For 18 years now, I have used and loved the accounting package MYOB (Mind Your Own Business), and in the last two years have used their so-called M-Powered services. These pay-per-use services allowed our business to accept payment methods such as BPAY, @Post billpay etc., with the supplied software generating the required numbers. However, to use this service, we essentially were forced to open up merchant services with the CBA (Commonwealth Bank of Australia) for the virtual EFTPOS terminal which does the back end clearance of funds. Now this would be all well and good if the CBA charged at about the market rate. They don't - their fees are well above the rates I got offered by another bank for doing the back end stuff. The problem is, the absolute most basic things that MYOB software would have to do to make it easy to change banks, they refuse. They have intellectual property rights on the generation of the check digit generation code they use for the Customer reference numbers, so they cannot be used with any other bank. Basically, the software company and the bank are colluding to keep their charges higher than the market would dictate. One thing that I hate more than being ripped off is anti-competitive behaviour. I would recommend people to avoid M-Powered services, and arrange biller BPAY services directly with the bank, and find ways to enbed Customer Reference numbers within each customer's details with whatever accounting software is available. After several days of effort I am finding ways around this fortress, and can generate my own CRN's and sooner or later I can tell MYOB and CBA to stick it, and perhaps help others to do the same.
Update September 06 - They have improved slightly their (CBA) fees which is already a help, especially for large payments. However, MYOB fees of $2.00 per transaction is still highway robbery given that we are talking essentially about electronic transactions. Any non-electronic aspects of these transactions are extremely minimal. The fact is, that reducing these per-transaction fees, they would actually make more money because businesses would more readily join this fairly easy to set up and maintain process. A level of about $1.00 per transaction may even get me back to actually praising MYOB again, and consider using this service also.