The more clients I get, the more amazed I am at the way the world is shrinking as the internet grows. I have clients in the US, Australia, the UK, India, and right here in Canada, on the other coast and within my humble city.
I love freelancing, but it’s not something I would choose to do for free – despite what the clients think! I’ve had to explore some of the available ways to get paid, and I’d like to know how you handle this essential part of the business. How do you choose which way to receive payments online?
The options that I’ve found for receiving payments online:
Paypal.com – this seems to be the de facto standard for online payments. It’s easy, it’s recognized by pretty much everyone on the internet, and the costs aren’t outrageous. With the ability to create and send invoices, this seems to be a decent option for most freelancers. Their fee schedule says that payments are between 1.9% – 2.9% + $.30USD, but there are a few other fees that get tacked on. 2.5% for currency conversion, and 1% to receive payments from other countries. In my experience, the fees run about 5% – 7%.
Elance.com – If you get your projects through elance, you have the ability to use their escrow system. While I am a big fan of knowing that the money is there waiting for me to finish the project, I’d much rather have it in my own hands. Elance takes a bigger piece of pie for this, around 6.75%, as well as your monthly membership fee.
Worldpay.com – I haven’t used worldpay yet, but I have heard about it. The bad news is, while researching their site I learned that their small/medium business solution isn’t available in Canada. Lichtenstein, yes. Canada – not so much. Maybe they think we’re part of the US? Anyways – it looks like they charge about 4.5% on credit card payments, but again – it’s not easy to find an exact amount.
Moneybookers.com – Separated from their competition by providing a link on their home page labelled “Fees,” moneybookers looks like it might be worth looking in to. To upload funds through the major credit cards, the fee is 1.9% , and for you to withdraw funds it looks like a flat fee of less than $5USD. Moneybookers charges 1.99% above the wholesale exchange rate for their currency exchange, so keep this in mind for your transactions.
Checks – Personally, I love the daily thrill of walking to the mailbox in search of a new check. There are no fees, but there can be a substantial wait – especially from a particular client. I have a U.S. bank account with my Canadian bank, and I transfer the funds when the exchange is favorable.
What service do you use to get your payment from your clients? If you were going to create an online payment service, what service would you provide that makes you different from anyone else
- Jason Finnerty
Still a bit new to the world of freelancing – but loving the freedom, flexibility, and earning potential that can be found here. Follow me on the twitter, @brandscaping – or check out my blog at http://brandscaping.ca. Love to chat – so if you have a question – fire away!