Connolly Motor Group is a family run business in the Northwest Region of Ireland. The group is an authorised dealer for the Volkswagen, Audi and Mercedes-Benz Brands with 8 garages in total. It also operates Connolly’s Used Car Supermarket. The company’s headquarters are located in Ballina, County Mayo.
Card payments have always been accepted at Connolly Motor Group, but managing and reconciling payments from two suppliers into multiple accounts was becoming increasingly complex and problematic. We spoke with Connolly Motor Group’s senior accountant, Peg Fitzpatrick, about why she thinks accepting cards doesn’t have to be difficult, nor the costs prohibitive, and why the Group swapped its provider to BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA) in 2016.
Connolly Motor Group had two bank accounts, two payment providers and multiple stores and sites taking payments. Reporting and admin was disjointed and time consuming, leading to reconciliation and other headaches.
Swapping to BOI Payment Acceptance paid dividends for Connolly Motor Group. For example, when data around payment settlements was incomplete, the accounts team had to query and trace payments back to their point of origin – a time- consuming and painstaking burden on staff. Business expansion plans, which would subsequently lead to the addition of more terminals, forced Connolly Motor
Group to seek out a viable alternative. It made sense to use a single-supplier to process card payments. “We were having problems trying to reconcile days and transactions. Sales people can be busy.
If you’re asking them on Tuesday what sales were made on Friday, they might not remember.” said Peg. “When we were balancing the accounts the next day, or a few days later, and there was a payment that can’t be accounted for, it was very time-consuming and difficult for us to locate where this sale was made.”
The main drivers for swapping their payment acceptance channel provider were:
• The need to save on high costs and commissions when there was a viable alternative
• The need for a better reporting function
• The benefit of having just one provider for all Connolly businesses
“The costs and charges of using these other suppliers were extremely high. When BOIPA did their sales pitch, the cost and savings were remarkable,” said Peg. “Also, the reporting wasn’t good enough on point of sale activity. There was either no reporting, or it was poor. Alongside growth challenges, having a single provider made sense, too, with the added benefit of consistency.”
“The cost savings were remarkable with BOIPA.” Peg added.
BOIPA greatly improved all the back office and reconciliation through the online business reporting portal to manage all terminals across multiple locations. This revolutionised how work was completed behind the scenes with no interruption to customers or frontline staff.
“Before, lots of time was spent trying to pin down where money came from across two bank accounts and from what terminals,” said Peg.
“We use BOIPA reporting to answer questions and ultimately solve problems.” she added.
As a result of integrating BOIPA’s payment technology with their POS software, Connolly Motor Group reported increased productivity and efficiency. Better reporting that traced which payments arose from which terminal ID and in which branch, meant less time on laborious administration.
Accounts personnel could concentrate their effort on areas that supported better cash flow in the business.
“We use it as a problem solver when accounting for figures. If there’s a payment that can’t be accounted for, we can log into the online business reporting portal to draw out the information we need that will help us locate what terminal, location, and store put this through,” Peg noted.
“From that, we can put everything into Excel to answer questions and ultimately solve problems.”
Support at all levels
Simplified operations were an obvious benefit for Connolly Motor group, but BOIPA had the added advantage of offering comprehensive customer service which included a seamless switchover to the new service.
“The customer support was good, ” said Peg. “In terms of the actual installation of the terminals, [BOIPA’s] engineer liaised with our own IT person and quickly solved any problems. We’ve also been able to contact the call centre helpline with little obstruction or delay, which is important when experiencing issues at a customer-facing, store level.”
Easy online reporting resulting in time savings is a system that just works for Connolly Motor Group. The enhanced reporting was earmarked by Peg as her favourite feature of the system, because of its potential to solve tedious problems when other services didn’t have an answer. “We recently added some more new terminals, so yes, it’s working for us in terms of what we need it to to,” said Peg. “In terms of what it has the potential to do, I’m sure there’s so much more.”
Having a single payment provider across all dealerships has been the solution to tedious administration and substandard reporting for Connolly Motor Group. By reducing the number of variables in payment acceptance, coupled with sophisticated online reporting, productivity and efficiencies have notably improved. And to cap it off, BOIPA were significantly cheaper and had a brilliant customer support team.
“While it does not reduce human error, it helps solve problems arising from human error. We’d definitely recommend BOIPA,” said Peg.