Online shopping has made electronic payment systems more popular than ever before. This new trend has also made an impact in the freelancing world. It has opened the way for freelancers to invest in electronic freelance payment systems. Finding the right type for your freelance business is a tough task. Technological advancements have made an impact on productivity while seeing a massive decrease in using cash and checks to do any kind of business in the freelancing world, according to Boundless.
Nevertheless, the common types of freelance payment systems you must invest in include:
Cards are the most commonly used types of electronic payments for all the freelance work done. It's normal for a freelancer to ask clients to pay using prepaid, credit or debit cards. Not only are the cards made of plastic, but also feature magnetic stripes on the back. According to the Business Insider, more employers and clients appear to favor making payments for services rendered or work done using prepaid credit cards. The prepaid credit cards are popular with clients and businesses that prefer employing workers on hourly basis.
Internet payments are equally popular with a growing number of freelancers. The freelancer is free to determine whether it's fine to transfer money directly from your bank account or accessing it all online. The Internet is a great tool for payments especially for anybody who wants to avoid the inconvenience of walking to the nearest bank and queuing for a chance to withdraw some money for personal use. As the e-commerce industry experiences exponential growth, the demand for Internet as a freelance payment system will continue growing too.
Mobile payments are popular with more freelancers because they are convenient. The fact that more freelancers opt to buy smartphones makes the demand for mobile payments higher than usual. Most freelancers are limited in terms of the number of transactions they can do using their mobile gadgets. If your bank allows you to have a mobile bank on your mobile device, you should take advantage of this to let your freelancing clients know that they can send payments using this system. According to Fortune, mobile payments have grown substantially in 2016.
Finally, person-to-person payments are also available to any freelancer who prefers them. This method is different from person-to-person meeting. It doesn't involve an actual meeting between the freelancer and his client. It simply means the client is willing to pay the freelancer through an online account. Some of the companies that facilitate this form of payment include AlertPay, Moneybookers, and PayPal among others. Therefore, identify a freelance payment system you're most comfortable with and share it with your clients.
A freelancer's biggest headache is finding work. The next biggest issue is finding clients who pay. After finding a client who pays, your next problem might be finding out whether he can pay on time. Fortunately, you're not helpless in this regard. You can do something to encourage all your clients to send freelance payment on time. Finding the sites to get freelance work isn't rocket science.
Some of the places where you can find freelancing work include:
The good thing about some of these freelancing sites is they already have foolproof freelance payment methods.Consequently, you're guaranteed timely pay all the time. You never have to worry about delayed payments. In fact, the idea that a client might take off with your money isn't feasible as long as you work in the trustworthy and well-known freelance platforms. Next, you might want to consider using positive reinforcement to encourage clients to pay on time. Using negative reinforcement where necessary is also highly advisable.
Choose a tool that's convenient for both of you. Ask the customer to tell you his preferences in terms of method and time of payment. There are times when it's fine to go by what the client wants instead of insisting that it's either your way or the highway. More importantly, you should not err by not automating the invoicing process. Paper invoices are becoming obsolete, especially in the world of freelancing. Use the right software for this work.
Freelancing work may keep you too busy to a point you almost forget that it's time to prepare and send invoices once again. The fact that you have more than one billing date to contend with could complicate matters further for you. To avoid such situations, consider switching to recurring or automatic repeat billing. A recurring billing system protects you from upsetting a delicate payment system. Whatever you do, never be afraid to ask for payments upfront, especially when dealing with a client for the very first time.
No matter the freelance payment method you choose, you should never forget to nurture the relationships you have with all your clients. It's fine to be owed money. Don't destroy the relationships with your client because of unsettled accounts, unless you have tried everything possible but the customer refuses to heed to your requests to pay on schedule. In the meantime, learn how to identify and avoid clients who seem hell-bent on making your freelancing career a walking nightmare.
One of the benefits of working is getting paid. The other benefit is making customers happy. These two benefits are crucial in the life of a freelancer. Getting paid is only sweeter when the customer is happy. A happy customer has no problem throwing in a tip for work that's been done professionally and exceptionally well. In such instances, it pays to include various freelance payment options in case your preferred is unavailable for the client. Otherwise, you run the risk of not receiving any payment at all.
According to Business News Daily, some customers don't pay because they just don't feeling like paying. Many times, some business people don't get paid simply because something is wrong with the credit card processor. Other reasons that make some clients not to pay include unexpected bills in addition to a misplaced or lost invoice. Ideally, customers have between 30-90 days to settle a freelance invoice. Regardless of the reason for late payment or non-payment, unpaid invoices hurt businesses. Unpaid invoices are capable of causing businesses to collapse.
Agreeing on the freelance payment options gives your business a lifeline it needs. The options make it impossible for the client to say that something went wrong because he already sent the money. Giving the client more than one option eliminates the excuses he might come up with to avoid paying you despite offering expert freelance services. If the customer doesn't honor your requests for payment, you should now take or pursue other options. The best route to take in such scenarios is:
Filing a lawsuit is highly advisable in situations where the two of you signed an agreement. Many times owners of small freelance business don't consider filing a lawsuit a great move. They consider the process not worth the hassle. A lawsuit is nonetheless necessary when huge sums of money are involved yet the client refuses to pay despite sending a representative of a collection agency. According to nolo.com, you must spend time to carefully think about the merits and demerits of filing a lawsuit.
Therefore, you have seen the importance of agreeing freelance payment options with the client. Let the client know all the options before you proceed with the first part of any project. Check that the client understands the options and terms well before you proceed with the project. Taking care at the initial stages gives you a much higher chance of enjoying success later. Talking about such issues with the client eliminates the likelihood of a misunderstanding or cancellation of a freelance contract.
Paying for services rendered via checks is increasingly growing popular. Checks are tried and tested means of making payments. Nonetheless, there are times when checks are full of drawbacks that render them unworthy. Checks require that you look for stamps and envelopes or travel to the local post office to post them, thus a bit cumbersome. An article posted on USA Today about travelers checks replacement issues, merchant refusals, exorbitant fees and time and availability as some of the disadvantages of checks.
One of the most effective alternatives to checks is freelance payment portal, which your business needs. With such portals, your financial details such as credit card information remain secure. This is mainly because you don't have to send such details online. The portal already has all the details needed of your credit card information. It has all the information that a seller or buyer considers pertinent to a successful transaction that's based on trust. It protects both the buyer and seller. One of the most popular portals for freelancers is PayPal.
Payment portals are available in two categories, which are both great for your freelancing business. The categories are hosted portals and shared portals. Hosted portals direct customers away from your e-commerce site. Shared portals are available inside your e-commerce site, thus the customer is not directed away from the website. Hosted portals spare users from Merchant IDs because there is no need for confidential details. The most popular types of hosted portals that you can rely on today include:
On the other hand, an example of shared portals is eWay. Shared portals are easier to use as they don't require the customer leaving your site. They are fast, and this is a great quality for customers who want to finalize all their financial dealings in a single site instead of moving from one website to the next. Shared portals are great for customers who are in a rush, which could almost be everyone considering the speed at which businesses and individuals alike operate in today's world.
Freelance payment portals protect against fraud. They also protect the customer's personal data. According to oas.org, everybody has a right to privacy through data protection. Payment portals guarantee that you can process multicurrency payments without any difficulty. The payment portals can only benefit your freelance career if you choose the authentic ones. Before settling on any portal, take time to evaluate it in terms of transaction rates, setup fee, the security of the customer's transaction and information among other factors.