How to Accept Invoice Payments
You can offer a few different ways for your customers to pay your invoice, some with fees attached. Make sure you explain payment options 1) in a conversation with the client, 2) in the contract and 3) on the invoice. It should be abundantly clear how they can pay you.
Let’s review the most common options so you can decide which ones are right for you:
Cash transactions have no fees but they also don’t allow you to trace payments, which can be a big problem in the business world. It’s almost impossible to securely transfer large sums of money—other than the time-honored tradition of handing over a briefcase full of hundred-dollar bills, that is—so cash is rarely used as a payment method in business transactions.
Paying by check, on the other hand, does leave a solid transaction record and is a great way to transfer money for those who aren’t comfortable with online banking. If you use a standard checking account there aren’t usually transaction fees, but checks that bounce or get returned will usually have a fee levied against them.
This is where most freelancers start, but checks require that you manually update your books and your invoice tracking system. Still, checks are a popular and straightforward way to collect money you’re owed.
Automated Clearing House (ACH)
Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer is a term used to describe when someone transfers funds electronically directly from their checking account to yours.
Using ACH transfers does involve a little more legwork for your customers because they need to look up their bank transit and account numbers to make a payment, but encouraging them to do so can pay off. QuickBooks offers zero-fee ACH payments for self-employed and small business customers, and skipping these fees can add up to huge savings in the long run.
Credit and Debit Cards
This is often the most commonly used payment method and QuickBooks customers can accept both credit and debit cards simply by paying a small fee per transaction. The fees associated with the cards vary slightly based on the payment platform, but typically range from 2.4 – 3.4%.
If you primarily accept payments in person you may also want to look into products like Square, and if your business occurs mainly online, PayPal is a great option (and typically has fees of 2.9%). Both integrate seamlessly with QuickBooks software.
It’s still fairly uncommon to make or accept payments using Bitcoin, but it is possible! Many people simply transfer this alternate currency electronically like they do with cash in their bank accounts. Their customer uses a Bitcoin wallet app to generate a QR code which is then scanned and added to the business’ digital wallet. If you’re a QuickBooks customer, accepting Bitcoin gets even simpler, you just need to turn on the PayByCoin feature.