Six ways to make it easier for couples to pay you!

By Natasha Johnson

March 11, 2020

payment processors, Stripe for business, Transferwise for business

I’ll never forget an eye-opening conversation I had many years ago with a retired wedding planner here in Spain. It was hilarious actually, listening to how they used to do things in the “olden days” of the early 90s.

Not only was everything mostly done by telephone (landline) and fax (what’s that!?), but when it came to receiving monies, they were sent cheques in the post! WTH!

Could you imagine that now? For me that would mean collecting a check from my post box and going to my actual physical bank to deposit it. Wow, that’s really out there!

We live in a time now where everything is done for our convenience and to make life as easy as possible. The world operates on the notion that everyone is busy busy, everything needs to be quick quick, and everything needs to be easy easy! And the wedding world is no different.

When it comes to being paid for your services you should want to make life as easy as possible for your couples to pay you. Let me reframe that. They want to give you money, money that nourishes you and your business, therefore you should do everything in your power to make it as quick and painless for your couples as possible. 

And your busy busy, quick quick, easy easy couples will appreciate being able to pay you, with no hassle, and with just a couple of clicks!

I’ve put together a list of trusted and bonafide companies, many that I personally use, that make it easy for couples to pay you online and immediately with credit cards, bank cards or bank transfers.

1. PayPal 

PayPal is one of the longest serving payment facilitators around and most widely used. It’s simple to get set up and started with a business account and couples can pay you in lots of different ways via your PayPal account. 

You can send a money request for payment, couples can send you a payment via their own PayPal account and you can also create PayPal invoices too. PayPal allows clients to pay with their debit or credit cards or by using their own PayPal balance through their own account. And as with all payment processors they take a small percentage of your funds for all monies received. 

Can I just say here, please don’t be like me in my early days! I used to ask my couples to send money via the friends and family function, which meant that I wouldn’t pay the fees. Oh my gosh, this makes me cringe just writing it, but I’m glad that I finally woke up to this quite quickly. 

We’re business people, we use payment companies to make our businesses operate more smoothly, therefore we should pay the associated costs in being able to do so! PayPal is a business after all. There are ways to save money in business, but this is not one of them! Not to mention that it looks really naff making this suggestion to your paying clients!

Things I like about PayPal – they’ve just introduced a new function (new to my Spanish registered account at least) that allows you to transfer your PayPal funds to your account immediately, rather than waiting for 1-2 business days, which can be handy. Although, there is a small charge incurred.

Also, I like that the PayPal Business has an app, for phones and tablets, which is super handy if you need to get a payment processed when you’re out and about or you need to send a quick invoice.

Things I don’t like about PayPal – in some countries it seems to have gotten harder for couples to pay via PayPal if they don’t have a PayPal account. In theory, you should be able to make a payment via PayPal with a credit or debit card without needing to have a Paypal account, but I’ve noticed how PayPal makes the instructions for signing up for a Paypal account more prominent than the instructions for paying without a PayPal account!

So sometimes people get confused and think they have to create a PayPal account, which I dare say is a little deliberate on the part of PayPal who wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to sign up more account holders!

Another thing that I don’t like, although I’ve not personally experienced it myself, (my husband’s business has though), is that PayPal does seem to side with consumers quite readily when it comes to disputes. Hopefully, it won’t ever happen to you but you never know. Just make sure to have contracts, booking agreements and whatever else you need, in place, for if ever you need it.

But all in all, PayPal is a solid, easy-to-use and reliable payment processor.

Visit Paypal’s page here

2. Stripe

Stripe is one of my new favourite payment processors. I have it built into this website so that members can sign up using a credit card or debit card. And I also use its invoicing tool which allows you to send an invoice to an individual and for them to pay instantly via credit or bank card. You can also edit the invoices to use your brand colour(s) which is a nice touch to help it fit in with the rest of your business branding.

As with all payment processors, there is a processing fee which is taken from all payments received but it’s fairly competitive. 

One thing I really like about Stripe is that unlike PayPal, the money automatically transfers into your bank account, so you don’t have to do anything to withdraw it, as you do with PayPal. But in saying that, sometimes I have found that there has been quite a delay (4-5 days) for payments to arrive in my bank account, compared to Paypal’s 1-2 business days. However, it’s a very minor niggle about a very solid and reliable, payment processor, available for most countries.

