In an environment where cash may not be exchanging hands and checks can require the extra step of going to a bank, not to mention the convenience of credit cards for clients and customers on big-ticket purchases, what platforms are you using to accept payments that offer convenience and safety to your customers and clients, while streamlining the process for you and putting the most money in your pocket?
There’s no question that accepting credit card payments comes at a cost, often a percentage of what you are accepting; when it’s a big purchase that cost can eat into profits. However, in business, it’s important to accept payments through the proper channels. Money-sharing apps can become problematic when it’s time to reconcile profits and expenses.
The following systems have credibility, integrate with bookkeeping programs, or can do it all, from invoicing to getting paid.
It’s likely by now you’ve paid someone via Square. If you need to be able to accept payments in a number of ways, you may want to familiarize yourself with this platform. Square lets you take payments anywhere, and in this past pandemic year and going forward, the ability to tap a phone for a payment may make some customers more comfortable.
Square provides several options for accepting payments in person or online. The traditional magstripe reader attaches to your phone. There’s also a chip and contactless reader, and the NFC reader accepts Apple Pay and Google Pay. All readers are portable and can come with you. Clients and customers can also pay online.
The magstripe Square reader that attaches to the phone is free; the other contactless readers cost extra. Once installed, however, the fees for all transactions don’t vary with the exception of how they’re charged. In-person transactions via the readers come with a 2.6 percent + $0.10 fee per purchase; online sales are 3.5 percent + $0.15 per transaction. The rate is the same for all major credit card purchases. There are no monthly fees or hidden fees with Square. The platform promises transfers in one to two days, and has dispute management capabilities.
Square has evolved to be more than just a payment portal, streamlining the entire sales process with a free point-of-sale system.
Whether you’re online, in store or both, the intuitive Square dashboard puts all of your business data in one place. From real-time reports to customer contacts, you have everything at your fingertips to make informed business decisions and plan for the future.
Square solutions also work seamlessly with hundreds of third-party technologies to streamline the way you like to work, save you time and allow you to interface with other systems you might currently use.
For more information on Square, visit squareup.com
If you’re in business, there’s a good chance you are already using QuickBooks to keep track of expenses and to interface with your accountant at tax time.
QuickBooks Payments allows you to accept credit card payments — swiped, invoiced or keyed — as well as ACH payments. With the new QuickBooks Payment desktop solution, you can take payments at the point of sale or virtually anywhere.
For existing QuickBooks customer, fees for payments range from a 1 percent fee with ACH bank transfers (which maxes out at $10), to 2.4 percent + $.25 for a swiped card, 2.9 percent + $.25 for an invoiced card and 3.4 percent + $.25 for a keyed card.
Credit card payments are in your bank within two to three business days and ACH transfers within five business days, according to QuickBooks.
QuickBooks automatically updates your accounting with payments received too, putting all transactions in one place and simplifying accounting.
There are monthly fees associated with QuickBooks, ranging from $25 a month to $40 a month depending on the tools you need to use within the system. You can cancel at any time with no cancellation fees.
QuickBooks offers invoicing tools as well including a free invoice template and generator, as well as invoicing software that starts at $12.50 a month with a 30-day free trial.
For more information on QuickBooks payments, visit quickbooks.intuit.com/payments
If you’re not a Quickbooks fan or haven’t decided on the platform you need to run your business, one to review is HoneyBook, which touts that it has everything you need to get your business started, including payments, scheduling forms, contact, response automations and project proposals.
HoneyBook says it helps creative entrepreneurs book more clients, manage projects and get paid — all in one place. With its business management software, it can automate your work and help you stay on top of to-dos.
You can create a personalized professional presence with logos, and HoneyBook interfaces with QuickBooks, Zapier, Gmail and Google Calendar for seamless communication
There are three plans associated with HoneyBook — a starter plan at $9 a month limited to $10,000 in total transactions; a $39-a-month unlimited plan or a $390 unlimited annual plan. Processing fees are a flat 3 percent for credit card transactions or 1.5 percent for ACH transfers.
The platform provides unlimited concierge support on the upper-tier unlimited programs and you can have as many team members as you want on those plans as well.
For more information on HoneyBook, visit honeybook.com