Payment options for agencies
There are several important aspects to consider when starting an agency business. One of these is setting up various options to collect payments from your clients. Here are some of the payment options that you can use when running your business:
Credit card payments
This is considered the most commonly used form of payment. This can be made in person, over the phone, or online through services like Stripe, where you can set up recurring payments. Even without a coding background, you can easily set up your Stripe payment and subscription through the Stripe Billing platform, which provides a UI to create subscriptions and manage customer billing information.
Here are the steps:
- Sign up for a Stripe account if you don’t have one already.
- Log in to your Stripe dashboard and navigate to the Billing section.
- Create a new product and specify the pricing and billing frequency.
- Create a new subscription plan and associate it with the product you created in step 3.
- On your website, use the Stripe Checkout or Elements to let customers subscribe to the plan you created in step 4.
- Manage your customer billing information, view reports, and manage subscriptions from your Stripe dashboard.
Stripe Billing also provides APIs for more advanced use cases, such as adding coupons, proration, and automatic renewal failures. Here are additional materials to help you get started with this payment option:
This is another online payment option that allows payments to be made using various methods, such as credit or debit cards and bank transfers. Aside from being a payment gateway, this payment option also offers various services, such as sending invoices and requesting money. PayPal's invoicing feature allows you to create, send, and manage invoices on a recurring basis. Here are the steps on how to set that up:
- Sign up for a PayPal account if you don’t have one already.
- Log in to your PayPal account and navigate to the Invoicing section.
- Create a new invoice and enter the customer's information and the amount you are charging.
- Select the option to make the invoice recurring by choosing a frequency and end date.
- Send the invoice to your customer.
- When the due date arrives, PayPal will automatically send a payment reminder to your customer.
- You can view and manage all of your invoices, including recurring invoices, from your PayPal dashboard.
To use PayPal's invoicing feature, you will need a PayPal business account. If you only have a personal account, you will need to upgrade to a business account.
You can also check this the following articles on setting up your PayPal invoices:
Electronic funds transfer (EFT)
This is considered a secure and efficient way to transfer funds, as they do not require the physical exchange of cash or checks. Clients can make payments directly from their bank account to your agency's bank account through EFT. To set up Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), you will need to:
- Choose a bank: Choose a financial institution that offers EFT services and has a strong reputation for security and reliability.
- Open a business account: Open a business bank account with the institution you have chosen, and make sure the account has EFT capabilities.
- Provide bank information: Provide your bank with the necessary information, including the name of your business, tax identification number, and contact information.
- Establish payment processing: Establish a payment processing system that is compatible with EFT, such as a payment gateway or merchant services provider.
- Connect the processing system with your bank: Connect your payment processing system with your bank account to ensure that EFT transactions can be processed seamlessly.
- Test the system: Test the EFT system to ensure that it is working correctly and that all transactions are being processed and recorded accurately.
- Comply with regulations: Make sure you are compliant with all relevant regulations and standards, such as the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) Operating Rules and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
It is important to choose a secure and reliable EFT system to ensure the safety and protection of your customer's financial information. Here's an article to learn more about EFT:
It's also worth noting that you should consider offering different payment options for different types of clients or services. For example, you can offer credit card payments for smaller, one-time services but offer invoicing for larger, ongoing projects.
Setting up recurring payments will also help you reduce administrative overhead because automating recurring payments eliminates the need for a manual billing process. Thus, freeing up time and resources for other tasks.