eCommerce News New Zealand logo
The latest digital commerce news for Kiwi businesses
Story image

Xero revamps Starter plan to support businesses during COVID crisis

By Shannon Williams
Fri 18 Sep 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Xero has announced the revamp of its Starter plan, as it looks to support sole traders during the global COVID-19 crisis. 

The small business platform will increase limits on its Starter plan, alongside improving the functionality of payments and insights tools, to help sole traders and new small businesses get started, manage their cash flow and grow during and beyond the pandemic.

The redesign removes the limit on bank reconciliation and increasing the invoice limit to 20 per month, or approximately one per business day. The new plan will include the same features existing Xero Starter plan members use every day, including Hubdoc for automated document collection and management.

Xero says digital transformation has driven new trends and the growth of many new small businesses, including an influx of sole traders such as tradespeople, freelancers and gig-workers who have taken advantage of evolving market dynamics.

"Xero's Starter plan aims to give life to those new small businesses starting out amid the COVID-19 pandemic and will support the green shoots of growth once each country moves into a recovery state," it says. 

There are already signs of growth across many markets around the world after initial dips. For example:

USA: New business numbers are starting to flow again with more than 500,000 applications for an employer identification number since mid-March (Census Bureau) and nearly 300 startup loans approved worth about $153 million (Small Business Administration).
Australia: Over 150,000 new business ABNs created between May-July 2020 (ABR).
UK: Almost 200,000 businesses were formed from mid-March to mid-July and each month it has been on the rise (Companies House Data).

"History has shown us that following downturns there is a business resurgence, with some of the most challenging periods of history sparking incredible feats of creativity and ingenuity," says Anna Curzon, chief product Officer at Xero.

 "We want to help these new businesses that are starting off now to be set up for a digital environment right from the start by lowering the barriers of entry.  

"We also know that with COVID-19, being paid on time and controlling cash flow has become more important than ever," she says. 

"We want to do all we can to ensure businesses stay strong by providing deeper cash flow insights and creating seamless experiences to help them get paid faster."

Improved predictive data and insights tools

Xero Projects' new profitability dashboard provides small businesses with an easier way to see and manage the profitability of each project. The dashboard shows the total profit margin, all work invoiced and costs associated with the project. It also highlights any outstanding invoices, as well as how the project is tracking against estimates, making it easier to identify which projects are the most profitable and which need tweaking.

Xero will also extend availability of its existing insights tools to all business edition customers to help them manage cash flow at crucial times. 

The short-term cash flow and business snapshot tools, initially extended to customers during COVID-19, will now be an ongoing feature on the platform. 

The short-term cash flow tool allows businesses to forecast their bank balance for the next 30 days based on their existing bills and invoices, while business snapshot gives accountants and bookkeepers high-level insights into critical business metrics at a glance.

Xero says it plans to introduce premium functionality for business snapshot and short-term cash flow in the future.

Payments set up easily with Stripe and GoCardless

Xero continues to work closely with global payments partners Stripe and GoCardless to create seamless experiences with more functionality to help businesses get paid quicker. Enhancements to the Stripe set up experience will make it easier for any small business to accept card payments from Xero online invoices. Xero is also building a deeper integration with GoCardless to create a more seamless experience for small businesses to accept direct debit payments. The enhanced integration will be live later this year.

Additionally, enhanced integrations will soon be available with ecosystem partners PayPal and Square making payments easy regardless of your preferred provider. 

Using online invoicing and online payments in Xero is vital to getting paid faster and improving cash flow. Xero's research has found small businesses that use online invoice payments can be paid up to 14 days faster than those who don't.

Credit limits, a new feature introduced this year, allows businesses to quickly visualise the impact of extending credit to customers and define the level of risk they are prepared to take.

"Credit limits have already helped thousands of businesses manage late payments or limit potential losses," Xero says. 

