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11 Min. Read

7 Ways to Accept Payments Online

Accept Payments Online

In our increasingly online world, eCommerce and online payments have emerged as essential when it comes to small business owners and their customers. With so much revenue being generated through online sales, it’s vital to have a strong system for accepting your own online payments. In this article, we’ll go over the best ways to accept payments online.

Table of Contents

Looking for the best way to accept online payments for your business? Here are the top 7 methods, including their pros, cons, and most ideal use cases.

Chase Dreams Not Overdue Payments

1. Credit and Debit Cards

This is the most basic method, and most of your customers will expect to have credit and debit card payments as an option. You’ll first need to decide between a dedicated merchant account or an intermediary holding account. You’ll also need to work with a payment processor to transfer money from your customers to your account of choice. 

It’s a quick, simple method, but it also comes at a cost in the form of fees paid to your processor and to credit card companies. However, you can pass on this charge to the customer. For more information, follow our guide on how to charge credit card fees to customers. If you have a high volume of sales, the extra costs shouldn’t significantly impact your bottom line, but smaller businesses might want to consider an alternative.

2. eChecks and ACH

eChecks work similarly to a traditional check—your customers input their bank account information (routing/account number, name, etc.), and the payment is debited from their bank via an ACH (Automatic Clearing House) transaction. If your business usually relies on paper checks for payments, this is a good option to get paid faster and more securely than traditional methods. 

Fees for ACH eCheck transactions are typically lower than for credit card payments, meaning more money is saved for small businesses. On the downside, this process can take a little longer than other methods, making it less suitable for e-commerce and other businesses that do lots of transactions in a day.

3. Mobile Payments

Mobile payments are quickly becoming the most common payment processing system in a world where many customers make purchases from their phones. There are a number of mobile payment apps on the market that allow your customers to pay invoices and make purchases quickly and conveniently with a credit or debit card. 

The best apps also offer built-in reporting tools, helping you gain more detailed insights into your sales. This is a great option for businesses with younger target demographics, as these people tend to be more likely to make purchases on their mobile devices.

4. Online Payment Gateway

With the quick addition of an online payment form to your website, you can dramatically cut down on the time it takes for customers to make a purchase. This can easily be tasked to one of the many online payment service providers. You should be able to easily add payment gateways to your existing site and allow you to start taking online payments from your checkout page and into your bank accounts as soon as it’s installed. 

This kind of online payment form is especially suited to service-based companies since you’ll be able to direct your email and social media marketing toward this page as the end of your sales funnel. 

5. Invoicing and Billing

Invoicing and billing have been one of the main ways businesses have been accepting payments for hundreds of years. Thanks to state-of-the-art invoicing software, the process has never been faster, simpler, or more secure. A great invoicing software removes the burden of typing up and sending invoices, helps you track outstanding payments, and will even send automatic reminders to clients when payments are past due. If your business relies on invoicing, this is a great way to save time and get paid sooner.

6. Email Invoicing

There are some services that allow you to send invoices to clients directly via email, allowing them to view, pay, and receive a receipt of their bill in just a few clicks. This is especially useful for any service-based industries that rely on invoicing for quick payment for their work. This also helps cut down on the work and environmental impact of your company’s billing process, saving time and paper along the way.

7. Recurring Billing

Businesses that have clients who are paying for services on a recurring, monthly or annual basis might want to set up a recurring billing system. This is great for business types like gyms, childcare, and any other business that uses subscriptions and recurring bills to charge their clients. It also guarantees you get paid on time, and helps your clients by ensuring they don’t need to remember to pay the bill at a certain time.

How to Accept Payments Online with FreshBooks

With so many available methods for accepting payments online, it makes sense to use tools to make the process as simple as possible for both you and your clients. FreshBooks makes it easy for small business owners by allowing a number of online payment methods within a single platform. 

1. Accept Credit Cards Online

Say goodbye to chasing checks! FreshBooks simplifies the online credit card purchasing process, offering a system that clients will find simple to use and easy to trust. You can also transfer the available funds to your account with just a single click, meaning you don’t have to wait long to receive the money. 

Also, since the FreshBooks credit payment features are fully integrated into the rest of the accounting software, all payments are automatically linked to the invoices and reflected in your financial statements and reports.

Also Read: How to Accept Credit Card Payments for Small Business

2. Recurring Payments and Auto-Bills

With FreshBooks, recurring payments and auto-billing are made easy. Setting up a billing schedule for each client is made incredibly simple, taking just seconds to set up accurate ongoing payments on a client-by-client basis. 

Payments are quickly deposited into your bank accounts, meaning no more long waits to receive the funds for a job well done. Plus, schedules can be paused, edited, or canceled at any time and without any fuss. 

