How Can I Collect Payments in my Online Business?

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Another question that comes up when you start selling anything in your business, is how do I collect payments?


There are so many options available these days to allow you to collect payments in your business. Some of the options are just a way for you to collect a payment, others are all in one cart providers. 


Please note that these processors are not a substitute for a business bank account. You should also have a separate business bank account. 


Let's first start out with PayPal and Stripe. 


PayPal and Stripe are NOT required, but in the online business industry they are recommended must. Many people love to pay with PayPal because it means they do not have to go get their purse or credit card to make a payment. But there are also just as many people who do not like PayPal as well. 


There have been report after report after report that out of the payments that most people receive in their business, they are split almost equally between PayPal and credit card payments. 


So what I’m really saying here is that you should offer both an option to pay with both PayPal and credit card. 

PayPal


You should create a PayPal business account. This post walks you through step by step how to create a PayPal business account if you don't already have one. 

Note: You are a business owner, therefore you should have a business PayPal account to accept payments in your business. Even if you think you want to get around PayPal's fees, you can't. You are a business owner, these fees are a part of doing business. 

Stripe


Stripe is very similar to PayPal, but it accepts credit cards and deposits the money directly into your bank account a few days after the payment has been completed. 


The fees that PayPal and Stripe charge are very similar. 



Payment Processors


These systems allow you to collect a payment from your clients. You can set up one time payments or recurring payment plans using these options. 


These systems will collect the payment from your customer and either make the payment available to you to send to your bank account or they will send the payment to your bank account directly for you. 


PayPal


PayPal is one of the most well known processors on the internet. It is used in over 200 countries and many people prefer to use PayPal to make their payments when paying online. 


As a payor, you can link your credit card, your debit card and your bank account to make a payment. But the person you are paying, only has your PayPal account information. 


As a seller, you can use your PayPal account to set up links that someone can click to pay you, you can send individual invoices, and you can set up links where someone will be charged in regular intervals for certain amounts of time (i.e. monthly payments for 4 months for $99 a month). 


Then when someone pays you via one of those methods, the funds will show up in your PayPal account. You can then leave the money in your PayPal account or transfer it to your bank account. 


Stripe


Stripe is a processor that has been created for developers. For most business owners, the Stripe account is just used to link using the API between different cart systems. 


For those business owners that know how to do coding (or the ones that are techy enough to read the directions in Stripe), you can create payment links in your Stripe account. 


When you have a Stripe account, you will link your bank account to your Stripe account. Then when you receive a payment, Stripe will transfer the money (minus the Stripe fees) to your bank account in 1-5 business days. The number of days depends on your approval with Stripe and what country you live in. Transfers are not done on weekends. 


Authorize.net


Authorize.net is very similar to PayPal, they charge similar fees to PayPal and Stripe, but you also have a monthly fee for using this account. 


Authorize.net has been around longer than PayPal Stripe and were one of the first vendors to allow you to accept credit card payments online. 


But for most online businesses today, they do not seem to be that popular due to all the options that are available today. 


Payline


Payline is also like Stripe and PayPal. Their website says they offer the lowest pricing for allowing you to collect payments. 


If you are someone who thinks the costs of the fees from PayPal and Stripe are too high, you could check out Payline and see if it works for you and your business. 


You can also get a credit card swipe/point-of-sale machine, for in person sales. If you are someone who regularly does in person sales, like at craft shows or farmer’s markets, having a reliable point-of-sale system is something you want to have. 


2checkout


2checkout is almost exactly like PayPal, but I’ve found that it is available in countries that PayPal is not available in. 


Every time I come across a business owner who lives in a country that doesn’t allow PayPal, I suggest 2checkout and the business owner is able to use 2checkout. 


The fees are the same with 2checkout as they are with PayPal and Stripe. You can create invoices, payment links and recurring payment links with 2checkout. 


Square


Square is another option for collecting payments. They have the online website payment option, but they also include a stripe reader for in-person transactions, and a contactless + chip reader for in person transactions. 


Square allows you to create an entire store on your site as well. 


Square was designed more for in person businesses, but you can use it in your online business as well.


Transferwise


As an online business owner, you may need a way to send money to someone in another country, or receive money from someone in another country. One or both of you may choose not to use PayPal, therefore, you need to find another way to collect and/or send the money. 


Transferwise is a great option. When you create an account with Transferwise, you can transfer money to someone in another country for much less than it would cost for your bank and sometimes even cheaper than PayPal. 


You’ll also know exactly how much it costs to send the money before you send the payment. 

They are currently available in 59 countries, but are working to include more countries and currencies on a regular basis. 