Since launch in March, more than 8,000 customers have set over 45,000 credit limits for their customers. Xero will continue to enhance the functionality based on customer feedback.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Customer experience
Research unveils precarious customer loyalty for retailers
New research has found customers are reassessing established brand loyalties as their priorities and behaviours shift.
Story image
First Table
First Table set to revive restaurant commerce in NZ with platform launch
A new restaurant booking platform has launched in New Zealand, giving Kiwi diners the opportunity to save and book at a variety of restaurants around the country.
Story image
Lightspeed
Lightspeed launches all-in-one marketing platform in A/NZ
ECommerce provider, Lightspeed has launched a new all-in-one marketing solution, Lightspeed Marketing & Loyalty in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
CRM
Zendesk announces new conversational CRM solutions
“The last few years have made it obvious that digital is the front door, convenience is paramount and relationships are anchored in conversations."
Story image
Microsoft
FIS Modern Banking Platform now available on Microsoft Azure
FIS says the partnership will expand its digital online banking to markets like New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Thailand
Story image
Customer experience
Dell Technologies expands edge innovations for retailers
Dell Technologies has announced the expansion of its edge solutions to help retailers quickly generate more value and deliver enhanced customer experiences.
Story image
Veryfi
Veryfi announces Mobile Receipt Capture for D2C marketing apps
Veryfi has announced a new enhancement to its portfolio, with Mobile Receipt Capture for direct-to-consumer marketing apps.
Story image
Fintech
Visa chooses NZ startup for APAC Accelerator Programme
Visa has selected New Zealand payments startup Cymonz for the 2022 cohort of its Visa Accelerator Programme in Asia Pacific.
Story image
SaaS
Forrester Research names BigCommerce a Strong Performer
BigCommerce has announced it has been named a Strong Performer by Forrester Research in both the Forrester Wave: B2C Commerce Solutions, Q2 2022 and the Forrester Wave: B2B Commerce Solutions, Q2 2022 reports.
Story image
Online shopping
A/NZ shoppers plan to spend less, be more selective
For retailers, 2022 is set to be a year of introspection as shoppers across Australia and New Zealand indicate they plan to spend less.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Databricks strengthens AWS partnership with new Lakehouse offering
Customers will experience faster onboarding and unified account administration to make building a Databricks Lakehouse on AWS easier.
Story image
Fintech
Incumbent banks must embrace data-centric capabilities
Retail banks are lagging in their ability to offer true omnichannel experiences, as customers pivot to competitors that offer more personalised experiences.
Story image
Phishing
Retail and wholesale at significant risk of phishing attacks
New research from Zscaler has found that many retail and wholesale environments are at significant risk, with a 400% increase in phishing attacks being reported in the last 12 months.
Story image
Open banking
A look at the rewards and risks of open banking - report
RiskBusiness says its report on open banking finds that while it holds much potential, financial services firms need to ensure they have robust, risk processes.
Story image
IBM
Vodafone extends collaboration with IBM, MATRIXX Software
"To realise the promise of 5G, decisions need to be made with the right technology solutions, skills and support to execute and succeed."
Story image
Collaboration
Zoom announces CX innovations for 'work anywhere' workforce
Zoom Video Communications has unveiled its latest innovations in the Zoom platform to help businesses improve customer and employee experiences.
Story image
Mobility
Hands-on review: STM laptop bags
The advent of hybrid working has meant we need laptop bags. We got our hands on two of the most popular laptop bags from STM.
Story image
Climate change
Record growth for NZ startups as conscious investment trend emerges
New Zealand has a reputation for efficiency and innovation, and has strong potential to be a leader in climate tech.
Story image
CRM
Salesforce launches AI-based insights with CRM Analytics
Salesforce announces CRM Analytics, AI-based insights for sales, marketing, and service teams in every industry.
Story image
Marketplacer
Marketplacer and True Woo partner for wellness marketplace
Marketplacer has announced the completion of a new holistic online marketplace for True Woo, offering a range of products and services targeted at individuals seeking ways to improve their wellbeing.
Story image
Collaboration
Is video technology the future of retail?
The way we hunt for and buy products has forever changed with innovative technology designed to take customers from their initial curiosity through to purchase
Story image
Chorus
Chorus enhances West Coast infrastructure for upgraded telecoms
