Many small business owners use Square to accept payments from their customers. Due to its ease of use, they seemed to have cornered the small business POS systems market. Unfortunately, when there are issues such as an outage, these business owners struggle to accept payments. Those issues have now been resolved, but keep this post handy for future reference.
Since I have worked with many payment processors, I know how to get someone up and running pretty fast, especially if they use Square to process payments on their WooCommerce stores or custom Gravity Forms applications. Without further ado, here’s my down-and-dirty guide to accepting payments.
While Stripe doesn’t directly offer a POS System like Square, it does connect to various third-party applications such as WooCommerce, Gravity Forms, Lightspeed, and more. They offer terminal services, invoicing, and payment links as well. If you already have a WordPress, WooCommerce, or Shopify website, it is easy to switch to Stripe. Bonus: Unlike PayPal, the money gets automatically deposited into your bank account. In addition, Stripe users can download an app to collect payments via their iPhone, which supports card readers, key cards, and tap-to-pay. Many accounting and program management systems use Stripe to process, so invoicing a client is easy. Tiny Stars uses it for our online billing through Harvest.
There are several ways of getting paid via PayPal. First and foremost, PayPal integrates with almost every e-commerce platform and many invoicing/accounting* platforms available, so you can instantly switch to PayPal on your store; you also offer customers the ability to pay with Venmo.
PayPal offers businesses the ability to invoice a customer, use a virtual terminal, pay by QR Code, pay by link or website button, and, if you’re looking to dump Square, they have a POS system.
If you want to get paid until Square gets up, I suggest the QR Code or Virtual Terminal Route for retail businesses without an e-commerce presence. For retail companies with an e-commerce site, adding an additional product to an existing store or creating a payment form is easy. Service-based businesses could use PayPal’s invoicing feature or see if their existing invoicing allows PayPal as a payment processor. PayPal also offers a tap-to-pay, card reader, and virtual terminal via an app.
Venmo is an excellent option if you are in a hurry and just need to accept a payment fast. If you already have an existing personal account, it takes minutes to add a business account to your account. With Venmo, everything is done in the app, so you need a tablet or phone. But you can request money, create QR codes, or tap to pay by phone.
I wanted to point out that Zelle is only for consumer-to-consumer payments; therefore, you cannot hook up a business to their service.
Apple Pay and Google Pay
PayPal and Stripe allow individuals to pay by Apple Pay or Google Pay. There isn’t a straightforward way to use Apple Pay for payments without an existing credit card processor.
Intuit is a one-stop shop for bookkeeping. They offer invoicing, payment links, apps, and POS systems that use their payment gateway, which happens to support credit cards, PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, and ACH. So, this could be a good option if you’re looking for one system that can handle your sales tax, bookkeeping, payroll, etc. The only downfall is that they do not support payments for most shopping carts. However, you can import and sync inventory sales, etc., into Quickbooks from many carts and applications.
Don’t like any of those options? Many banks offer merchant accounts that integrate into POS systems. However, if you have an e-commerce site, these options require a third-party gateway provided through Authorize.net. Authorize.net is costly and far more complex compared to the plug-and-play options that Stripe, Square, and PayPal offer.
This is just a brief overview of the payment options available. Each business is unique, and some require more advance payment applications. At Tiny Stars Creative, we have used a variety of processors to create custom solutions, including insurance payment forms, customized order forms for coffee delivery, ticketing systems, and donations. If you want to decrease your barriers to payment for your small business, talk to us today.
*Quickbooks has its own payment processing that allows businesses to collect PayPal, ACH, Apple Pay, and Venmo.