Making it Easy to get Paid

By , November 1, 2010

When I decided to freelance more regularly, I knew it was important to make it really easy to receive funds. A key to that is to have a process that’s as painless as possible for the payee. I know there are other more productive activities to invest my time. And the same is true for the people I work with.

Paypal was the obvious payment option to consider because I already had the account. I knew how easy it was to pay for my purchases online. When I looked at it as a tool to receive money, I learned that part is easy too. Since there’s minimal work involved in sending an invoice and taking the occasional fee, I decided to try it out. It’s a faster process to set up than navigating the red tape of using a bank.

I’ll tell you why I like Paypal.

Speed and Efficiency: The Order of the Day

Think about it, twenty years ago, this would not have been possible. Paypal is a nice alternative to traditional methods of accepting credit cards. Let’s face it, many people today pay online and credit and debit card payments are a fast alternative to checks.

Paypal makes it easy for your customers to pay you. And, you get immediate access to the funds, in most cases. There are alternatives to Paypal when it comes to accepting funds. There are bank and credit card services you can review to see if they might be a better fit for you. Although for individuals in business, you might be hard pressed to find something that is more cost effective.

Recently, I came across a list of online payment services from About.com, 5 Online Payment Services to Help Small Businesses get Paid, by guide, Alyssa Gregory. In it, she’s included five services that can help clients to easily pay “…on time and in full.” I haven’t tried any of them except Paypal. I believe it’s a good idea to know what resources are available to you. So, I’ll likely check them out at some point, and compare what they they offer in comparison with what I already use. Makes sense, right?

Extolling the Virtues of Paypal

Paypal makes it easy to shop and pay online, for business or personal use. Without gushing, let me share eight aspects that I appreciate.

  1. It’s free and easy to set up.
  2. The transaction fee to receive money is minimal.
  3. No fee to receive money from a Paypal account.
  4. It’s fast. Funds are available for use as soon as the invoice is paid.
  5. No hassles with checks from out of state or out of the country.
  6. Making purchases online is easy, as many sites accept Paypal.
  7. Via the Internet, I can access my Paypal account any time.
  8. Paypal sends mail notifications when payments are made to my account.

A Caveat

You likely already know this, but I have to say it anyway: Nothing is perfect, including Paypal. However, you’re not looking for perfect, so much as the perfect fit for your needs.

There are scary stories related to Paypal. But I wasn’t there, and I’m skeptical enough to know that the person relating their bad experiences is possibly not telling the whole story. It’s human nature to be biased in your own favor, after all.

My whole point is that Paypal is working for me. I’ve had no trouble with them to date. Still, if you want to know bad things, the down side of Paypal, you can find it on the Internet. You have to do your research anyway to learn how the company works, if it will work for you. So, you may as well look at the bad stories too. Do your research and measure all the information against what you need.

I hope my experience gives you some useful insight. If you have an alternative to Paypal that you consider better or comparable, please share your suggestion.

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