How to Set up Automatic Payments for Your Business and Get Paid Faster
To set up automatic payments for your business you’ll need to research the range of companies that offer recurring payment solutions and choose the automatic payment method that works best for your business. To accept automatic payments you’ll need to let your clients know the service is available and you may want to offer incentives to encourage clients to try it out. Accepting recurring payments helps small businesses receive payment faster and improves cash flow.
These topics will show you how to set up automatic payments for your business:
How Do I Set up Automatic Payments?
To set up your business to accept automatic payments from clients, you’ll need to find the payment service provider that works best for your business and fits your budget. Here are the steps to take to set up automatic payments for your business and encourage clients to use the service:
Do Your Research
Look into the various service providers that enable small businesses to accept automatic payments. Select the provider that works best for your business model and your budget. Most providers will charge your business a transaction fee for each credit card payment, including for recurring payments, so research the fees they charge. Auto payment service providers include:
- Square: Square allows you to accept recurring credit card payments online and also supports in-store, mobile and online payments.
- PayPal: Enables you to accept recurring PayPal and credit card payments online, as well as regular in-store and online payments.
- Cloud-based accounting solution: Cloud-based accounting software allows your clients to easily set up automatic payments through credit cards when paying invoices online.
Make Sure It’s Secure
For the most part, an automatic payment merchant will offer customers a high-level of security and encryption in the handling of their client’s personal data and payment information. Even so, you should do your due diligence and look into the specific payment security measures offered by the provider you select.
Market It to Customers
Once you’ve set up your business to accept automatic payments, make sure you let your clients know they can now use the service to pay their invoices. You can update the payment terms on your invoice to include a note about accepting recurring payments. Or, include an email with every invoice you send out for the first few months letting clients know they can use automatic bill payment to simplify the billing process.
You can also offer clients an incentive to sign up for automatic bill payments. Consider rewarding early adopters of the service by providing a small discount off their invoice, either a percentage or dollar amount deducted from their total bill in the month that they sign up for automatic payments.
Types of Recurring Payments
There are different types of recurring payment options small businesses can offer to their clients to get paid faster for their services. The kinds of automatic payment options you offer clients will depend on your industry and business model. Recurring payment types include:
- Fixed amount auto payments: These automatic payments charge the same amount each billing cycle and are common for small businesses that offer subscription-model services, such as freelance web masters who provide the same service for a client each month and charge a standard monthly fee. Fixed amount automatic payments are the most common recurring payment subscriptions.
- Variable amount auto payments: Automatic payment amounts vary from invoice to invoice, depending on the services the client purchases for that pay period. This is a common payment model for freelance creatives including graphic designers and writers, whose services for clients change monthly, depending on what’s needed.
- Pre-approval transactions: These automatic payments involve pre-approving a credit card to be charged shortly after a service is provided. These payments are less common for freelancers and entrepreneurs but are common for services like those offered by Uber drivers, where a card is pre-approved when an account is activated and charged after every service.
Why Should Businesses Accept Automatic Payments?
Businesses should accept automatic payments to offer clients a more convenient payment method and to help receive payments faster. Here are some top benefits of accepting automatic payments:
Improves Cash Flow
With automatic payments, businesses never have to worry about whether the client will pay on time. You’ll know exactly when your payments will be processed every month, which helps with cash flow and lets you plan ahead for how you’ll spend your money.
Clients often prefer paying with automatic bill pay, because it allows them to set up a payment schedule once and then forget about it. Automatic payments give clients assurance their bills will be paid on time without having to make the payments themselves.
Instead of having to create invoices manually each month, send them to clients and then process payments when you receive them, automatic bill payments allow you to automate all these processes. You’ll spend less time invoicing and more time attending to important business matters.
Offers Greater Security
Automatic billing software offers your clients high-level payment security and encrypts users’ personal and payment information. It’s a safe and secure payment option for your clients.
Better for the Environment
Automatic bill payments eliminate the need for sending invoices by mail on your end and mailing paper checks on your client’s end. Going paperless cuts waste and is better for the environment.
What Types of Businesses Benefit from Auto Pay?
Automatic bill payments offer small businesses reliable cash flow and allow you to spend less time on invoicing and payment processing. Here are some of the businesses that can benefit the most from accepting auto pay from clients:
- Lawyers and law firms
- General contractors
- Freelance creatives, including writers, marketers, designers and more
- Daycare companies
- IT professionals