Voiding The Cheque: Small Business Payment Options For Streamlined Financing

by David Dierking

2 min read

Paper cheques are becoming less popular as a payment method in Canada. As a business owner, you may need to diversify the types of payments you accept for the convenience of your clients. Accepting electronic payments and credit cards is becoming easier.

Online Payments

If you invoice clients for your products or services, consider moving the entire process online. Rather than sending out a paper invoice through the post, create an online invoice and send it to your client’s email account. If you use a service such as QuickBooks, you simply have to tick a box to enable online payments; when your customers receive the invoice, they select pay and then follow the prompts to pay with a credit card.

In the past, opening up a Canadian merchant account so you could process credit cards was expensive and often reserved for large businesses. Now, however, the service has become widespread and quite affordable. In many cases, you simply pay a small fee per transaction as well as a very small percentage of the sale. Small fees per transaction mean you don’t have to worry about processing a set volume of payments. Whether you accept hundreds of payments a day or a couple of online payments per month, this type of service can work for you.

ACH Transfers

In some cases, you may want to set up your online payment portal so your customers can pay with an automatic clearing house transfer. With ACH transfers, customers simply enter their routing and account numbers from their cheques, and initiate an electronic payment.

This process can be faster than waiting for paper cheques in the mail and physically depositing them into your bank account. If you have a lot of B2B clients, they may prefer to use cheques rather than business credit cards. In spite of a huge decline in the practise, Canadians still write up to 1 billion [cheques]((https://www.payments.ca/paying-cheque) per year.

Swiping Credit Cards

If you prefer to process payments on site right away, you need a credit card reader. Modern card readers don’t need to be supported by expensive point-of-sale software. You can find small readers that connect to your tablet or smartphone. Using these tools is as simple as opening the app, entering the amount of the purchase and selecting the sales tax rate. Then, you swipe the card, and the funds are sent to your bank account. The fee schedule is similar to that of an online payment service.

Syncing Payments and Accounting

Electronic payments and credit cards make transactions more convenient for your clients, but they can also help to streamline your accounting records. If you use a payment processing service that is compatible with your accounting software, as you receive payments, the information is automatically uploaded to your accounting software. That saves you time and eliminates the mistakes associated with manual entry.

References & Resources

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