When I first started freelancing more than 10 years ago, most of my clients sent me checks for my work. The whole process was tedious, and I always worried about the reality of whether or not the check really was in the mail.
However, just a couple of years after I started my career, the increasing popularity of PayPal changed everything about the way I handled payments. I discovered that electronic payment is one of the best things for freelancers.
Get Your Money Faster
The biggest advantage to electronic payment is the fact that you get your money faster. You want to get paid as a freelancer, and you don’t want to have to worry about waiting for a check.
While there are still companies that still send me checks, most of these are large companies that send payment for work I do with them as a brand ambassador, or for managing blogger campaigns. Many of these companies also operate on a Net 45 basis. However, most of my clients use electronic payment to get me my money faster, and it’s been a real help. I don’t have to worry about long wait times and the hassle of paper checks.
While most of my clients pay via PayPal, I am getting more clients who are interested in paying be eCheck, or using direct deposit via ACH transfer. I really like this method of payment as well. One of the advantages of electronic payment through eCheck is the fact that there are no fees attached to this type of payment. I don’t have to worry about getting deducted a PayPal fee when clients go this route.
There are ways to reduce fees. Some invoice management companies include PayPal integration and have arrangements that result in lower fees — or no fees at all. Indeed, some of the content management platforms some of my clients use have arrangements with PayPal so that freelancers are charged fees. It’s a good arrangement.
Direct deposit works well if you have a separate account for business and personal finances. It’s easy if you trust your client with your personal information. I have a few clients that use direct deposit to send me funds. It’s nice to wake up and check my business account and see money already deposited.
What’s Next for Electronic Payment?
I expect that eventually nearly everyone will use electronic payment. I already use it in many of my personal transactions — not just for business. It’s much easier to split a bill or send a sibling money using electronic payment means than it is to write a check. In fact, I’m hoping that I won’t have to buy checks again.
We are able to do more and more, thanks to technology. You can invoice from the palm of your hand, using your smartphone. You even receive money and manage it using handheld devices. We have a number of ways to get paid — and to pay others — today. Make sure you use what works most effectively for you.