Business Smarts: Offering Different Electronic Payment Methods - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Business Smarts: Offering Different Electronic Payment Methods

To keep your lawn or landscape business running smoothly you need steady cash flow. One consideration to improve that cash flow is making bill payment for customers as easy as possible.

While cash or check are still viable options, more companies are opting to include additional electronic payment methods. Depending on the size of your company will determine how many payment methods you can offer as keeping up with all the different apps can make things more complicated than necessary.

Below is a breakdown of some of the popular electronic payment options as well as their features and types of fees.

Square

Probably one of the more well-known and used electronic payment methods is Square. Square charges the same 2.6 percent plus $0.10 for every transaction for every major credit card whether they pay in person, online or with their card on file.

Square has a free account option for businesses and also has Plus and Premium offerings that include advanced features. No matter the tier, each Square account type includes transfers as soon as the next business day, end-to-end encrypted payments, dispute management and active fraud prevention.  

If you are wanting to take advantage of a subscription-based service model, you can use the card on file to set up recurring or subscription-type payments with Square as well.

PayPal

PayPal is a payment platform that enables customers to connect their checking account, credit card or both. PayPal’s fees vary based on the type of commercial transaction. For invoicing, the rate is 3.49 percent plus $0.49. Standard debit or credit card payments have a 2.99 percent plus $0.49 rate. PayPal also allows scheduled or recurring billing through PayPal Subscriptions.

The basic PayPal business account doesn’t charge a monthly fee and is ideal for those looking for a no-frills checkout option.

Zelle

Unlike some of the other electronic payment options, Zelle allows users to send money directly between almost any U.S. bank account within minutes. Customers can schedule a recurring payment on Zelle if the amount is the same every time. Nearly 1,700 banks and credit unions offer Zelle. Zelle does not charge a fee to send or receive money, but individuals’ banks or credit unions might charge additional fees.

Zelle does not report transactions made on the Zelle Network to the IRS. The law requiring certain payment networks to provide forms 1099K for information reporting on the sale of goods and services does not apply to the Zelle Network. If payments you receive on the Zelle Network are taxable, it is your responsibility to report them to the IRS.

Cash App

More often used as a peer-to-peer payment app, Cash App allows users to send, receive and invest money. Businesses can receive payments from customers using Cash App as well. There is a 2.75 percent processing fee automatically deducted on each payment received. Cash App does allow people to set up an automated transfer and schedule it.  

Cash for Business accounts do not pay fees for instant deposits meaning companies can access their funds instantly. Setting up a Cash App business account is free. Cash App business accounts are liable for customer chargebacks. This can incur two separate fees – one for processing the chargeback and one for any mediation or investigation required by the app to determine if the chargeback is legitimate.

Venmo

Another popular peer-to-peer payment app, Venmo is more commonly used between friends when money is owed, but it can also be used to make purchases with authorized merchants. Business profiles are charged a standard rate of 1.9 percent plus $0.10 of the payment. Standard transfers take one to three days and are free. Instant transfers cost 1.75 percent of the amount transferred, with a minimum fee of $0.25 and a maximum fee of $15.

Venmo doesn’t offer automatic recurring payments or charge requests. Business accounts can refund customers directly from the Venmo app and the app provides tax documentation for business profiles.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.