Two people happy to get paid quickly on their laptop.

How to process payments efficiently and get paid quicker

Online payments are quick and convenient – two things most customers expect from businesses nowadays. Online payments are only becoming a business staple, so it’s essential to pivot and stay up-to-date. 

There are many ways to collect payments online, which aren’t too difficult to implement. So, if you want to grow your business with low-cost solutions, here are a few ways to receive customer payments efficiently and effectively.

What are online payments?

Online payments are a form of currency exchange that occurs electronically. When customers pay for products or services through a mobile app, credit or debit card or ApplePay, money transfers from their account into the business owner’s. 

Buyers and sellers make online transactions with the help of online apps and payment processors. These online payments involve several internal steps while transferring funds to the seller. To complete successful transactions, the seller, and client will use some form of online payment or app. 

Payment methods for small-to-medium sized businesses

Whether you’re running your business online or in-store, it’s vital to have many payment methods available to your customers. Here’s our roundup of payment options small to medium-sized businesses should consider.

Debit and credit cards

Debit and credit cards are the most common type of payment. The kind of credit cards you allow as payment depends on your business finances and what fees you can afford. For example, American Express is on the higher end of the spectrum for costs – so many businesses will reject Amex (primarily in-person retail stores). However, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa are the most accepted cards in Canada. 

Debit cards, however, immediately move money from a customer’s personal banking account to your business account. 


Some businesses are now accepting e-transfers from their clients. This allows your customers to pay quickly and efficiently. This is great for companies as clients can pay from anywhere, any time – improving your cash flow


Even though it’s way less common, some customers still use personal checks to pay for items and services. Depending on your business, you can take personal or cashier cheques from the bank. These cheques are a monetary promise that customers will pay for their products. 


To this day, cash payments are the most traditional payment method. Most businesses still accept cash in person; if your business doesn’t, let your customers know. 


If your business accepts PayPal, that’s another effective way for customers to pay you. PayPal enables clients to shop online without sharing financial and personal information. Customers can preload a specific balance and directly link it to their bank accounts, so they can pay companies right away.

Benefits of using an online payment tool for small businesses

Small businesses can take advantage of many benefits of online payments to grow their businesses online. With the help of a payment process and payment gateway, you’ll open up your products and services to many customers across the country and beyond.

Payment security

Even though there are potential cybersecurity risks, online payments have many security systems to protect business owners and customers. Merchants that use online payment tools must comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). PCI-DSS is a set of safety measures card companies put together to ensure that digital payments are secure. With encryption and tokenization, sensitive information is converted into code to ensure reliable online transactions.

Customer retention

Many customers value simplicity and efficiency when transacting with a business. When your clients can easily purchase items or services online, it will breed trust for your business. 

Depending on your website, consumers can sign in and fill out their personal information (first and last name, phone number, email address and more). From here, when they sign in to purchase something, all their previous order history will be stored, as well as card payment information. Following this, you can ask your customers if you can send over newsletters and product information about your business. 

This process flow is part of a customer retention strategy. If you have an easy-to-use payment process in place, you’ll entice your clients to repurchase your products and services – satisfying them and yourself! 

Reduced operational costs

With automatic systems in place, you reduce your overall operational costs. Using an online payment system limits the amount of paper you use and the labour costs involved in your business, and gives you more time to focus your time and energy on other parts of your business!

Keep a detailed eye on your business’s bank payments and processing fees when you use business software like QuickBooks that makes it easier to receive and record payments, so you can stay focused on what matters.

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