Whether own online shop or offered services: Payment options on the Internet are basically important for the self-employed. Often, customers even rate a store based on the options and opt for or against it. But which payment options are important? What options should be provided to your own customers so that more is possible than paying by bank transfer? This article looks at some options.
Purchase on account: still standard for web workers
Texts are written, covers or posters are created, websites are designed or even a book proofread. Among web workers a payment method is common as usual: the purchase on account.
Of course, this path has its advantages, but disadvantages are also common:
- Easy– The most difficult part of this method is the creation of an invoice. However, once you have learned the trick and know what is important, or even uses a billing program, which is good. And billing is necessary anyway with all payment options, so that the sale or the offer of the service is compliant with the tax office.
- No involvement– There are no payment service providers involved, so there are no commissions.
- equality– Whether customers place an order over the Internet, over the phone, or during ordinary meetings: the payment method is the same for everyone.
- control– Entrepreneurs must themselves control the bill settlement.
- The customer– When purchasing an invoice, especially between entrepreneurs, certain information must be included in the bill. So the creator not only has to get the tax code and the correct data, but also has to check it out.
The purchase or service on account also means that the bill is created after the order has been completed. All other agreements must be negotiated in advance. In addition, the service provider bears the risk that a customer may not pay later or can no longer pay due to insolvency.
In the area of B2C, the bill purchase is actually still the most widely used payment method – it is easy and convenient. Amazon has also expanded availability, which could lead to a renewed increase. You can find many shops under “Rechnungkauf.com” which still offer the purchase of a bill today.
Product Packages: Payment via PayPal is gaining in popularity
Many know PayPal of their own buying behavior. The payment method is simple, straightforward and offers a degree of security as buyer protection comes into its own. But self-employed can use this option for themselves. Of course, this succeeds particularly well with an online shop, but PayPal can also be used when offering product packages:
- business account– For business use a business account with PayPal is necessary. Incidentally, this option is also available to freelancers.
- verification– Until the account is verified, up to € 2,500 can be received. Thereafter, the reception is unlimited.
- Request money– This is possible by link, even if the client does not use PayPal. In addition, a button for the homepage is also available.
- invoice– The invoice will be generated and sent by e-mail or PayPal.Me. The existing accounting documents from PayPal can be adapted to your own company.
Of course, the button can also be incorporated on the homepage. The same is true for owners of online shops. But other online payment providers are quite interesting for entrepreneurs and offer very similar packages or solutions. Google and Apple Pay are just two providers here. Always pay attention to the fees and conditions to work with the providers.
It always depends on the target group
In general, the most convenient method of payment does not benefit entrepreneurs if it is not used by customers. So the target group decides already. Here it can also come to the usual methods:
- debit– Traders can generally use direct debit, ie direct debit. Older buyers in particular prefer this method to bill purchase or online methods. However, the procedure can be disadvantageous for shop owners, as direct debits can easily be retrieved for several weeks.
- Credit card– It remains popular. However, in order to include younger customers as well, shop owners should specifically be careful to also allow prepaid credit cards.
- Sofortuberweisung– It is practical, simple and is used by a large proportion of the target group at trusted providers.
- Online payments– They are actually interesting for all ages, of course, especially the younger generation uses PayPal and online services.
Ultimately, it is the case that as many payment options as possible should be offered together. First time customers often prefer to buy on account, as they have the security of obtaining a product from a previously unknown seller and at least keeping it in their own hands before paying. Later, these customers also like to pay by online service provider or by direct debit. There are other principles around the payment options:
- customers origin– where do the customers come from? Especially for foreign customers, PayPal offers over other payment options. This possibility is a must.
- keep promise– There is nothing more frightening than an online shop, which offers on the start page the purchase on account and in the order process informs that this only registered customers or regular customers is available. So if you display certain or several payment methods, you must make these available to all customers. Alternatively, it must be directly clear that Method X is only available to customers with certain requirements.
The self-employed must of course also consider for themselves what makes sense. PayPal and Co. charge fees, which are necessarily included. In addition, the buyer protection of some services may well turn out to be their own disadvantage, since the money is frozen first, until the audit has been completed. It is important to familiarize yourself with Buyer Protection and its terms.
However, virtually every payment method has advantages and disadvantages. When purchasing a bill, a certain amount of trust must be paid, because if the bill is not paid, only the dunning process remains. Direct debits can be reclaimed, credit card payments can be challenged. There is always a risk.
Conclusion – draw from the full
The self-employed are well advised to offer as many payment options as possible. Of course, buying on account is always the simplest option, since no other payment providers need to be involved here. However, it is also quite complicated because the customer has to act and enter the payment details.
PayPal proves to be practical for foreign customers, but it also offers buyer protection, which can lead to trouble. Nevertheless, an online payment provider should always be on board, because many customers pay specifically in this way.
Post Image:Mohamed Hassan / pixabay