Accepting Payment

master-card-visa-credit-card-gold-164501Most of your payments will probably come in the form of checks, so if you want to avoid running to the bank to deposit them, consider investing in a check scanner, especially if you have a lot.

Regardless of which scanner you buy, remember that you’ll download the drivers and software for it via your bank’s website. More specifically: you download them after you login, from somewhere in your banking portal. Some banks use a desktop app to control the scanner and some do so from within the web browser. Before you start cashing oodles of checks, though, it’s a good time to check your transaction limits, listed in your business banking account documents.

If you only have a few checks, your your mobile banking app’s check scanning feature will probably suffice, but there might be a daily, weekly, or monthly limit (in terms of dollars or quantity of transactions) on mobile deposits.

You may also want to consider accepting electronic check payments, often more precisely called ACH (Automated Clearing House) payments, which allow the client to directly deposit money into your account or you to debit the client’s checking account.  These abilities are usually available as additional services, for an additional fee, from your bank for your business checking account.

Some businesses, though, are run mostly on credit cards. It’s simply the way the owners choose to pay bills, make purchases, and manage their transactions, so that’s how they’ll want to pay you too. You can accommodate them if you have a payment service like Square or QuickBooks’ Payments add-on, but there’s usually a fee of 1-3%, so you’ll have to decide whether you’ll absorb that fee as a general business expense or collect it directly from the customer paying you via credit card. The fee is higher for contactless payments, which you’ll likely be using, since those transactions lack the authentication of the card’s chip.

Overall, you want to be paid, you want to be flexible so that you get paid, but you don’t want to end up accepting all sorts of different types of payments via different services, with varying fees, with funds available at varying times. It’s up to you how accommodating you’re going to be, and for how big of a client.

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