Note: There are many other options available to collect payments than the ones mentioned above. But you don’t need to create an account at every single one. The recommended options for online businesses are PayPal and Stripe. For the majority of the cart systems that are listed below, you’ll need to link PayPal and Stripe to get paid.

Note: Venmo and Zelle are NOT considered payment processors. You really shouldn’t be using them in your business either. Check out this post for more information.  

Shopping Cart Software


These systems allow you to collect payment for one item, for multiple items, set up payment plans, and some even allow you to email your entire email list as well. These cart systems will also allow you to set up a way for your customer to get exactly what they bought, either through a direct download link, through an email, or both. 


Sendowl


Sendowl allows you to sell digital goods to your customers. This is a great option for selling digital products that many online business owners create. 


With Sendowl, you’ll create your digital products, create a new product in Sendowl, then upload the actual digital product to your Sendowl account. When someone makes a purchase, they will automatically get the product delivered to them, both on a page upon purchase and in their email. 


You can also link Sendowl with your email provider and continue to email your customers after purchase. 


To receive your payments from your customers, you’ll link your PayPal and/or Stripe accounts. Sendowl will send you the payment automatically upon accepting it from your customer. 

You can also set up to allow affiliates to help you sell your products. 


Shopping Cart Features

Included in Sendowl

Sell Digital Products

yes

digital Product Delivered to customer

Yes

Sell services and products other than digital products

Need additional integrations, but yes

Use Paypal

yes

use Stripe

yes

payment method other than stripe or paypal

no

doubles as a membership site

no

Affiliate Dashboard

yes

Create an entire sales funnel

no

contains your email list

no

CRM

no

Hosts your landing pages

no

Plugin for your website

no

Moonclerk


Moonclerk allows you to easily use your Stripe account to collect payments from your customers. 


As I mentioned above, Stripe was created for developers. But most business owners don’t have the ability to do the coding that Stripe requires, or if they can, they don’t have the patience or desire to create the payment links through Stripe. 


Moonclerk is an easy way to get around that. You can create one time payments and recurring payments through Moonclerk. You can also deliver your digital products with Moonclerk. 


It is very easy to create a new payment form. Then, you’ll get a link that you can send to your customer to receive the money from your customer into your Stripe account. 


Moonclerk also has many options to integrate with it, including your email service provider. 


Shopping Cart Features

Included in Moonclerk

Sell Digital Products

yes

digital Product Delivered to customer

must integrate with your email list

Sell services and products other than digital products

yes, delivery must be integrated with your email list

Use Paypal

no

use Stripe

yes

payment method other than stripe or paypal

no

doubles as a membership site

no

Affiliate Dashboard

no

Create an entire sales funnel

no

contains your email list

no

CRM

no

Hosts your landing pages

no

Plugin for your website

no

Ejunkie


Ejunkie is an option very similar to Sendowl from above. 


You’ll link your PayPal and/or Stripe account, they also have options to link a few other processors, like Authorize.net and 2checkout. 


Ejunkie is also used to sell digital products. You’ll create your product, then upload the product directly to Ejunkie. When you customer makes a purchase, they will get the product to download immediately. 


Ejunkie also has a marketplace where anyone can find your products and purchase them.


You can also set up affiliates to help you sell your products. 

Shopping Cart Features

Included in ejunkie

Sell Digital Products

yes

digital Product Delivered to customer

Yes

Sell services and products other than digital products

yes

Use Paypal

Yes

use Stripe

yes

payment method other than stripe or paypal

Yes

doubles as a membership site

no

Affiliate Dashboard

Yes

Create an entire sales funnel

no

contains your email list

no

CRM

no

Hosts your landing pages

no

Plugin for your website

no

 

Shopify


Shopify is an online store of your own. You can use shopify to sell your own digital products and/or services. 


Each store on Shopify has it’s own link and you can even create a custom domain for your store, so instead of xxx.shopify.com, you can have xxx.com as your store link. 


There are a lot of different add-ons that you can add to your store, both free and for a fee. 

It is fairly easy to set up a store and keep it running. 


Shopping Cart Features

Included in Shopify

Sell Digital Products

yes

digital Product Delivered to customer

Yes, must use a shopify Add-on to do so

Sell services and products other than digital products

yes

Use Paypal

Yes

use Stripe

yes

payment method other than stripe or paypal

Yes

doubles as a membership site

no

Affiliate Dashboard

Yes

Create an entire sales funnel

no

contains your email list

no

CRM

no

Hosts your landing pages

Yes

Plugin for your website

no

WooCommerce


WooCommerce is almost the exact same thing as Shopify, except for the fact that WooCommerce is a plugin that you install on a WordPress website. 


Since it’s a plugin, you do have control of the entire site. 


There are many add-ons that you can add to your WooCommerce store to sell your products and services, but it’s something that you have to build for yourself, or hire a designer to build it for you. 


