BPay Broodings

BPay vs. EFT (direct electronic deposit into a club's bank account) . It seems like a no-brainer. Majestri charges a full 3.3% for one (BPay), and there's no charge at all for the other (EFT).

From a few years worth of observation, clubs initially disable BPay and enable EFT. After maybe the second year of using operation, they switch them over. We hear your gasp of disbelief. Why would they do that? Functionally, they are very similar things. An electronic deposit from a member's bank account into the club's bank account. With BPay, Majestri passes on the proceeds, but keeps 3.3% of it for themselves. Crazy; absolutely crazy!

But, is it? Let's delve into the BPay functionality a bit more.

How does BPay work?

If you're reading this, you've probably used BPay at some point in your personal life. It's a very convenient way of paying a bill online, especially if you're not comfortable using your credit card. But what happens on the other side of the fence; the Majestri side of fence.

For a given day, members across all of our clubs use BPay to pay their debts. For each invoice we issue, if BPay's enabled, the invoice has a BPay section printed on the footer. It contains a unique CRN (Customer Reference Number) that your member will enter when they make the payment.

Majestri gets sent two encrypted files by our bank (Bendigo Bank). We have to manually decrypt those files and then load the transaction file into the system. We locate each debt by using the CRN, and allocate the money to that debt.

Benefits of using BPay

In the section above, we described what happens from our point of view. One thing that should stand out is that you, the club, does not have to get involved in that process at all. Just like our credit card processing merchant, the system does all of the work tracking references and allocating money. It saves you a whole heap of time.

There is also a downside of EFT. Somebody on the committee has to manually reconcile the EFT deposits in the bank account with the outstanding debts in the system. Once they can match up a deposit to a debt, they can use the manual receipting function to square it all away. If there are no problems, then that doesn't really sound too bad.

It's never that easy though. Instead of just entering a BPay CRN (the last number on a BPay CRN is what is called a 'checksum'. It validates that the customer has entered a valid CRN), members have to enter BSB numbers, account numbers, and then make sure they copy their payment reference exactly. If they get either of the first two wrong, the money doesn't end up in the club's account. If they get the last one wrong, it may take you quite a while to track down just who the heck put $450 into your club account with the reference "Rego Fees". You'll spend the next week sending emails and making phone calls trying to figure out who it was.

Passing on the BPay charges

We get asked about this a bit for clubs who recognise that BPay is a better option than EFT. The fact is that attempting to pass on BPay charges has the potential to create a paradox which may spell the end of humanity as we know it. Consider this.....

Somebody registers and decides to pay by BPay. The invoice may have some rubbish about a surcharge, but they ignore it. They just pay their fees. We get sent the file by the bank described in an earlier section. We find their entry in it, and add an extra invoice for the BPay surcharge. The member didn't pay the BPay surcharge, so while their first debt was finalised, they now have a new one. When you go to chase them up for that debt, they may decide to pay once again by BPay. Again, they neglect to tack on the surcharge......ad infinitum. At some point in this recursive loop, reality disappears into a singularity and all existence ends.

As I've tried to highlight with light humour and creative writing, the BPay charge is nigh on impossible to pass on.

Closing Arguments

The BPay facility has a lot of merit. It is way more foolproof than EFT and cuts down on volunteer time and effort. Consider this.....

If the only payment options you allowed were credit card and BPay, the money allocation side of things would all be handled by the Majestri system, and not your poor volunteers.
© Majestri Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Australia.