner – if you want to pay Direct, you have that option, too.

How does it work with Xero?

Shieldpay for Xero is a dedicated app that connects your Xero account with a Shieldpay account. Once you have linked your accounts you can use Shieldpay for Xero to set up fast, secure invoice payments.

  • Our ‘Pay with Shieldpay’ button will appear on your invoices.
  • You’ll be able to instantly accept and verify payments by card, bank app and bank transfer.
  • Your customers simply click the button and pay.
  • You’ll both be able to see the payment is held securely in escrow – the Shieldpay vault.
  • And when you’re both happy with the transaction, the payment is released with real-time payouts powered by Bank Transfer or Visa Direct – a fast, convenient and secure way to withdraw money to the cards you already carry.

With the funds held in Escrow until both sides are happy to release, both buyer and seller can enjoy total peace of mind in knowing they are protected by an independent third party – Shieldpay.

So, whether you’re a tradesperson, contractor, manufacturer or exporter with Shieldpay for Xero you can invoice for any size job over any period of time and have total confidence that you’ll receive payment on time, every time – with fast pay-outs when you’re done.

Why leave it there?

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