Don't lose clients at the last hurdle!
Clients often ask me about what payment systems/processors would be best for their online business.
As an online entrepreneur it is essential that you don’t lose a client because of an unprofessional payment system.
You need a system that provides your client reassurance that the payment method is safe and secure and you will want a fast, efficient and low cost system that takes the hassle out of billing.
These days there are some great options out there for your website, so don’t lose clients at the last hurdle!
Many people start with PayPal. I used PayPal when I was starting out but since I heard so many horror stories about people’s money being withheld that I quickly switched to other methods.
Moonclerk & Stripe
I have previously used a combination of Moonclerk and Stripe to receive online payments. One of the reasons for using Moonclerk was that it can be used to set up recurring payments. If my clients wanted to opt-in for monthly payment plan, I could set up recurring payments and it sends automated notifications each month which was very useful.
Another great thing about Moonclerk is that you can create multiple payment forms and generate a link for each form, which you can then send to clients or link to the payment button on your website for digital products. It also allows you to create coupon codes which is very useful when you are offering limited time promotions. You can add your “terms & conditions” within the form which your client will then need to agree before making a payment (this is very important!).
You can also integrate Moonclerk with your email marketing provider that adds customer’s details to a selected mail list when they purchase a particular product. Therefore if you are selling multiple digital products, you can automate an email to be sent out to deliver the product (this saves lot of time!).
The only downside with Moonclerk is that you need to pay monthly subscriptions based on the volume of payments received. For example it charges $15/months up to $2,000. This fee is on top of Stripe fees that you’ll be paying for each transaction.
Stripe is the payment processor that MoonClerk (amongst others) uses to process all payments.
I use Stripe to receive secure payments online for all my services and products. It integrates well with other software and the great thing about Stripe is that you can take payment via the phone.
It’s free to set up but it charges a percentage-based fee each time you accept a credit or debit card payment – 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards and 2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards.
And finally, it takes 2 business working days in the US and Australia to receive money to your selected bank account, 4 business working days in New Zealand and 7 business working days for the rest of countries (except Japan which is weekly).
I now use Wave to invoice my clients for my web design business. Wave provides free financial software for small businesses where you can track your expenses, send invoices and get paid.
Everytime I secure a new client, I would raise an invoice with Wave and send to a client along with the contract - I encourage my client to review and agree the contract before they make a payment (this is very important!).
Wave uses Stripe as a payment processor with debit and credit card payment. Though I try to avoid this as much as I can and encourage my clients to do bank transfer instead so I can actually receive a full amount without any charges.
If my clients prefer paying by debit or credit card, Wave has an option to turn on the debit or credit card payment on the invoice. The only downside with Wave is that you can’t accept debit or credit card payment in other currencies that are different to the one the account is registered in.
My business currency is GBP therefore if I have a client from the US and they want to pay by debit or credit card, I use Paypal invoicing instead (not ideal but hey!). Or I can charge my client in GBP and accept debit or credit card payment via Wave.
If the client is fine with a bank transfer, I state my IBAN (International Bank Account Number) on the invoice. Note that it may take up to 7 days to receive money via this method.
Another great thing about Wave is that you can also set up recurring invoices. This is one of their new features and I have yet to use it, but it will be very useful if you have a client with a monthly payment plan.
I also use Wave for tracking my income and expenses. It can connect with your bank account(s) so you don’t need to manually track your expenditure (although I still track my income & expenditure manually too).
If you are a coach or service based business owner then I recommend using Wave to invoice your clients.
Alternatively, you can use just Stripe to accept online payment on your website using a plugin for the WordPress site. There are number of plugins you can choose from. Check out this article for a comparison of the recommended plugins.
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