What is the National Payments Plan?

The National Payments Plan (NPP) was created to help Ireland move away from cash and cheques towards electronic payments, such as debit cards and electronic banking. It is expected that such changes will create savings for our economy of around €1 billion annually. The NPP was created, and is organised, by a committee comprising consumers, businesses, Government, banks and the Central Bank. It will help make our economy more competitive, efficient and secure in the process.

What is e-Day?

September 19th 2014 is e-Day. From this day Government departments, local councils and other public sector bodies will stop sending or accepting cheques to and from businesses. This should also encourage small and medium sized businesses – who rely most on paper transactions - to switch from cheques to e-payments.

Why are e-payments better for business?

e-payments are the safer, faster way for businesses to make and take payments. And e-payments are cheaper too. Typically, between Stamp Duty and bank charges, each cheque costs business over €1. And that's before you pay for the stamp to post it! However, an e-payment such as a direct debit costs about 20 cent or less. Of course, bank charges do vary, so check with your bank and see how much your business could save by switching to e-payments.

Other benefits of e-payments include:

  • Better traceability. No more “the cheque’s in the post” excuses.
  • Better transparency. Minimises the shadow economy.
  • Better cashflow. Quicker payments are better for every business.

What do I need to do now?

First, check how each public sector body you deal with will make and receive payments after e-Day. This will be Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT), direct debits or card payments. You will need your system to match theirs, and it is something your bank or payment service provider can help you with. If your business can't switch to e-payments before e-Day, contact the relevant public sector body to discuss your options.

Who can help?

Your bank or payment service provider will be able to give you all the help you need.