August 21, 2013 Jason

Freelance Focus – Accepting Payments Online

While there’s something magical about opening the mailbox and receiving a cheque from your client, the online payment option provides immense value to you as the freelancer, as well as for your client. They receive all of the benefits that come with credit card payments (airmiles, cashback rewards, grace periods) and you tend to get paid faster while looking more professional.

If you want to accept credit card payments online, PayPal and Stripe are two popular and easy-to-setup options. Their fees aren’t outrageous, especially if you’re not creating large invoices, but as your business grows, you might want to look at more affordable solutions. Stripe charges 2.9% + 30 cents per successful charge (about $3.20 for every $100), and PayPal charges the same if your monthly sales are less than $3000, with rates decreasing as your billing volume increases.

Some freelancers choose to eat the processing fee while others think they should pass this fee along to the clients, tacked on before the tax. My thoughts on this – Don’t do it. If you pass these fees along to your client, you just look like a starving freelancer. The fees should be factored into your billing, so your client doesn’t feel like they’re being dinged for costs that only benefit you. If your client thinks that you’re nickel and diming them, it will probably begin to erode the trust you’ve worked so hard to build. Don’t let payment fees cost you a client.

Providing clients with an easy solution to pay you will result in you being paid on time more often. And that’s a very good thing.

How are you collecting online payments, and how’s that working for you?

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