If you are a small business owner or freelancer, you have undoubtedly been faced with deciding how to accept payments. While the term “cash is king” applies in certain situations, in the electronic age you have to be ready to take credit card too.
Mobile Payments – Square
I have a Square device for my Android phone that I can use to take payments from anyone at any time. Square sends you a free card reader and charges a fixed 2.75% fee with no monthly charge. After the transaction is approved, the cash is deposited into your account the very next day.
This is a great way to take payments either on the go or if you expect a small volume of payments. It also is designed for you to use with the physical card, so you need another option for online payments.
Online Payments – PayPal
PayPal is the most popular way for bloggers to be paid, so I am no stranger to the service. PayPal allows you to accept credit cards, payments from bank accounts, and payments from PayPal accounts in one place.
Your PayPal account acts like a bank account, so when the payment comes in you have to transfer the money to your bank to get it. PayPal has a complex fee structure, and it is not always cheap to use it for payments.
However, if you do a low volume of online income, PayPal is a trusted and safe way to take payments.
Also see: Serve (formerly Revolution Money Exchange)
In Person or Online – Major Banks
For brick and mortar businesses and high volume online businesses, going to a large bank will allow you to have a trusted service to accept your payments. These accounts generally have monthly fees and that make it less desirable for low volume. For large volumes, however, this is the way to go.
Any bank should be able to set you up with a merchant account. The fees are lower for higher deposit volumes, so be sure to do your research to decide if this is a good option for you.
If you run a business, how do you take electronic payments? What is the cheapest and easiest way to go? Please share your experiences in the comments.
Image by wei_yang.