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e-Day, launched in September 2013 and one of the key pillars of the The National Payments Plan, comes into effect today. e-Day is a government directive whereby from September 19th 2014 (today!), Government Departments, Local Authorities and State Agencies will no longer use cheques in their dealings with businesses and all payments will be paid electronically.

A key driver is to improve cost competitiveness and security and deliver greater choice for consumers in Ireland. By deploying electronic payment facilities this will lead to a reduction in the proportion of transactions involving cash and cheques. The knock on effect of this change from cash and cheque to electronic transfer as a preferred method of payment is that it will reduce the bank charges’ cost base for the business sector. It will also speed up the payment process which is proven to have a positive impact on cash-flow.

e-Day is a welcome government-led initiative and besides the much trumpeted projected savings of €1 billion the real effect is that it will assist small businesses by ensuring that issued invoices are paid quicker. With the benefits of online invoicing added in, the positive cash-flow implications for small businesses can’t be underestimated and that is a most welcome government initiative.

As mentioned above e-Day is one of the key pillars; there are others and the National Payments Plan published by the Central Bank in August 2013 encapsulates those pillars in its vision for payments which are listed as follows:

• Electronic forms of payment will be universally accepted, and be the preferred payment choice  for most;
• Irish consumers and businesses will have access to the advantages of the most innovative  payment methods, and the knowledge and confidence to fully utilise them;
• Payment systems will be robust and reliable;
• Pricing for payments will foster the migration from cash and cheques to cards and electronic  payments;
• Cash will remain a widely used method of payment, and must be provided in an efficient, secure  manner;
• Cheque usage will fall, though will remain available to those who wish to use them, and  consumers will not be obliged to discontinue using them

e-Day is a great day for small businesses that regularly deal with state agencies.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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