From e-shopping to e-banking, electronic commerce has changed the way most people do business in the twenty-first century, digital world. Very few consumers use cash to pay for their purchases today, and check writing is nearly a thing of the past. Most financial transactions occur through electronic banking systems that are completely monitored, making electronic payments a safer way to move money.
Electronic Payment Benefits
Once known as the National Automated Clearing House Association, NACHA is now called “The Electronic Payments Association.” According to this organization, businesses can save thousands of dollars a year when they make the switch from paper checks to electronic payments. Digital transactions save money and the environment, and NACHA created a calculator to help businesses track their savings and carbon footprints.
These days, electronic payments are not just for large companies and corporations. Digital commerce has many benefits for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs. In addition to cost savings and environmental benefits, electronic payments provide better security and convenience than cash or checks. Furthermore, they are accepted around the world.
Government Benefit Payments
The United States government recently adopted this digital trend. It now sends electronic payments to senior citizens, disabled veterans and other recipients of federal assistance. Social Security, Social Supplemental Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are the largest federal programs. They are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is another top provider of federal benefits. It provides disability compensation to disabled military veterans. Americans must meet certain criteria to qualify for financial benefits under any of these programs. Those who meet the requirements are likely to receive their benefits in electronic form.
According to “Fox Business News,” the United States government made the digital switch in March 2013. Most Americans today receive their benefits electronically. Paper checks have all but disappeared.
Electronic Payment Fears
When the federal government first extended benefits through electronic transactions, millions of citizens felt the impact. Although some people continue to receive paper checks, most of them receive their payments through direct bank deposits. The digital switch saved taxpayers more than $100 million a year, according to “Fox Business News.”
Electronic payments improve security, decrease fraud and eliminate paper check theft from mailboxes. However, it’s also a challenge for elderly Americans who find electronic ay
ments more confusing than traditional checks. Many senior citizens like to hold their Social Security checks in their hands, and the digital change causes them stress. Opening a bank account and enrolling in direct deposit is the easiest way to make the transition to electronic payments.
Some Closing Thoughts
It’s easy to see how technology shapes every aspect of life – for American citizens and for consumers around the world. Despite the familiarity and tradition, cash and paper checks have major limitations. Electronic transactions are now the norm. From debit, credit and prepaid cards to direct deposits and electronic funds transfer (EFT), digital transactions are the most practical way to move money and shop online.