Payment processing for Australian businesses has both never been so easy and never been so vital. As the economy has become more and more digital, there has been significant transformation in the payment processing landscape. This has been fuelled not just by the extensive advancements in technology but also in the changing preferences of consumers and customers.

There is a lot to cover when it comes to business payment processing, but to help you approach this topic as a small to medium-sized business we’ve put together this starter’s guide. 

Understanding Payment Processing

As far as definitions go, the term payment processing refers to the mechanism used by a business to securely accept and manage the payments coming from customers or clients for products or services provided.

These processes and mechanisms can involve multiple steps and various authorisation, authentication or settlement requirements. Depending on the nature of your business your payment processing system may be more or less complicated.

For example, those companies operating in the business-to-consumer (B2C) space will likely have more straightforward methods for payment processing than those operating business-to-business (B2B). Likewise, businesses involved in international trade (whether importing or exporting) will need to approach their payment processing differently as well.

Challenges for Australian Businesses

Additionally, there are some unique challenges facing an Australian business when it comes to payment processing.


The risk of cybersecurity and fraud remains a constant threat to Australian businesses.


There are strict regulations outlining everything from payment terms to data security which every company needs to comply with.


Currency conversion and the fluctuating value of the Australian dollar is an important consideration for businesses dealing with international customers or involved in international trade.

Transaction Costs

Payment processing fees can bring down a business’s profits and can be especially impactful on small and medium businesses. 

B2C Payment Processing

In the current business landscape in Australia, there are diverse and dynamic payment processing options. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages which could more or less suit particular businesses.

Some examples include:

  • Card Networks – Credit and debit cards are the most common ways for consumers to process payments with a business. The major card networks, such as Mastercard and Visa, offer convenient and manageable payment processing for businesses and is a staple for precisely that reason.
  • Mobile Payments – The rise of the smartphone has given life to a new form of payment: Mobile apps. Apple, Google and Samsung Pay are all new and seamless ways for businesses to process consumer payments.
  • Online Payment – From PayPal to Square, there are multiple secure and innovative new ways for businesses to conduct online payment transfers. These are only growing in sophistication, offering and convenience.
  • Direct Bank Transfers – The shift towards online banking primarily has increased the popularity of direct bank transfers and the reliance on digital wallets for business payment transactions.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later – Also referred to as BNPL for short, Buy Now, Pay Later is an alternate form of the above payment processes where consumers pay for their products in installments split over a period of time.

B2B Payment Processing

Businesses operating in the B2B space have unique challenges that require some more consideration to how they process payments.

Complex Payment Terms

Compared to the B2C market, B2B transactions typically have more intricate payment terms and include more negotiation. Without careful management to ensure timely payment, the delays associated with some payment terms can cause cash flow issues.

Invoice Disputes

The more complex the payment processing system and terms the more likely that discrepancies or disputes over services rendered and payments due will arise. This can affect cash flow significantly.

System Integration

As businesses grow the payment and accounting systems used for processing payment need to scale accordingly. This can cause complexity to be built into the system in everything from accurate bookkeeping to financial reporting. 

Manual Processes

Payment processes that are still conducted manually cause inefficiency in work and increase the risk of potential errors which is not ideal for a business looking to grow and succeed.

Managing Cash Flow

Managing cash flow for a commercial business is critical. Irregular or unreliable processing systems can cause instability by affecting the flow of capital in (and out) of a business.

The Role of Invoice Finance 

Invoice finance is a financial instrument that provides capital upfront for a business by leveraging the value locked in outstanding invoices. For business-to-business companies this customisable solution can address some unique challenges regarding payment processing. 

1. Access to Working Capital

As mentioned above, outstanding invoices can be subject to delays caused by the payment terms and the processing systems. With invoice finance, these delays can be circumvented through converting the outstanding invoices into cash through the loan provided by a financial lender.

2. Fast Cash Flow

Unlike other traditional loans from banks and lenders, invoice finance is fast, flexible and easy to access. This ensures payment delays any payment delays you may be subject to won’t impact the steady and reliable cash flow coming into the business.

3. Financial Predictability

Invoice finance can be used when and where it’s needed. This allows companies to make sure their cash flow is predictable and suitable for their operational and/or growth needs.

4. Fuels Growth

Your payment processes shouldn’t be holding back your growth. With reliable cash flow from invoice finance, your business can take advantage of opportunities presented by the market to grow.

Let’s explore how we can streamline your business’s payment processes

The ScotPac team are experienced experts in more than just tailoring invoice finance solutions for our clients. If your business is experiencing cash flow management issues related to or distinct from payment processing, make sure to reach out to the team today for a one-on-one consultation