We don’t miss the days when checks and cash were the only ways to collect money. We all got used to paying for everything online. Therefore, accepting online payments is not optional anymore. It’s time to give your clients what they want – a payment method that’s quick, convenient and secure – all of which are offered with online payment processing.
On the business side, using an online payment system gives you the ability to instantly receive payments while avoiding trips to the bank and waiting days for checks to clear. Offering an online payment solution saves you the headache of printing and sending invoices. And hey, how outdated and environmentally unfriendly is it.
Online payment software also gives you access to reporting tools which enable you to see all your transactions in one place and find out which invoices are still unpaid. From there, you can follow up with the specific clients who have outstanding bills. Simply put, there’s no drawbacks to having a website with online payment options.
Before you can accept online payments, you will need to open a merchant account to transfer credit card payments to your designated bank account.
As a business owner, you’ll need to decide which payment method you want to offer your clients. In any case, you will need to select an online payment gateway. It is a third-party company that will enable you to accept, process and receive payments.
With PayPal, you can embed a ‘Pay Now’ button on your site, and when clicked, your client will be redirected to PayPal’s site to complete the payment process. Once the transaction is finished, PayPal will send the payment to whichever bank account you’ve connected it to. The process is painless for you and the client, if he already owns a PayPal account. Since it is a trusted name in the industry, chances are he does own one.
Having said that, sending customers off your site to get the payment does lack a certain bit of finesse. If you want your business to look more professional, there are several other ways to add a payment option directly to your website.
Allowing your clients to pay by credit card is by far the most popular payment option for business both big and small. For your customers, it’s fast and simple. Clients can securely save their credit card details in their account on your website and make payments with just a few clicks. On your end, you’ll want to make sure you accept the most popular credit card suppliers, Visa and MasterCard, but you can also include others such as American Express or Discover Card. When it comes to implementing this process, you can choose to either have your own merchant account or an intermediary account.
Some customers you work with might still prefer to pay their invoices with checks. However you may be hesitant to accept checks because their arrival is often unpredictable. Instead, you can accept eChecks. This works by processing the payment electronically without the actual paper check.
The client input all of the info found on a typical check into your online payment form. This option may be worth looking into because the transaction fees can be lower than those charged by credit card companies and it’s certainly more secure than snail mail.
No matter which method you choose, there will be extra charges associated with it, so it’s worth looking into all of the associated fees before settling on your preferred method. Credit card companies often charge on a percentage basis, and software companies charge monthly fees. You’ll have additional costs from the bank for maintaining your accounts, and you might need to up the security parameters on your website as well. Just make sure you do your homework, so you aren’t surprised by extra expenses at the end of the month.
Why just sending your client an email with an attached invoice, when you could send an online payment form? This integrated invoicing-billing technique can work wonders. It removes several steps for your clients and the actions are recorded in your database. When your customer opens the email, they can review the invoice and click a ‘Pay Invoice’ button that will lead them directly to the payment page on your website. All they will need to do is enter their payment details and approve the transaction. If you’re using a good software solution, you’ll even get a notification that the client had made a payment.
Some clients routinely forget to pay invoices. And there is nothing more embarrassing than trying to get your client to pay a due invoice without being rude. With online payment solutions, you can easily use friendly auto-reminders several days before the payment is actually due. When payments are not received on time, you can set automated triggered notifications and send out payment reminders via email or SMS.
If you’re ready to start accepting, receiving and processing online payments, it’s worth investing in an all-in-one solution that can handle your billing from A to Z. It should enables you to create and send invoices, record payments and follow up. Choose a solution that works with your business and the platforms you already use, and you’ll be up and running in no time. Say goodbye to old-school paper-based invoices and allocate all your new-found free time to ensuring your clients are happy with your services.