In 2019, e-commerce accounted for almost $200 billion in sales for US businesses.
In addition to this, not just websites receive payments online. Any business or service provider can take advantage of online payments, and the number that do is growing.
From restaurants to electricians, the growth of online payments is a growing trend. Just like the prevalence of bank cards led to a decrease in the use of cash, online payments are taking over for traditional methods of receiving payments.
Receive Payments Online
There are a number of reasons why online payments are more popular than traditional methods.
The biggest reason is that it removes the need for business infrastructure. Online payments are easy to track, record, and finalize.
Another main area in which online payments have grown in popularity is they are easy to set up. You don’t have to be a computer whiz to take advantage of these benefits. Anyone can set up an online payment service and begin to receive payments via the internet.
Those who have a website find it even easier to have people use online payment options. Here are the five best ways we think you can receive payments online.
1. Credit Cards and Debit Cards
Setting up a payment portal that can handle debit and credit cards is an easy way to accept payments online. While debit cards had come out decades ago, by 1998, they began to outnumber checks. Now, debit and credit purchases are by far the preferred method for most people.
Receiving payments via debit and credit cards is easy because it is so common on the internet. Every major company that operates online accepts payments from debit and credit cards. The software necessary to set up this process is pre-packaged to be the easiest to deploy.
When you allow people to pay with debit or credit cards, you make it more likely people will want to do business with you. Credit cards have been popular for a long time, but there was always a risk associated with accepting them. Some people would use them when they didn’t have the money to cover the purchase.
Modern methods are much safer. A debit card is tied to the balance of the account it is issued for. Credit cards operate in a similar fashion. Only it is tied to the available credit of the card account. This means that you won’t have payments bouncing or being returned due to a lack of funds.
2. Mobile Payment Options
One of the most modern and growing ways to receive payments online is via mobile payment apps.
The major mobile companies like Google and Apple all have payment apps available. This means that a person doesn’t even need to carry a card, if they have their phone available it is as good as having cash.
Allowing people to pay using their mobile phones has been a game-changer. It’s accepted that in developed countries, smartphones are commonplace, and few don’t have them. If you provide a service or sell to a younger audience, this payment method will be even more popular for you.
Most of these apps work by using a credit card or debit card. They are considered safer because you don’t have to input this information in order to pay. This helps add confidence that the system will work without exposing customers to unnecessary risks.
One of the main reasons why this method has gained so much popularity is the prevalence of identity theft. It is far harder to steal someone’s card information if the information is encrypted and never input directly.
This method also makes it easier for the person who is receiving the payment. You can use your phone in order to receive payments like this. You can also receive your payments online from anywhere. You don’t need additional equipment, even a QR code on your phone is sufficient in most cases.
3. E-Checking Is Not Dead
It comes as a surprise to many, but eChecks remain one of the most popular ways to pay. This method is more popular with the older generations as it can feel familiar to them. With eChecking, you have your customer input the information off of the paper check into the computer.
One big advantage of this system for providers of goods and services is that the service fees are often lower than those associated with credit cards. If you are charged less per transaction, you will end up with more money in your pocket for the work that you do.
The reason why eChecking remains popular is also because the funds are checked before payment. The check is approved via a clearing house to ensure that you get the money you are due. This removes the risk of earlier paper check methods that people could write without the necessary funds.
Now that technology has rendered the old methods of cheating the system obsolete, eChecks are considered safe and secure. One significant barrier for older people in using online payment methods is risk and unfamiliarity.
By offering up this option, you can appeal to the sense that this is as safe as using a check ever was. It acts as a bridge between the traditional and modern ways of doing business.
4. Online Payment Portal
The payment portal, or payment gateway, is a very popular option for those who operate websites. While the other methods don’t require a website, the payment portal needs a site to be attached to. This allows customers to input their details and preferred method of payment online.
Most payment gateways are designed to accept a variety of payment options. Giving your customers more choice can be helpful as they may be more comfortable with one option or another. Catering to this will make people more at ease when doing business with you.
Providing consumer confidence is a key aspect of the modern business space. Being accessible and listed online is also a very important step in building a successful business. If you don’t have a website, you should get one for those reasons alone. The payment portal is just a bonus.
Many customers expect to see and be able to use some form of payment gateway. If you are using a website, make sure to have a good, high-quality interface. Doing so will make your business appear more professional and give people confidence in doing business with you.
5. Email Invoicing
For some providers, an invoice is a very necessary part of their payment model. Invoices help keep track of work, expenses, and payments. Using them has been popular for as long as people have been writing down work and charging for it.
When you use email in order to provide invoices, you can include payment options on the email. This is often called click to pay. It provides a space for your customers to click, which will direct them to the payment options they want.
One huge benefit in the modern world to this approach is that it makes sure everything stays green. You won’t have to use paper or generate any trash when using an email invoice with payment options. Studies have shown that 88% of people prefer to do business with green companies.
Taking advantage of preferences that are becoming more common, you can grow your customer base. You should be proud that you have a paperless system that doesn’t require the generation of trash in order to function. Your younger, modern customers will also be very happy about this.
What Works for Your Business
No matter what kind of business you operate, the ability to receive payments via online sources is critical. You would use a mechanical aptitude test to ensure you’re investing in a good new hire for an HVAC business, wouldn’t you? So too, do you want to use online payments to keep up with people’s busy lives.
Operating a modern business requires catering to the modern, digital business space. The type of method of online payments continues to grow and change with technology being innovated all the time. Thankfully, you don’t have to keep up with every change in order to provide your customers with what they want.
Choose the method that not just your customers prefer, but the one that you are comfortable using. If you don’t want to get a website, then a payment portal may not be right for you. If you don’t mind using paper invoices, perhaps eChecks are the way to go.
The Future of Payment Cycles and Options
The most important thing you can provide to customers is the option to use what method they prefer. People like to use methods they understand and are familiar with. You don’t want to lose a customer because they are uncomfortable with sending a check via the mail to your business.
Staying up with modern technology will continue to change the landscape of how payments are accepted. Don’t wait another minute, get out, and adjust your business to the current trends, and you will benefit your business. Receive payments online any way you can.
Be sure to browse the website for other helpful articles before you go.