I’ve been recently experiencing a bit of a frustration. I signed up for a program that is supposed to take money each month from my credit card for a membership, but anytime I have to update my card, I have to contact the vendor directly. One time my card had expired, and the second time my bank had decided to change my card number because they thought my account had been compromised. I hadn’t noticed it, but I’m glad my bank is looking out for me.
I called and left a message with the vendor to update my card. They said they would get back to me. It’s been almost a week and they haven’t called back. That’s okay with me. It leaves me a bit more in my bank account for now. If they are not in a hurry to get paid that’s perfectly fine with me. However, most business owners I know would like to get paid each month without fail. I feel that if you have a monthly subscription service, you should make sure it has a feature that allows your customers to update their billing details or even cancel whenever they want, without having to go through the trouble of calling you to make it happen.
I usually use PayPal to bill for my services. It’s easy and one of the advantages is that most people who shop online are very familiar with it. If someone wants to adjust their billing account, all they have to do is go into to Paypal and fix the problem. Paypal also allows you to send out invoices to your customers or request a monthly payment.
The only thing I don’t like is that Paypal only saves your monthly statements for 3 months. This appears to be a new policy because I just noticed it. If you forget to download your statements, you may be missing information when it is time to work on your taxes.
Other options for monthly subscription payments that most people know and trust are:
There are several others but they aren’t as well known or popular.
I recently started using Freshbooks to send out my invoices. It’s a very cool site that you can brand for your business and it will send out billing notices to your customers for individual invoices as well as subscription services. That way you have a record of the time or tasks you completed as well as a very organized way to keep track of customer accounts. Your data is saved, secure and accessible at tax time. It’s easy to customize your invoices to match your branding. They even have a time tracker feature. When you start a task, set the timer and when you are finished bill accordingly.
They have a 30 day free trial. I just signed up for the first level of premium service.
What impressed me about Freshbooks, was that the company not only contacted me by email to see if I needed any help, they also called simply to introduce themselves. I thought that was a nice touch.
In addition to processing payments using Freshbooks through Paypal, they also offer a variety of payment gateways such as:
- eWAY (AU)
- Google Checkout
- 2 Checkout
and credit cards
It’s a great system for small business owners and entrepreneurs. If someone writes you a check, pays directly to Paypal, or gives you a Swedish massage as a barter payment, you can mark your bill as paid and it will still track your production with that customer.
What is your favorite way to pay or get paid online? Please leave a comment and let us know.