Chorus has announced the completion of a 250km infrastructure project set to provide the West Coast with upgraded and enhanced telecommunications.
Story image
Pinterest
Pinterest partners with WooCommerce and launches app
The new app gives businesses of all sizes the power to turn their product catalogues into shoppable product pins on Pinterest
Story image
Xero
More solutions updates and developments from Xero announced
Xero has announced a raft of new globally available solutions, features and product updates for the month of May, along with future developments soon to be rolled out.
Story image
Sustainability
The AI Forum helps NZ pave the way with AI sustainability practices
Non-profit organisation The AI Forum is helping Kiwis learn about addressing climate change issues through the use of AI technology.
Story image
Microsoft
Spark launches Microsoft Dynamics 365 upgrade across enterprise
Spark and Microsoft NZ have recently collaborated to launch Microsoft Dynamics 365 across the entire Spark business enterprise.
Story image
Customer experience
8x8 and Genesys collaborate on customer service solution
With the new integration, organisations can align agents and the appropriate subject matter experts to collaborate for better customer outcomes.
Story image
SAS
New SAS service overcomes subscription fatigue for media companies
SAS has launched SAS 360 Match which helps media companies move towards a AVOD model to generate revenue as subscribers cancel.
Story image
Adyen
Adyen expands partnership with Afterpay as BNPL payments increase
Adyen has expanded its partnership with AfterPay allowing more of Adyen’s merchants in more countries worldwide to use the BNPL provider.
Story image
Customer experience
Digital insight through UCaaS to improve customer experience
One of the most quoted adages in business is "if you can't measure it, you can't manage it" this has been a long-held problem in telephony and customer service.
Story image
Cryptocurrency
Prominent cryptocurrency trader hit by 'perfect storm'
A leading local crypto currency trading platform, BitPrime, says a "perfect storm" has hit its finances, forcing it to put a halt on operations.
Story image
Gaming
Mastercard users can now use rewards points in gaming
Mastercard has launched Mastercard Gamer Xchange (MGX), allowing APAC consumers to convert their rewards points into gaming currency.
Story image
CRM
Freshworks launches new CRM with Shopify availability
Freshworks has launched a new customer relationship management (CRM) solution, which has also been made available on the Shopify apps store.
Story image
HP New Zealand
HPE NZ sees $8 million decline in latest financial report
HPE New Zealand has seen a decline of over NZD$8 million in the sale of its goods year-over-year, according to its latest financial report.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS unveils AI experience to improve kids' batting abilities
SAS has created The Batting Lab, an interactive experience using AI, computer vision and IoT analytics to help kids improve their baseball and softball swings.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
Forrester
commercetools named a Leader in B2B Forrester report
commercetools has been named a Leader in The Forrester Wave: B2B Commerce Solutions, Q2 2022 report, receiving the highest scores possible in 10 criteria.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
AWS granted OIO consent for billion dollar NZ Region project
AWS has announced that the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has granted consent for the advancement of the new billion-dollar AWS Asia Pacific (Auckland) Region project.
Story image
Sustainability
Hootsuite 2021 Impact Report shows workforce more diverse
Hootsuite has released its annual 2021 Impact Report detailing the results of its social impact initiatives following the launch of its corporate guiding principles.
Story image
Machine Learning
Moloco launches updates to Cloud Demand-Side Platform
The latest updates focus on improving performance through intelligent budget allocation, automating workflows through smart campaign UI/UX, and ad creation.
Story image
Phishing
Google reveals new safety and security measures for users
Google's new measures include automatic two step verification, virtual cards and making it easier to remove contact information on Google Search results.
Story image
Remote Working
Better tech key to adapting to the hybrid workplace - Adobe
The shift to hybrid work has been a boon for many information workers, but also comes with its share of challenges, particularly with regards to technology.
Story image
Esker
Esker named Challenger in 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant
Esker has been named a Challenger in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Integrated Invoice-to-Cash Applications.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Laybuy launches new AI chatbot Hugo using Ambit tech
Laybuy partners with fellow New Zealand company Ambit to launch conversational AI in a bid to support its international growth.