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Do you want to allow payment by POLi?
27 September 2017
Many organisations ask about options whether Events Pronto offer an option where people can pay by internet banking at the time of booking.  Effectively, people are looking for an option to:
  • Reduce the time spent chasing payments for membership fees and events.
  • Offer a ‘pay now’ option that doesn’t require a debit or credit card.
  • Achieve the time saving advantages of credit card payments, without the associated costs.
While Events Pronto do not offer this option currently, there is a service called POLi which may be of interest to some organisations.  If POLi sounds suitable for your club or business let us know and we will consider adding it as a payment option.
What is the cost?
According to the POLi website in September 2017 the price for POLi is 1% of the payment value, capped at $3.00 per transaction.  The price is certainly attractive when compared to credit card processing fees – a benchmark price for credit card processing in September 2017 is 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction.  Some Events Pronto users attract even better rates than this from their banks.
Who can use it?
If Events Pronto were to add POLi to the payment options, the organisations wanting to use it would need to register for the service online.   Your customers do not need to register with POLi.  They just need to have a bank account with one of the following banks:
  • ANZ
  • ASB
  • Bank Direct
  • BNZ
  • Kiwibank
  • TSB Bank
  • Westpac.
How does it work?
We noticed that Intercity offer payment by POLi, so we booked a bus to see what the experience would be for bookers.  Here’s how it went.
  1. When selecting payment methods we were offered the choice of Internet Banking (Pay with POLi).  
  2. After accepting the method we were asked to choose our bank.
  3. After selecting our bank we were asked to enter our banking details - customer number and password.
  4. We entered these details and were given the opportunity to choose which bank account the payment would be made from.
  5. We were then reminded of the transaction details and given the opportunity to Confirm, Cancel or Change account.
  6. Since we didn’t really need a bus ticket we cancelled at this point. If we had proceeded, we assume we would have recieved a confirmation screen like we do with credit card payments.
To POLi or not to POLi
After this experience the jury is still out on whether Events Pronto will add POLi as a payment option.  It certainly has some advantages for organisations:
  • It is less expensive than any credit card processing service we are aware of.
  • It means you can enforce payment at the time of booking without having a credit card processing service and/or as an option for those without credit or debit cards.
So why hesitate? 
The Events Pronto team have some questions about how popular this service will be with bookers.  Here are our concerns:
  • Although POLi is promoted as a secure service, according to Wikipedia some banks are warning clients not to use it.  No matter where the dust settles on that debate, we expect some people will have reservations about entering their bank account and password into a website.  Using POLi feels like it flies in the face of everything the banks tell us about keeping our username and password safe.
  • Chris has used POLi to make online bookings with Air New Zealand and recalls having some hesitation about using it.  She decided to go ahead since Air New Zealand was a trusted brand. 
  • People generally associate online booking with paying by credit card so are not likely to have their bank access details on hand.  Our Jenna knows her customer number by heart – but others of us don’t!  We had to go hunting around for it.
  • The process of paying by POLi took a lot longer than paying by credit card and could be more arduous when using a mobile device.  There’s some risk that people will give up half way through.
Next Steps
If you’ve considered the points made in this article and still think your organisation would like to allow payment by POLi, please get in touch with Moira on 07 575 6903 or 021 960 960 or moira@eventspronto.co.nz.  Payment by POLi is on the possibilities list for 2018 developments and your feedback will help us decide whether to proceed.