Seek’s payment process has been paper-based until now


Jobs board Seek might be a digital business, but its approach for chasing invoices has only recently moved into online territory.

Speaking at an event to celebrate payment platform Stripe’s second year in Australia yesterday, Seek’s head of self service channel, Nicole Brolan, told the crowd that while she feels like “a dinosaur” for saying it, the company is only just about to release the ability for clients to pay invoices directly online through the Stripe platform.

“It needs to be invisible, it needs to just work,” she said of the business’s priorities for payment gateways.

When Seek met representatives from the payment platform two years ago, the entire payment process for the employment website was paper-based, including a large finance team who did things like reconcile cheques and used manual ledgers.

“About 12 percent of people were paying by credit card, everyone else was being invoiced – we had a massive finance team chasing invoices,” Brolan said.

Research from MYOB released yesterday highlights that securing payment is a major concern for Australian businesses, with 54% of SMEs saying they have waited more than six months to be paid by a customer.

For small operators in particular, the collection of payments has a massive influence on both cashflow and security.

“This lack of cash can then impact the owner’s ability to pay their own super, as well as other pressing payments such as wages and rent,” said MYOB chief executive Tim Reed on the survey results.

Seek’s position shows up the many elements that an international business has to juggle, with Brolan saying the company’s priorities for growth have meant a strong focus on products, while other back-office processes have stayed more static.

“We’ve been in a race from a lot of global competitors,” she told the crowd.

Now the company has new payment processes in place, the focus is turning to refining that strategy – with the hope of creating a better customer experience that will increase the speed of sales.

“For us, there’s still quite a lot of work because that’s the online payment system, but we’re still quite manual for a lot of our hirers who are on contracts,” she said.


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