3. Accept International Currencies

If you need to bill in a currency besides USD, FreshBooks has you covered. Our online payment platform integrates seamlessly with Stripe, which means you can accept payments in any currency without spending time calculating conversions, and deposit them right into your bank account with ease. Accepting global payments for an online store has never been easier, quicker, or more secure. If you want to know more ways to accept international payments, follow our guide on How to Receive Payment from International Clients. We have listed top methods that will help you choose the right payment method, ensuring smooth transactions.

4. Bank Transfer (ACH)

For businesses based in the US, using a bank transfer is a fast and secure way to accept payments. Deposits are made totally seamless with our integrated bank transfer payment platform, perfect for recurring clients or those businesses where security and ease of payment are of the utmost concern.

5. Checkout Links

Checkout links are easily shared in any kind of text-based medium, from your email newsletter to SMS campaigns. With FreshBooks, you simply generate the link, post it anywhere on the internet, and start receiving payment via a secure payment gateway—no invoices needed. Plus, it’s an extremely quick and secure process, perfect for driving sales for eCommerce at your online store.

6. PayPal

PayPal is a very popular payment service provider, allowing you to send and receive money worldwide, both for personal and professional use. FreshBooks allows you to set up a quick and easy payment processor via PayPal, which allows you to securely take payment in 25 different currencies from 202 countries directly from your invoice.

7. Stripe

FreshBooks integrates seamlessly with Stripe for domestic and international purchases. It’s one of the most secure and trusted online payment processing providers, allowing your customers to make their purchases in just a few easy clicks. 

It works with several international currencies, and it’s compatible with credit payments, Apple Pay, and ACH bank transfers. And like our other payment gateway options, it’s all seamlessly tied in with the rest of the FreshBooks platform.

Also Read: How Does Stripe Work

8. Advanced Payments Option

FreshBooks can also help you get ahead of the work of accepting advanced payments. You can enter, save, and edit client card information directly in FreshBooks, allowing you to bill on your own accord whenever you need to. 

Advanced payment options are made simple with our intuitive, seamless platform, allowing you to get paid near-instantly after getting all the necessary details into the system.

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Still curious about the best ways to receive online payments for your business? Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the topic.

What online payment options does FreshBooks offer?

FreshBooks supports a number of online payment options, including most major credit cards, ACH bank transfers, Apple Pay, Paypal, and Stripe transactions.

How secure are online payments?

Assuming that you use a great payment platform like FreshBooks, online payments are extremely secure—arguably more so than traditional methods. We employ industry-best security practices, and we take Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance very seriously. Our security standards are as high as they can be to ensure peace of mind for you and your customers. 

How much does it cost to accept payments online?

The transaction fees for accepting payments online can vary depending on the method you choose. If you’re accepting credit card purchases online with FreshBooks payments, typically you’ll pay transaction fees of just 2.9%, plus $0.30 per transaction. Other methods can vary when it comes to setup fees, monthly fees, and other payment processing fees, but you can expect most to be similar or less in cost to online credit payments.

How do I set up online payments for my small business?

The easiest way to set up an online payment method for your small business is with an all-in-one solution like FreshBooks. FreshBooks lets you choose from a variety of methods, simplifying the payment system for your customers and automatically including all purchases, fees, and other details in your usual financial reporting.

What is the safest way to receive payment?

The safest way to receive your online payment is by choosing from the top, most trusted payment service providers. FreshBooks employs both Stripe and Paypal, both of which use top-of-the-line security and encryption to keep transactions safe and secure. ACH bank transfers (also offered through FreshBooks) are another very secure and cost-effective way to transfer payments online. 

How to accept credit card payments online?

There are a few ways to accept credit payments online, but the easiest way to use this payment method is by using one of the most popular payment service providers. FreshBooks has you covered with an easy-to-integrate credit card payment option. FreshBooks payments make your credit card payment process simple, secure, and efficient. 

How do I accept payments when selling online?

There are a number of ways to accept online payments, including credit or debit card payments, bank transfers, mobile payments, checkout links, or through online billing and invoicing software like FreshBooks.

How do I accept a card payment on my phone?

Mobile payment apps are the best way to accept credit payments while you’re on the go. FreshBooks Payments makes it easy to view and accept transactions from your clients thanks to our secure, simple-to-use mobile app for Android and iOS.

Start Accepting Online Payments Today

If you’re not already accepting payments online, now is the time to start! With an all-inclusive online payment processor like FreshBooks, it’s never been simpler for small businesses to handle invoicing, billing, recurring payments, and online purchases. 

We support a wide variety of payment methods, making it simpler for your clients while also offering high-end security and peace of mind from end to end. Try FreshBooks free today!

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Sandra Habiger, CPA

About the author

Sandra Habiger is a Chartered Professional Accountant with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington. Sandra’s areas of focus include advising real estate agents, brokers, and investors. She supports small businesses in growing to their first six figures and beyond. Alongside her accounting practice, Sandra is a Money and Life Coach for women in business.