In the new world of online accounting and invoicing systems, small business owners are benefiting from the breakneck speed of innovation. For startups and entrepreneurs, collecting payments has never been easier.
If you haven’t already, I would recommend restructuring the way you collect funds from your clients and push for these new and easier methods below. The harder you push your clients for these new methods, the faster they will be adopted, and the easier it will be on everyone.
To provide some background, cloud systems such as Quickbooks Online, Xero, Wave Accounting, and Freshbooks, all provide online invoicing that allows your customers to pay you with the click of a button. If you haven’t migrated to one of these platforms yet, make sure and take that step first.
This post assumes that you are using online invoicing for your customers, or you are an e-commerce shop receiving automatic payments.
Here Are The 2 Best ways to Accept Payments From Customers
Automatic Credit Card Charges
The easiest and most convenient way for your customers to pay is via credit card. Using cloud invoicing software, you have a variety of options for taking credit card payments. Paypal, Stripe, and Square are some to name a few.
The downside of taking credit cards is that you automatically eat the ~3% fee and give it to the payment processors. However, for many businesses, especially e-commerce, this is a must-have feature because it allows you to collect payments at very high rates.
If you are using a compatible software such as Xero, the payment will be automatically applied to the invoice in your system so you don’t have to manually record it. Magic!
Recurring ACH Transfers
These are transactions that are pulled directly from your customers bank account and cannot be run on a credit card. The fee is substantially less with the industry standard currently at about $.50/transaction. If you are in the right industry to charge ACH fees then take advantage and you’ll save nearly 3% off the top of your revenue.
ACH transfers can be set up at most banks including Chase and Wells Fargo, or software such as bill.com makes it super easy to pay vendors and accept payments from clients directly out of the bank account.
The Worst Way to Accept Payments From Customers
If you are still accepting checks and having to deposit them, you need to reach out to your customers and re-establish the payment method. If you work with large companies they should offer an ACH option which means you don’t have to have a built-in process for depositing checks. Still supporting checks as a payment method is a costly one as it requires much more processing time compared with credit card and ACH payments.
If you have clients that prefer to send checks, work with them to set up an ACH transfer instead, every single small business has this ability. If you use Bill.com for your invoicing, they can enter in their bank information directly into the system and easily pay invoices directly out of their bank account.
There are lots of options out there, so don’t get stuck with checks!