Shopping Cart Features

Included in Woocommerce

Sell Digital Products

yes

digital Product Delivered to customer

Yes, must use an Add-on to do so

Sell services and products other than digital products

yes

Use Paypal

Yes

use Stripe

yes

payment method other than stripe or paypal

Yes, as an add-on

doubles as a membership site

yes

Affiliate Dashboard

Yes

Create an entire sales funnel

no

contains your email list

no

CRM

no

Hosts your landing pages

Yes

Plugin for your website

yes

Squarespace


Squarespace is a website builder, but it will also allow you to create a store. The store is similar to a Shopify store. 


Shopping Cart Features

Included in Squarespace

Sell Digital Products

yes

digital Product Delivered to customer

Yes

Sell services and products other than digital products

yes

Use Paypal

Yes

use Stripe

yes

payment method other than stripe or paypal

Yes

doubles as a membership site

yes

Affiliate Dashboard

No

Create an entire sales funnel

no

contains your email list

yes

CRM

yes

Hosts your landing pages

Yes

Plugin for your website

No

Samcart


Samcart is an all-in-one shopping cart program. 


You can create entire sales pages, sales funnels and have an affiliate center to have people help you sell your stuff. Or you can just create payment links so that people can pay you. 


You do have to link your PayPal and Stripe accounts to receive payments from your customers. 


Samcart allows you to create a single product, create an entire sales funnel that includes order bumps/add-ons, upsells and downsells, and create subscriptions and payment plans. 


There are also a lot of integrations that work with Samcart so that you can get your customers on your email list, or into your membership site, or to deliver your digital products. 


Samcart also has an entire affiliate center that allows you to work with your affiliates, give them more options to promote your products and services, and track their progress. 


Another really good part of Samcart is the analytics that you can view. They give you analytics on the clicks of your links, the amount of money people have spent and how many people have clicked away without buying. 


You can also offer free or paid trial offers to your customers. 


Samcart will allow you to try out their cart system for a free trial to see if you like how it works. And since it’s a cart system it can work with multiple different websites, you are not limited to how many sites you can work with. 

Shopping Cart Features

Included in Samcart

Sell Digital Products

yes

digital Product Delivered to customer

Yes

Sell services and products other than digital products

yes

Use Paypal

Yes

use Stripe

yes

payment method other than stripe or paypal

No

doubles as a membership site

No

Affiliate Dashboard

yes

Create an entire sales funnel

yes

contains your email list

no

CRM

no

Hosts your landing pages

Yes

Plugin for your website

No


Thrivecart


Thrivecart is very similar to Samcart. 


There are currently less integrations available with Thrivecart and you can only sign up for Thrivecart with an affiliate link. You can’t just go to their site and sign up for Thrivecart. 


At the time of this writing, Thrivecart is also a one time payment, meaning you pay for the program once, and you have lifetime access to be able to use Thrivecart across any of your sites.

 

You can create entire sales funnels in Thrivecart that start with one product, then have an order bump/add-on, and upsells and downsells. 


Shopping Cart Features

Included in Thrivecart

Sell Digital Products

yes

digital Product Delivered to customer

Yes

Sell services and products other than digital products

yes

Use Paypal

Yes

use Stripe

yes

payment method other than stripe or paypal

No

doubles as a membership site

No

Affiliate Dashboard

yes

Create an entire sales funnel

yes

contains your email list

no

CRM

no

Hosts your landing pages

Yes

Plugin for your website

No

Kartra


Kartra is an all-in-one option that allows you to have your email list, your sales pages, your membership site(s), your products, your affiliate center and all of your opt-ins hosted in one single place. 


You can use one part of Kartra, you can use multiple parts, or you can use the whole thing. 


When you sign up to Kartra, they have an entire University that walks you through how to use all of the aspects of Kartra so that you get the most bang for your buck. 


With your products, you can also set up sales funnels with upsells and downsells. 


You can also get a 14 day trial for $1 to see how you like the program. Some features are very intuitive to use if you have been in online business for a while and tried several different programs to create an email list and sell your products. But for those features that aren’t intuitive, there is always the Kartra University that literally walks you through step-by-step how to use the entire system. 


Shopping Cart Features

Included in kartra

Sell Digital Products

yes

digital Product Delivered to customer

Yes

Sell services and products other than digital products

yes

Use Paypal

Yes

use Stripe

yes

payment method other than stripe or paypal

No

doubles as a membership site

yes

Affiliate Dashboard

yes

Create an entire sales funnel

yes

contains your email list

yes

CRM

yes

Hosts your landing pages

Yes

Plugin for your website

No

Kajabi


Kajabi is very similar to Kartra. 


