Taking debit and credit card payments is a critical aspect of many businesses. The easier you can make it for customers to pay you, the happier those customers will be and the more sales you’ll make.
In this post, I’ll outline some innovative tools to help you accept card payments and to automate some of the important admin tasks that need to happen each time a payment is taken.
If you run a restaurant or bar, Flypay could be for you. It’s a mobile app that lets your customers order and pay for food and drink at their table, without needing to find a waiter. You can also use it to encourage loyalty by rewarding your customers based on their purchases.
People like Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Jamie’s Italian and Wahaca are already working with them.
Making sure you charge your customers the right amount of VAT and record that correctly for the tax authorities can be a complicated business. And since the EU introduced new rules around this at the start of 2015, it’s something even the smallest businesses need to figure out if they’re selling digital products online.
Taxamo provide a variety of tools to make all this tax compliance easier – plugins for popular e-commerce platforms and payment gateways, as well as APIs and reporting dashboards.
If you’re a mobile app developer, Card.io gives you an easy way to allow users to pay by scanning their credit or debit card using their phone. This takes away the pain of entering a long credit card number by hand. Both Android and iOS are supported.
Do you have digital products you want to sell? If so, SendOwl could be something to look into.
SendOwl makes it easy to add a buy button to your website, blog or social network. When a customer clicks on one of these buttons, it automatically shows them a checkout page in their native language. Next, once the purchase is complete, SendOwl deals with sending the relevant file to them.
The SendOwl service integrates with popular payment processors like Stripe and PayPal which are themselves generally quick and easy to set up. Importantly, unlike some other similar services, SendOwl doesn’t take a cut of your payments, instead just charging a flat monthly fee.
If you organise paid-for events, it’s important to have a good way to take payments. Unfortunately, popular event organising websites often charge large commissions for selling tickets through their systems. To avoid these hefty commissions, have a look at Ticket Tailor.
For a flat monthly fee, Ticket Tailor lets you create customised ticket pages and e-tickets, letting you sell as many tickets as you like and record all the information about your customers. They don’t charge you any per-ticket fee for their service (though you’ll naturally still need to pay the usual processing fees for whichever of Stripe or PayPal you use for your payment processing.)
As I mentioned earlier, there can be lots of admin associated with taking payments: as well as accepting the payments themselves, you also need to keep track of invoices, taxes and receipts. Quaderno is a nifty service that helps with all of that.
Quaderno hooks into Stripe, Braintree, PayPal or Paymill and automatically sends your customers nice-looking invoices, also keeping track of all the relevant information to produce tax summaries. It’s not necessarily cheap, but it can certainly save you time.
If you’re running a big restaurant chain, you’re probably looking for ways to interact more with your customers through their smartphones. But building apps from scratch is outside the comfort zone of most restaurant businesses. That’s where MyCheck comes in.
MyCheck creates custom-branded apps for restaurant chains that allow customers to use their phones to do things like pay at their table, split bills and order ahead. Like Flypay, they also provide loyalty and CRM features that help restaurants better keep in touch with their customers to offer them special deals, etc.
People often ask me about how best to take payments in a marketplace business: typically you want a customer to pay via your website or app, then for the majority of the money (less the marketplace’s commission) to be paid out to the supplier. Sadly, there still aren’t many solutions to support this way of doing things and businesses often end up with some sort of compromise workaround. But in some cases PromisePay could be an interesting option.
PromisePay offer a range of payment products and APIs designed specifically with marketplaces in mind. They can collect marketplace fees on payments, provide various tools to combat fraud and verify identities, and take payments via credit cards, debit cards and a variety of other payment methods.
PromisePay is only available to US and Australian businesses for now, and is aimed at businesses looking to process $1 million or more per month. That rules out a lot of people who might like to use this sort of service. Hopefully they’ll be opening up their services to a wider range of clients before long.
Lots of businesses need to take bookings as well as payments. If you want your customers to be able to check your availability and make a booking online, you’ll often want them to pay at the same time. BookingBug is a flexible tool for helping you do that.
You can use BookingBug to handle your calendar and manage bookings by the hour, day, or week, taking payments at the same time if that’s what you want. It’s a great way to let your customers make bookings at any time of day or night.
The tools we’ve looked at can smooth the process of taking credit and debit card payments for your business. There’s been lots of exciting innovation around payments in recent years, making it easier and easier for business owners and their customers. Whatever business you’re in, it’s worth having a look around and seeing what solutions are out there for you.
Have you seen a great new tool to help businesses take card payments, or remove some of the admin burden around payments? If so, let us know in the comments below.