Being a freelance writer gives you the freedom to work flexible hours, choose your own assignments, and work from the comfort of your own home. But you could be limiting your success if you’re still relying on paper invoices and check payments to receive payment for your services.
Read over these top five reasons to accept online payments to discover the benefits and see how this feature can help you be a more effective freelancer.
1. Quick and Easy Payments
With online payments, you no longer have to wait for the “check in the mail” in order to be compensated for your work. Online payment services allow you to get paid the same day that you send out your invoice, and since credit card payments typically process faster than paper checks, you’ll spend less time waiting for the money to be transferred into your account. Furthermore, when you are no longer dependent on mail services or restricted by currency conversions, you can grow your customer base to accept clients from all around the globe.
2. Easy Accounting
Most online payment companies go beyond simple payment processing and offer services to help you manage your account. This allows you to easily keep track of payment history, issue refunds, and set up reoccurring payments for regular customers. Plus, by using an online payment service, you can eliminate the hassle and cost of paper billing.
Accepting online payments protects the privacy of you and your clients. With paper statements or direct bank deposits, both you and your client have to provide personal information such as mailing addresses and account numbers. However, with online payment services, there is no need to exchange such personal information. You can easily set up your online account under your pen name or company name, and your clients can control the amount of account data that is visible to you.
Using an online payment service offers you and your customers a sense of security as well as protection against fraud. When processing credit card payments, online programs use secure, encrypted websites designed to keep your clients’ account data safe. These security measures also keep your information secure each time you log in and protect you from hackers and scammers. Even more importantly, accepting online payments helps guarantee that you are compensated for your work and frees you from the worry of a check being returned due to insufficient funds.
5. Increased Legitimacy
Even though your business might just be you and your computer, you can easily appear as legitimate as more established companies by offering your clients the same amenities. Giving your customers the ability to pay online not only makes you appear more professional, but also makes you look more trustworthy to prospective clients. Ultimately, providing clients the ability to pay online may give you the competitive edge over other freelancers who do not offer this service.
Although there are fees associated with accepting online payments, the benefits greatly outweigh the costs. In order to find the service that fits your budget and best meets your needs, take time to do your research and shop around. You’ll find that national banks and credit card companies as well as local credit unions and independent vendors offer an array of services for small business owners. Make sure you read the fine print and take note of service charges, credit limits, and payment options.
In the end, allowing your clients to pay for your freelance services over the internet will help you grow your client list and your audience.
Stephanie Marbukh is a freelance writer who never turns down a payment and writes about a range of topics including blogging tips and small business advice.