Online payments are becoming more and more popular in this digital age. Today, if your small business does not accept online digital payment methods, customers may view your services as outdated or low-quality.
However, your business’s payment methods do not only affect your business reputation. They also impact your cash flow, profitability, and business growth. Implementing online payments is essential to staying current and profitable in 2022.
We’ve created this guide to help you learn everything you need to know about online payment methods for small businesses. Read on to learn how to use digital payments to your business’s advantage.
How To Take Payments Online as a Small Businesses
Implementing an online payment method for your small business may be easier than you think. Most companies accept online payments through prebuilt payment processing apps or programs, taking all of the work out of adding this payment type to your business transactions.
One of the easiest ways to accept online payments from customers is to use a payment gateway. A payment gateway is an online payment processor that accepts direct debit card, credit card, and bank account payments. For example, PayPal is a popular payment gateway that many businesses use to process online payments.
To begin using a payment gateway, you’ll first need to make a merchant account with your desired company. You can create this merchant account within the app or on the company’s website.
Most payment processing companies charge fees to use their services. These fees may include a:
- Transaction fee
- Processing fee
- Monthly fee
- Credit card processing fee
You should try to choose a payment gateway with low enough fees that the benefits of using its services outweigh the cost.
Once you create a merchant account with a payment gateway, you can begin accepting customer payments through that online payment system. Typically, you can cash out payments to your business’s bank account for free or even set up direct deposit with the merchant service.
Another online payment solution you can consider is an automated invoicing platform. Through this type of platform, you could send recurring billing statements to customers and automate your entire invoicing process. Then, customers could pay their bills online, just like they could through a payment gateway.
These invoicing merchant services are most beneficial for businesses that sell services rather than goods. For example, if customers hire you regularly, you can use these platforms to set up automatic recurring payment options and send professional invoices to customers after each service. " Text-to-pay is life-changing, and the customer care we have received is phenomenal. Our patients love the two-way texting as much as we do! " - Emily Lott
Weave Helps Small Businessess Collect More Payments
" Text-to-pay is life-changing, and the customer care we have received is phenomenal. Our patients love the two-way texting as much as we do! " - Emily LottSchedule Demo
How To Set Up Mobile Payment Apps for My Small Business
When many business owners think of online payments, they imagine customers needing to visit their business website to make credit card payments. However, in reality, most online transactions do not occur through each business’s website. Instead, they take place in mobile apps or online credit card processing sites.
Payment Apps for Small Businesses
If you’re looking for an app to facilitate online credit card processing and benefit other aspects of your marketing strategy, we recommend using Weave. Weave can make it easy to accept digital payments from customers, manage recurring billing information, track late payments and bounced checks, and oversee all payments coming into your business.
However, you could also use a payment processing app strictly for managing online debit card and credit card payments. A few popular payment gateway apps include:
- PayPal Checkout / PayPal Express Checkout
- Quickbooks Payments
- Google Pay / Google Wallet
- Shopify Payments
- Amazon Pay
- Android Pay
- Payment Depot
These apps each have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, while the Paypal Payments standard platform is easy to use, PayPal has a reputation for supposedly freezing accounts if it detects any suspicious activity.¹
Additionally, while Amazon payment processing is incredibly secure, Amazon occasionally declines payments, which could leave your customers confused.
Another mobile payment type to consider is text payments. With text payments, customers could pay your business by following a link you send them in a text message. The easiest way to implement text payments within your business is to use Weave Text to Pay.
With Weave Text to Pay, you can send invoices to customers directly via text message. In addition, your invoice can include a personalized message that connects with the customer and reflects your company’s branding.
When customers receive their text invoice, they can pay their bill from any device by following the transaction link in the message. However, if you already have the customer’s bank account, credit card, or debit card information, you can process their transaction for them in a few easy steps, saving you and the customer time.
See More Ways on how you can utilize texting in business.
What Other Payment Methods Do Small Businesses Use?
If possible, you shouldn’t only offer online payments to customers. Some customers still prefer to make a cash payment, and taking away these transaction options could also impact your profitability.
Additionally, many customers who use credit and debit cards prefer to make a card payment in person rather than trying to navigate online payments. Older customers, for example, may feel discouraged if your business only accepts an online payment option.
Generally, it’s best to accept the following transaction methods for your small business:
- Cash payments
- Credit card payments
- Mobile payments
- Online payments
- Check payments
- Debit card payments
If you’re looking for a convenient way to accept checks, you can use an ACH payment option. ACH, or Automated Clearing House, is a financial network that can facilitate electronic payment methods from one user’s bank account to another. You can input your customers’ check information manually into this network.
Another payment method to consider is financing plans, or Buy Now, Pay-over-time options that let customers split the cost of everyday needs and services into manageable payments over time.
6 Benefits of Payment Software for Small Business
Using the most reliable payment processing software can provide numerous advantages for your business. Here are six benefits you can expect to receive from transaction software like Weave.
- Security: The best payment gateway options are incredibly secure, allowing your customers to feel confident that their payment information will remain safe and out of reach of hackers. In many ways, online payments are safer than keeping cash in your register.
- Efficiency: Online transaction services can allow your business to receive payments from customers quickly and efficiently. For example, if you perform in-home services, you can request that customers pay their bills online after you leave, allowing you to get to the next customer’s house faster. You can also process payments more quickly with online platforms than you can with traditional invoicing services.
- Customization: Payment gateway platforms like Weave can allow you to customize your customer invoices just as you could through a traditional invoicing service. As a result, you can include your company name, logo, billing information, and other vital details to make your invoice look professional and trustworthy.
- Convenience: Utilizing an online payment gateway provides customers with a more convenient way to pay their bills. Additionally, many platforms support autopay, allowing customers with recurring billing to “set and forget” their payments to your business.
- Modernization: Using an online transaction platform can make your business look modern and up-to-date with digital trends, creating a more intelligent image surrounding your brand.
- Simplicity: The best online transaction apps simplify the billing process for customers. As a result, even customers with little to no technical knowledge can figure out how to use these transaction apps.
Even though most online payment services come with fees, the cash flow you can produce from expanding your payment options should make these fees worth it. However, if you’d like to maximize your investment, we recommend using an automation platform like Weave to facilitate online payments and aid numerous other aspects of your marketing plan.
Request a free Weave demo today to see for yourself how Weave can simplify your business communications.