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A Guide to Recurring Payments for Your Small Business

Setting up proper payment systems and methods is an essential part of running a small business. Whether you’re initiating payments for your business expenses or setting up various payment schemes for your customers- it’s a good idea to keep recurring payments in mind.

But what exactly are recurring payments, and why should they matter to your company?

Next: How to Set Up Gift Card Sales

What are Recurring Payments?

In simple terms, a recurring payment is a repeating payment. This cost or payment type happens on a regular basis for your company or your customers. Sometimes referred to as recurring billing, these ongoing expenditures allow a merchant to automatically charge the cost of goods or services to the customer on a prearranged schedule.

To sign up for automatic and recurring payments, you must first permit a company to intermittently charge your account for a repeat service or product that you would like to receive.

Difference between one-time payment and recurring payment

A one-time payment is just that, a charge that happens once. Enjoy a product or service from a company after a one-time transaction? You could have the option to sign up for automatic payments to repeat your experience every month. Repeating transactions regularly would be considered recurring payments.

Examples of Recurring Payments

Recurring bill payments are a great example of this type of expenditure. Suppose you have ever signed up for regular monthly payments, such as:

  • Magazine or newspaper subscription
  • Utility bills such as electricity, gas, and water
  • Gym memberships
  • Mobile phone services
  • TV subscriptions like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime
  • Subscription box services

In that case, you are currently taking advantage of recurring payments.

Signing up for recurring automatic payments is an excellent idea if you know you will be using a service on an ongoing basis. Automatic regular payments take the stress out of having to remember to pay a utility bill every month. Instead, sign up for repeat payments, and you’ll know your bills will be paid without sparing a thought.

As a business owner, you could automate your billing options for your customers too. This could help your cash flow and customer services all in one. Learn more about why you should automate your invoicing and billing process for your small business.

How to Set Up Recurring Payments

To set up a recurring payment, a company must first get explicit permission from your customer. The customer must sign off on the ongoing charges attached to their bank account in exchange for the product or services.

Only after they have given you permission for the periodic payments, as well as the corresponding payment information, can their bank account be charged accordingly. Once this process is completed, you will schedule recurring payments to your customer’s account until you or the customer cancels the service.

Best Apps to Accept Recurring Payments


QuickBooks Online offers individuals and businesses an easy way to stay on top of their ongoing charges. Create and manage recurring payments all in one place with an intuitive interface and dashboard. Pay ongoing expenses for your business and create payment options for your clients and provide them with the opportunity of recurring payments for your services or goods.


ChargeOver offers simple automated subscription invoicing and payments. With a few clicks you can set up automated payments for your customers. Automated billing will help you save time and improve your cash flow. Working with QuickBooks, ChargeOver will automatically generate and send your recurring invoices, charge credit cards, and follow-up on any late payments.


Fusebill puts the control back in your hands. It allows you to decide the type of billing, frequency, and add-ons to your recurring customers’ payments. The app features an automatic subscription tool that you can customized based on your client’s selections. Using a self-service portal, your customers can update payment methods, view invoices, or buy more services.


Recur360 is a one-stop solution to create and process all of your recurring payments. You can manage all your invoices and payments and have them sync with your QuickBooks account. Recur360 will allow you to manage, process, email, and report on all of your recurring invoices, payments, and collections. The app also makes sure that you won’t lose any revenue due a feature that will push a failed transaction into QuickBooks that will email the customer and let them know that they owe you money.

How to Stop Recurring Payments

Running a business means that you will most likely have some recurring payments yourself. If you would like to stop your recurring payments at any time, you will have to take steps to cancel the automatic charges with the company you signed up with.

Typically, businesses will need three business days to cancel the recurring charges and stop the payment from hitting your bank. Contact the company directly by phone, email, or online to stop automatic payments.

If the automatic payments are set for a calendar month, you will need to cancel before a given day to ensure you won’t be charged for the next scheduled date.

However, suppose the business does not cancel your recurring billing and continues to charge you. In that case, you can go directly to your bank. Contact your bank or credit provider, depending on the account you pay with and have them cancel the payment for you.

Does cancelling a credit card stop recurring billing?

Cancelling the credit card attached to a recurring payment will stop the automatic charges from hitting your account. However, you do not need to cancel your credit card to cancel your account’s repeat charges. Contact your bank and have them cancel the payments directly, without having to cancel your credit card instead.

How to Manage Recurring Payments

Signing up for multiple recurring bills can cause you a lot of headaches if you are not careful managing these scheduled payments. If you forget how many different payments you have ongoing with your account, you could become overwhelmed with the constant cycle of charges.

Therefore, ensuring proper management of your ongoing payments can help you stay organized. Using software and other accounting or banking systems can help you manage recurring payments without the need for constant reviewing. Keeping a calendar for your payment schedule and when each automatic bill comes out of your account, can also help.

Automatically pay your recurring payments when you set up the function in QuickBooks Online. No need to set reminders for yourself for those pesky bills or other payments when you use this accounting software to do it for you. With an easy-to-use interface, you can see where all your recurring charges are coming from, manage your bills accordingly, and provide your customers with convenient automatic payment options.

Next: How to Set Up Gift Card Sales

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