With all the hard work you put into your small business, you deserve to get paid for it (otherwise, what’s the point, right?). Running an online business as a solopreneur can make getting paid a little more difficult than just getting a paycheck every couple of weeks, and everyone seems to want to use different payment options to get the payment to you. This means you have checking accounts open with apps all over the place; some charge, some don’t, and you end up with a bill at the end of the month that you weren’t expecting. Plus, you want to make sure it’s a secure way to send and receive payments.
Instead of switching between multiple apps, finding one that works for you and directing clients to that is your best bet. With so many out there, though, how do you know which ones are good?
- Quickbooks – The digital payment app that I’ve used and liked the most has been Quickbooks. For businesses like mine that send invoices to clients every couple weeks or months, it’s really easy to just put together the invoice you were building anyway, and check that the client can pay using Debit/Credit Card or ACH. Then, when they pay, the payment is applied straight to their invoice, it records all that itself, and you have money in your bank account in a couple days. It takes the in-between work of recording who paid you when out of the mix, and I’m told the payment from the client’s side is incredibly simple as well! You can even manage everything with the Quickbooks app, which makes billing clients and accepting payments that much easier. You have to pay the monthly fee for Quickbooks, which varies depending on which features you want, but if you’re paying that for invoicing anyway, it won’t matter to you much. Then, ACH payments are free, and taking credit card payments through invoice is 2.9% plus 25 cents. If you’re swiping a card instead, it’s only 2.4% plus 25 cents.
- PayPal – This is one you’ve most definitely heard about if you exist anywhere in the online sphere of…well, anything. A lot of businesses and individuals alike use PayPal to send and receive money and accept payments for services rendered or products sold. If you’re selling off your website, you can put PayPal checkout buttons right there to simplify the process and allow customers to pay via PayPal or credit/debit card. PayPal rates are similar to Quickbooks, without the monthly fee that Quickbooks requires, and it might be a better option for a company selling products who are not sending out invoices for services that have been rendered. At 2.9% plus 30 cents (rates decrease as sales volume increases), PayPal has an edge against competitors by being safe, having a name and backing that customers trust, and being really easy to use for both business and customer!
- Google Wallet – Another big name that’s currently growing in the digital payment world is Google Wallet. This is a little easier to facilitate if you’re providing a service and can direct clients to a way to pay you easily (or if you have to pay your vendors). It can be accessed online or via the mobile app, and when money is sent to another user, it goes to their e-mail address, and is easy to set up and accept money. This is a very user-friendly app, but it is important for you to keep track of all the payments you’re receiving on your own. Google Wallet is free for ACH and debit card payments, and it requires a 2.9% plus 30 cents for credit cards.
- Dwolla – Send and accept payments with Dwolla. They don’t have a credit card app available, but it’s easily accessible through their website, and everything can be set up and sent within minutes. You can also request payments via e-mail, so it makes it a seamless process to ask customer for a payment and accept it. Their customer service is also wonderful to work with, so if there are any issues, you won’t dread having to call them. Fees are lower than most other payment sites. Transactions under $10 are free, and other transactions are only 25 cents. Transfers from your Dwolla account to your bank account are also free. They have monthly plans that start at $25 per month and go up to $250 per month depending on your business’s needs.
- Square – This is another payment option that’s great if you’re selling products in person or on your website. This gives you the option to set up a store right on your website or accept credit/debit card payments at events or in your store. You can set it up on your tablet or phone, and it includes fraud protection software as well. There’s no monthly fee for Square, and the transaction fees are relatively low at 2.75% per swipe.
Whatever payment system you choose, you want to make sure it’s what’s easiest for you and your business and your customers. Make sure they don’t have to jump through hoops just to get you your payment, or you might have many situations of late payments. It’s also always a good idea to have a late payment clause in your contract where applicable, but that’s another blog altogether.
When it comes to including stores on your website and accepting payments for products, the more seamless the process, the more likely an individual is to purchase from you. If there are problems with payments, customers tend to give up and move on.