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How do your customers pay you?

(10 Posts)
fritillery Tue 10-Jan-17 11:30:03

I'm trying to set up a small business - will be advising businesses and individuals.
Can people recommend ways of taking payment? When I ran a business back in the dark ages, people paid me by cheque. I assume that this will no longer be sufficient. Need basic, reliable, cheap method of people paying me.
I would like to be able to advise people by email and phone without necessarily meeting them first. Will this throw up distant selling, and payment issues?
I am bad at IT - the simpler the solution the better! What works in practice?

fritillery Tue 10-Jan-17 11:56:35

Also, is it a good idea to set up a business bank account, rather than using your personal account (sole trader)?
Any tips v welcome!

sportinguista Tue 10-Jan-17 12:03:50

I use Paypal for business. It is fairly cheap and easy. There are others but I cannot remember off the top of my head. I also use BACS for some customers as some have problems doing paypal.

I don't meet my customers much either. But paypal works and is actually easy when you have to do your accounts. Also you can keep money in it like a bank account so you can dispense with the business account until you're up and running for a while!

Enidblyton1 Tue 10-Jan-17 12:06:19

Definitely do BACS.
I groan whenever I'm forced to pay by cheque these days!

nancy75 Tue 10-Jan-17 12:21:02

The company I work for gets paid mostly by bank transfer with a few cheque/cash payments. when I started 6 years ago it was 90% cheque but now it is less that 5% I would say.
You need something other than your personal account to be able to keep track of payments easily (Our business is lots of smaller payments rather than a few big, if it was mixed with a personal account it would be a nightmare!)

UnicornMadeOfPinkGlitter Tue 10-Jan-17 12:24:57

BACS so straight to the busoness bank account
cheque - some people do still prefer to pay this way. its a bit of a pain but its ok.
PayPal- we use paypal online invoicing, so send them an invoice via email and they can pay using a paypal account or just credit or debit card without an account.

We prefer paypal for new customers as its instant, but BACS if they have an account with us and we bill monthly.

UnicornMadeOfPinkGlitter Tue 10-Jan-17 12:29:48

ave mentioned, we looked into a lot of other card payment systems and they were a lot more expensive than paypal. we used to use intuit pay which was linked directly to our accounts programme (quickbooks) but they stopped that last year which is when we researched card payment ystems again and found that most have a yearly or monthly fee, plus a transaction fee, so worked out more expensive per year than paypal with the slightly higher processing fee.

After the first payment to transfer to your bank, which takes up to 5 days, the transfers then go through instantly. We had to send a lot of documentation to paypal, such as the letter with our VAT number on, proof of address such as utility bill in the business name and as we provide a service and not goods, we had to send a couple of our invoices as proof of the work and signed worksheets when we had randomly large invoices paid (over £1000)

I was all simple though as long as you have the ability to scan the documents and attach them to the paypal messages.

MoleculeEmoji Tue 10-Jan-17 12:34:31

Bacs and PayPal

fritillery Tue 10-Jan-17 14:27:52

Thanks.
Does anyone use a PAYLEVEN card reader (for credit/debit card payments)?
Or do you use a PAYPAL chip and pin card reader?
Or anything similar?
Those 2 seem to be the main ones on Amazon, but there are some negative comments.

I'm ITphobic and still use cheques myself and don't bank online due to fear of fraud plus said ITphbia, so trying to get this straight in my head.

If customers meet with you and you want them to pay you straight away (either a payment for work you agree to do, or payment for the advice you've just given them), how do they pay you? Presumably they don't go online on their own device and pay via Paypal? Do you use a credit card machine of some kind? (Obviously cheque or cash would be acceptable to me, but prob not acceptable to many customers).
I suppose if you email them an invoice at home, they would then pay by Paypal, BACS or cheque, with PAYPAL and BACS account numbers set out on the invoice.

UnicornMadeOfPinkGlitter Tue 10-Jan-17 14:31:01

We don't use the chip and pin machine as we invoice before carrying out the service we provide, so aren't seeing the customer face to face.

My friend who has a home based beauty salon uses the paypal chip and pin machine. it goes straight into her paypal account and then she can either buy supplies using paypal or transfer to her bank account.

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