It’s no secret I am not a fan of Paypal. I used them extensively during the first 4 years working online though until I finally said NO MORE! There’s a lot of issues accepting online payment with Paypal, here’s just a few of mine and what I DO suggest you use (and what I actually use every day in my online business now and to pay my entire virtual team!)
If you have clients pay you via Paypal…
1) It’s not particularly professional to send them an invoice from Paypal or request they pay you from Venmo or something to avoid fees…you are a real business, you need to look like $100/hr and not $10/hr if you want to be charging that. Your invoicing and payment acceptance needs to rival someone demanding $100/hr if you want to also demand just as much, right? Would someone charging $100/hr stick a little note on the bottom of their Paypal invoice “Please use the ‘sending money to friends and family’ option or Venmo to my email to avoid fees, thanks” NOPE. And neither should you.
2) Paypal wants you to use them and their shiz. So the money a client pays takes DAYS to hit them…then you have to manually login and push it to your bank account which takes another 3-5 BUSINESS days. That means I have to just REMEMBER to login to Paypal to push the money to my account, THEN it takes another week to hit my account??? Do you know how much this messes up my bills getting paid every month? “Oh I am getting paid this week, woohoo!” TWO WEEKS LATER because a client paid a few days later, it took 4 business days from there, and the weekends and holidays don’t count as business days. I’ve legit been broke before and logged into my Papal and had $1000+ sitting there. I have no access to it because now I have to push it to my bank account and it’s a Thursday so I won’t see it until earliest: Tuesday. IS THIS REAL LIFE? And NO I do not want a Paypal card, thank you very much. I want my money.
3) You are going to have to pay fees unless its a bank to bank wire transfer, that’s just how it goes. Whether you use Paypal or integrate with a credit card acceptance site (e.g. Stripe). Fees are part of running a business. So incorporate those into your hourly rates or packages and let it go. Stop asking clients to go some weird way to pay you so you can avoid a little charge. They have a ton of invoices to pay every month, you want your money quickly right? Then make it easy for them.
So what the heck should you do?
You need a proper invoicing & payment acceptance system. Seamless, low or zero fees you have to eat and goes directly into your account QUICKLY without you having to manually do stupid crap to move it along.
There are a few tools I think that offer this, but our favorite and the one I’ve used from the very beginning is:
Freshbooks. I truly believe it’s the best out there and here’s why:
You can set it up easily through them to not only track your hours but then pop those right into an invoice and send it to a client. Then the client can pay via the payment methods YOU choose. You set up and then select right from the invoice which payment methods you want to offer a client, once they pay it goes directly into your account.
They have 3 options, Paypal, Stripe, or Freshbooks Payments which is through WePay and offers bank transfer (no fees!) or credit card (lower fees!).
Here’s how I have mine setup:
I do not allow for Stripe anymore because the fees were more per transaction vs. just going through Freshbooks Payments. Plus Stripe took longer to hit my account. Freshbooks payments take about 2 days to hit my account. You heard that right. That’s RECORD time in online payment processing. And inside the US they offer ACH payments which mean seriously LOW COST bank to bank transfers saving tons of time and money.
I do not allow for Paypal payments now either unless a client directly requests it due to the delay and manually pushing I despise. But if a client requests it and you go through Freshbooks Paypal they offer a special program where you can set up your business so it’s only 0.50 per invoice paid from a client. YOU READ THAT RIGHT. There is no percentage, just 0.50 cents. You can ONLY get the 0.50 deal through specific applications like Freshbooks. Paypal does not offer it directly.
The best part is Freshbooks is it’s free ya’ll. I got it for you for freesies for 30 days HERE with no credit card required and I honestly used the free version for the first year or so of my VA business. Then once I had more clients I upleveled to their whopping $10/month plan. You save the $10 in fees alone!!! It’s SO WORTH IT!!! The $10/month level also connects to your business bank account so it can track all expenses right there in the app. And their customer service is incredible when you call an actual person in Canada picks up and helps you right then.
So stop being a slave to Paypal or other weird and unprofessional payment methods, there is no reason for it. Freshbooks is an incredible tool and the 0.50 per Paypal transaction will cover your $10/mo fee alone.
Another emerging way to accept payments from your clients (especially international clients) is through a program called Transferwise. It is extremely easy and fast.
All your clients need to send you money is your email address and you can easily transfer the money straight into your bank account through your email as well. If you are paying people it’s a great option as well. The fees are tiny compared to what you are going to pay through other methods. Transferwise is great as well if you are paying in a different currency than the person is receiving. It shows you right away what the conversion is and how much money you are going to get. You really can’t go wrong accepting or sending payments through Transferwise.
Occasionally we recommend tools we actually use and as a thank you the company gives us a kickback for each purchase, this is called being an affiliate. We are proud to recommend Freshbooks because it’s helped my business so much! But know that anything beyond your free trial I will get a little thank you from the company. Thanks for understanding how we can finance all the free work online content for you!