Does Your Funeral Business Use New Money?

By Peter Billingham

New Money - V - Old Money

Digital disruption is impacting the world of commerce. New forms of money and payments are replacing old methods. How is your funeral business going to keep up with these changes? What action do you need to take to stay relevant and aware? 

Are your customers using crowdfunding to pay for funeral costs? Do you know what that is and how it is gaining attention? Could this be a source of help for families who are struggling to pay for funerals that you are arranging?

Every business needs to be aware how digital transformation will keep them in the game. Otherwise, it will see them losers in the race for new customers. In this post, I will show that are new forms of money. New ways of collecting money that funeral directors could embrace. Especially if they want to stay connected to changing customer demands. 

What Is New Money?

Have you seen the new PayPal TV advert? Click below - it's 55 only seconds long. You can spare that brief time to know the future of money. It's truly worth watching if you want to keep getting paid by customers in the future.

Text Of The Advert 

New money is not a dirty word
New money isn't paper - it's progress

Old money closes at 5
New money is always open

Old money is stuck in the past
New Money gets better every day

Old money is these people (images from dollar bills)
New money is all people

Move over old money
There's a new money in town - Paypal

PayPal is new money

What is 'PayPal.'

Paypal is an electronic commerce (e-commerce) company that helps create payments between a customer and business through online funds transfers. PayPal allows customers to establish an account on its website, which is connected to a user's credit card or checking account. Fears of security over online payments are reducing as paying for goods and services by clicking a mobile app or website become commonplace in today's digital culture.

PayPal is an excellent example of a company disrupting business by digital technology. Look at the words they use to describe what they do. New v Old. New money is all people. Is this true? Does this have any relevance to the funeral industry? Here're some interesting statistics about PayPal

  • The are 20 Million PayPal users in the UK
     
  • PayPal has won the Guinness World Records title for ‘Most money raised online for charity in 24 hours’ for its achievement on 2015’s Giving Tuesday. PayPal users gave more than $45.8 million to charities in 24 hours, more than doubling the previous record of $19 million.
     
  • PayPal has signed up the first eight British-based companies to its mobile payment service. Soon you will be able to use PayPal in shops as well as online.

Other well-known technology companies like Google with it's Google Wallet -  and Apple Pay - are making it easier for people to buy goods and service with the click of thumb on a mobile device. Consumers want the facility of making payments online. Consumers are demanding this kind of service. 

New Money Is Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is defined as the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. Sites like Kickstarter -  and Indiegogo raised $15 billion dollars in 2015  According to Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler in the excellent book called BOLD they estimate that there are more than 700 crowdfunding sites. These sites are raising $1b for every kind of project under the sun. This funding includes paying for funerals. 

New Money Is Crowdfunding The Costs For Funerals

Funeral debt is big news in the UK. The costs of funerals keep rising. The debt to customers and funeral directors who are owed money continues to increase. Grieving families take emotional decisions which can cause them long-term financial problems. 

In a recent article by AOL, it was estimated that 1.2 million people have borrowed a total of £576 million from payday loan companies. Those aged between 18 and 34 found it particularly hard to meet the cost of a funeral, so 44% of them took out a credit card to cover the cost.  27% used a payday loan. This situation is tragic news. People will be paying for the funeral of their loved one for years to come at exorbitant interest rates.  This circumstance is not right. There must be another option? There is. As an alternative, 1000's of people are now turning to the power of social media and crowdfunding to pay for a funeral for their loved one. 

Funeralfund  -  is a dedicated online crowdfunding site created to help people raise funeral costs by the use of online donations and social media.

From their website Funeralfund say, 

"Many people are turning to the help of others in covering funeral costs by setting up a funeral fund. Crowdfunding for funeral expenses is a way for you to enlist the help of friends, family, even from the kindness of strangers who want to help see you through this difficult time. Funeralfund.com will help you set up a campaign in the name and memory of the deceased and will allow others to contribute funds to help cover the expenses of a funeral, memorial, even medical expenses or an extra financial support to the surviving family members." 

Have a look at a couple of examples how families are raising costs for funerals this way. 

Matthew Brenner

Sam Turner

Other sites that are offering similar facilities are DonationtoYoucaring and Gofundme

While many people have raised the money they needed to pay for a funeral for their loved one; there have been some reports of problems. It's not an answer for everyone but in the right circumstances the power of social media can gain support and turn a difficult situation into one more bearable without damaging financial implications. 

Conclusion

What Can You Do In Your Funeral Business About New Money?

Can your funeral business accept payments from any digital wallet? As a seller of services, it will become necessary to offer more options for making transactions available online. Some Funeral Directors do still not have the ability for debit or credit card payments. They only accept cash or cheques. That's like going into a Virgin Megastore and asking for Adel's latest album 25 on audio cassette!

Action to take

  • Explore New Money Options to see if you can add any into the payment options you will offer clients.
     
  • Research sites like Funeralfund to be able to recommend this as a possible option to customers. This new money choice could help some who are facing the costs of a funeral for a loved one. This could be a much better alternative. Much better than getting into credit card debt of even worse, taking out a payday loan.
     
  • Dedicate a member of your staff to be a digital ambassador for your funeral firm. Their job is to help your clients find the best way possible to raise or pay for the funeral bill using digital technology.

In a future post, I will explore the options for your customers to make donations online for charitable gifts. How this can save time, money and increase the amount of money for good causes by your funeral business.

How are you using new money in your funeral firm? I would hear from you how you see this impacting your funeral business in the future. Please contact me.