You can set up your entire email list, your products, your membership site, your affiliate hosting platform and keep everything all-in-one. 


Kajabi will give you a trial to try the program how to see how you like it before you fully commit to buying and using the program in your business. 


Just like Kartra, there are going to be features that are intuitive and ones that you are going to need further instruction on how to use. 

Shopping Cart Features

Included in kajabi

Sell Digital Products

yes

digital Product Delivered to customer

Yes

Sell services and products other than digital products

yes

Use Paypal

Yes

use Stripe

yes

payment method other than stripe or paypal

No

doubles as a membership site

yes

Affiliate Dashboard

yes

Create an entire sales funnel

yes

contains your email list

yes

CRM

yes

Hosts your landing pages

Yes

Plugin for your website

No


Clickfunnels


Clickfunnels is also similar to Kartra and Kajabi. 


It is a system that allows you to create, market and sell your products online. You can create entire funnels that includes order bumps/add-ons, upsells and downsells for your customers. 


Clickfunnels was created with the entrepreneur in mind to help you create those funnels that help you make even more money in your business. 


You can try to learn Clickfunnels by joining their One Challenge Away program where you are taught how to build a profitable funnel in just 30 days. 


Or you can try out Clickfunnels for free for 30 days. 


Shopping Cart Features

Included in clickfunnels

Sell Digital Products

yes

digital Product Delivered to customer

Yes

Sell services and products other than digital products

yes

Use Paypal

Yes

use Stripe

yes

payment method other than stripe or paypal

No

doubles as a membership site

yes

Affiliate Dashboard

yes

Create an entire sales funnel

yes

contains your email list

yes

CRM

yes

Hosts your landing pages

Yes

Plugin for your website

No

Some Other Cart Systems


There are some other programs just like Kartra, Kajabi and Clickfunnels out there. These programs include: 


Other Systems


These systems are not cart systems, but they still allow you to collect payments from your clients. 


Quickbooks


Quickbooks is a bookkeeping program, but you can send invoices from it and collect payment from your customers. 


The customers can pay you directly from the invoice, the money is collected by Quickbooks and then deposited directly into your bank account. 


Sending invoices one-by-one isn’t something you’ll want to do if you have a lot of customers. If you only have a handful of customers, it may be easy to send invoices one at a time to your customers to collect payments. 


It may also be cheaper to collect money directly through Quickbooks. This is something you’ll want to look into while doing your own research. 


Freshbooks


Similar to Quickbooks, Freshbooks will allow you to send invoices to your clients to collect their payments. 


And just like with Quickbooks, you will have to send the invoices one-by-one. 


So, again, you’ll want to do your research and see the fees that you are charged with sending your invoices from Freshbooks, as well as think about how many clients you’ll be working with to see if it’s worth your time and energy to send invoices using Freshbooks


Wave


And just like Quickbooks and Freshbooks above, Wave will also allow you to send invoices to your clients to collect payments. 


You’ll link your bank account directly and receive the payment in your bank account after your client pays. 


You’ll also have to create the invoices one-by-one and send them to your clients. 


Calendar Systems, Like Acuity


There are probably just as many calendar systems out there, as there are ways to collect payments from your customers. Some of these calendar systems have allowed you the ability to integrate payment processors like PayPal and Stripe into them, so that your customers can pay you and book an appointment on your calendar the same time. 


The only calendar system that I use is Acuity and it allows you to do this. You integrate Stripe and/or PayPal and then you set up appointment types and indicate how much they cost. Your customer can book a calendar appointment with you, but the booking won’t be complete until the customer completes their payment. 


How Can I Collect Payments in my Online Business? 


As you can see above, there are lots of ways that you can collect payments in your business. The list above is far from exhaustive. There are many more options out there, and it is very easy to get lost in a sea of looking around and trying all kinds of things. 


You obviously can try programs to see what works best for you and your business. But it can be more time consuming switching programs and trying to find the right one because you’ll have to set up all of your stuff through each of the programs that you are trying out. 


Pick one or two of the programs above to try out. See how it fits for you and your business and get everything set up so that you can start collecting money today. 


You’ll also notice that some of the programs are much more expensive than others. The more expensive ones are also created to help you make even more money in your business, therefore the cost of the program is easily handled since you are making more money. 

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About the Author Clarissa

Clarissa Wilson is a financial strategist and online educator who holds two master’s degrees in Forensic Accounting. Also creative and spiritual, she is an intuitive empath and introvert. Clarissa is the host of The Prosper + Profit Podcast, where money conversations occur on a daily basis -- as she believes that money shouldn’t be a taboo subject. After growing up on a dairy farmand learning to work hard for money, Clarissa awakened to a path that allowed wealth to flow easily to her. Clarissa currently lives in Pennsylvania with her two cats.

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