BPAY lends a helping hand to Australia’s drought-affected farmers

- By Collaborative Media & Publishing
BPAY is stepping up to help Australia’s drought-affected farmers, by allowing Aussies to use BPAY as a donation method to make donations directly to Rural Aid.
BPAY and Rural Aid have also worked together on a campaign to ask Aussies to help pay the household bills of farmers struggling with drought.
Rural Aid is one of Australia’s largest rural charities, which provides financial assistance and support to farmers in times of natural disasters such as drought, fire or flood.
BPAY has been working behind the scenes to help set Rural Aid up as a BPAY biller and join over 45,000 billers who already offer BPAY as a payment option.
It is supporting an advertising campaign to raise money to help Australian farmers by asking people to donate at www.ruralaid.org.au/bpay
The television commercial – tagged ‘the rain has stopped, bills haven’t’ – features Aussie farmers and their stories. Through their work with Rural Aid, BPAY Group staff have seen first-hand the impact that the drought has had on Australian farmers and is grateful to be able to help.
“Everyone's got bills to pay. But when your livelihood dries up it's hard,” says one farmer.
Another says: “We've had droughts before but when it goes for this long it cripples you.”
BPAY Group has also made a $100,000 donation to Rural Aid which has been paid by BPAY.
For Rural Aid, using BPAY means easier reconciliation of donations. “This will significantly reduce the time taken to reconcile payments and free up additional time for the business to focus on helping farmers,” says Andrew Quinn, Rural Aid’s Financial Controller.
Like many charities, Rural Aid was receiving a large number of donations via direct bank transfer and cheques, which made reconciliation difficult because many of the donation amounts were the same round number, such as $20, $50 or $100.
“They had trouble reconciling the donation to the donor. So that made it difficult for them to send the tax receipt and also difficult to contact them with information about future campaigns and opportunities to donate,” says Keith Brown, General Manager Product, Scheme and Business Development.
“That was quite a big overhead for them – people weren’t getting receipts, they had to ring up and a lot of manual work needed to be done there.”
Donors now can choose “Donate with BPAY” on the website and donate in the same way as if they were paying a bill.
And just as with bill payment, each donor has a unique reference number, which allows Rural Aid to easily reconcile the payments.
Additionally, the customer reference number provides a way for the charities to gather information about who is donating so they can be contacted again.
Brown says BPAY is used by a few other charities but it has never worked as closely with a charity as it did with Rural Aid and expects other charities will take up the service once they see how simple the integration is.
Australians can donate to the campaign at www.ruralaid.org.au/bpay

This article represents the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BPAY. Published by BPAY Pty Ltd.  BPAY is offered by over 150 Financial Institutions. Contact your Financial Institution to see if it offers BPAY and to get the terms and conditions. This is general advice – before using BPAY please review the terms and conditions and consider whether BPAY is appropriate for your personal circumstances.

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