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How do you collect and store payment details gathered from parents? Do they fill in a form which is stored in a locked cabinet? Or, maybe you collect their details over the phone and write them down?

If these collection methods sound familiar, you could be putting your childcare centre at risk of costly data breaches. 

The Australian government and international payment bodies have in place regulations and payment guidelines to help prevent this, with breaches resulting in heavy fines and even jail time.

So, what can you do to meet childcare payment regulations and security standards?

There are two main regulatory bodies that you need to be aware of when it comes to compliance - Government and the PCI Security Standards Council.

Government regulations, such as the Child Care Payment Compliance Law, ensures that government subsidies are being used correctly to prevent fraudulent childcare subsidy claims. Failing to meet these regulations can result in fines being administered and the loss of Child Care Benefit approvals in some cases. Meeting these regulations means you need accurate reporting and reconciliation processes to submit the correct billing information to the government.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) take effect when businesses transact using payment cards and has a strict set of guidelines to ensure that payment details are kept safe. Failing to meet PCI guidelines can result in fines and could put your centre at risk.

Meeting these guidelines often requires a significant investment in time and can become costly to manage, but there is a simpler way – by using a third-party payments provider to process payments.

Payment providers undertake regular compliance checks to ensure that they are meeting PCI guidelines and operating securely, further, they are audited by PCI certified third-party contractors on a yearly basis to maintain their certification.

By utilising a payment provider to collect and manage your payments, you’re not only eliminating your risk exposure, but also saving time and money.

How can you introduce better practices in your childcare centre?

Manual payment collection is time consuming and prone to human error. By switching to an automated payment provider, you can improve your efficiency and ensure that all your payment data is accurate.

These third-party payments solutions offer substantial time savings when compared to manual billing. They allow you to set up payment plans and will automatically debit parents for you, which greatly reduces administration and gives you more time to focus on delivering excellent care to the children you look after.

You can say goodbye to costly and clunky eftpos machines in favour of an online payment provider that will safely store parents' payment details. By storing these details in a secure, PCI compliant environment, you only need to request these details once, saving your business and the parents’ time.

Another key component of a good automated payment solution is the ability to simplify reporting by providing a complete summary of all attempted payments. Introducing these reports to your reconciliation process can create more efficiency when it comes to submitting Child Care Subsidy data and reduces the risk of human error in the process.

What should you do next?

Traditional methods of collecting and managing childcare payments are outdated.

Automated third-party payment providers take away the unnecessary burden associated with manual payment processing and take care of your centre’s PCI compliance obligations for you. Offering the storage of payment details completely rids you of physical eftpos machines, and easy-to-use reporting saves you time when submitting Child Care Subsidy data.

Switching your manual payment handling over to an automated direct debit system will do your centre a world of good.

If you already use a CRM system, with integrated billing, check that it’s PCI compliant and handling your billing processing at the highest level of security. If you are interested in an automated third-party payments solution that ticks all the boxes, get in touch with us or explore our benefits to find out how Ezypay can help you.

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