Stripe also has an app version but its functions are quite limited. Basically you can check your balance and view payments received and other basic reporting but you can’t send an invoice via it. This means you’re a little tied to using it on a browser only. But this does not make me love it any less!

Visit Stripe’s page here.

3. Revolut

My only experience of Revolut is as a client, when I’ve been sent an invoice for payment via this application. I’ve found it easy and quick to use and was able to pay with a credit or debit card. I must say though, the last time I used it, I had to pay a small fee to make my payment, which I thought was a little strange, as usually it’s the business which created the invoice that pays the transaction fees. I’m not sure if this is standard practice or because of the type of card I used, as I’ve never looked into it, but it was something that did stand out.

One great thing about Revolut is that you can also apply for a bank card, so that you can use the money in your account, without having to transfer it to another bank account. This is because Revolut is actually set up more as an online bank than an actual payment processor like Stripe. So this could be a good option for you if you’re looking for an online bank and a payment processor all-in-one!

Visit Revolut’s page here.

4. TransferWise

I love TransferWise. It’s an option that I put on my wedding invoices via 17hats for couples who primarily want to pay via a bank transfer, however you can also use a debit or credit card to make payments too. 

You can send a money request to couples or send a link to facilitate money being sent to you. They also have a great referral scheme so that if you send your couple your unique referral link, they will get a free transfer for sums over a certain amount AND every fifth couple of yours to use your referral link also gets you a 50 Euro/pound referral fee. I’m just one transfer away from getting my reward, which is quite exciting. It’s nice to be able to offer your couples a way to pay you, which not only saves them money but also makes you a little bonus now and again too!

TransferWise does also give you the option of taking their service one step further and setting up an online account with them, so that you receive a bank card that you can use to withdraw the money or use in shops or online. If you don’t use this option, then your payments arrive in your regular bank account and quite often the payments arrive on the same day! And if not, not long after!

Once again, I’ve not really got any complaints about them.

Visit Transferwise’s page, here.

5. Wave payments 

I’ve heard lots of good things about Wave but I’ve only ever used it as a customer, having been sent an invoice to pay. But again, as with Revolut it was a quick and painless process. I just had to put some basic information in, and of course my card details and I was able to pay the invoice online.

Also, if your invoice hasn’t been paid, or is past your due date, you can set it up so that a reminder is sent. Most of the payment processors mentioned already do this too by the way. It’s such a great tool which saves you from having to do any late payment chasing yourself. Not the most fun job in the world!

You just set up an account and verify your business information and once you’re done, you’re good to go to start invoicing people for money and receiving their payments.

Visit Wave’s page, here.

6. Square

And lastly, there’s Square. Now Square is software that I know a bit about but have absolutely zero experience of. I do know however that when Square first came out, it really revolutionized how small business owners could receive money. Unlike all the others, via a small gadget and their app on your phone, you could effectively turn your phone into a credit card machine. Gasps! I know, right! 

However, as exciting as that sounds, I don’t personally know how I would use it in my celebrant business, as it’s rare for me to need to take a payment in person but hey, I’m sure there are celebrants, officiants or other wedding professionals who could do with a payment processor like this! 

At one stage, Stripe was only available in the US, but it does appear to currently be available worldwide, which is pretty cool. And if you have got no need to turn your device into a credit card machine, then you can use their online software to send out invoices and receive payments in the same way that other online processors do. 

Visit Square’s page, here.

So the long and short of it is, there really is no excuse for not helping your couples to pay you in the quickest, easiest and most efficient way as possible. 

And these six payment processors are some of the best ways to get started with if you feel like you need to up your payment facilities. There are others out there, but these are the ones that I come across most often.

I would love to hear your experiences of having used any of these payment methods before. Which do you love? Which did you not get on with? What have been your experiences? Leave your comment below and let us know!

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About the author 

Natasha Johnson

Natasha is the founder and co-director of awesomeness at the Celebrants Collective, with her business wife, Claire Bradford. When she's not overseeing celebrant development and supporting the hell out of their members, she can be found drinking fabulous Spanish wine, dancing to Beyoncé and hanging out on her veg patch, sometimes all at the same time. She lives in Malaga, Spain with her two favourite humans, three dogs, eight chickens and two giant African snails. (Don't ask!)

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