We are regularly asked by clients to assist them with setting up their accounting environment and how best to leverage the tools available to them. Obviously, business owner are always looking for a better, cheaper way to receive payments from my clients.
Since most small businesses use QuickBooks, Intuit Payment Network (IPN) is an excellent option for receiving customer payments via electronic check (ACH) or credit card. It is simple to use and integrates well with QuickBooks. ACH payment options are of special interest with only a $0.50 charge per transaction and no percentage.
There are a lot of ways to handle electronic payments with QuickBooks. The choice you use depends on your business situation. Some examples:
- Intuit QuickBooks Billing Solution for QuickBooks
- Intuit GoPayment
- Nelix TransaX
- Bill.com (this is usually our recommendation for accounts payable)
- Bill & Pay
- Intuit Payment Network
Each of these has different advantages, methods of integrating with QuickBooks, and fees. Many of these options require that you pay a monthly fee. However, we always encourage our clients to consider time savings, controls and speed of cash flow when deciding on the best payment option. Fees are only one part of the decision. Unfortunately, many small businesses only use cost in making these decisions.
Since cost is a major part of these decisions, Intuit Payment Network has become a very popular choice. There is no monthly fee, and no discount rate. The cost to receive a payment (via ACH/bank payment) is a flat $0.50 per transaction – no more, no less. This is the lowest cost payment solution that we’ve seen. Additionally, Intuit Payment Network is integrated with QuickBooks. It can be set up to email your QuickBooks invoice to the client with is a payment link added to the invoice and to the email message. The customer simply adds their payment/ACH information through the secure link. Very convenient and inexpensive.
You can also, “brand” of the payment page. So, when your customer clinks on the payment link your company name is shown at the top.
If the customer is not comfortable with entering their bank account information, they can also insert credit card information. Subject to your credit approval, you can allow customers to pay via credit card.
If you don’t already have an Intuit Merchant Services account set up you can establish one through IPN. Payments received this way are subject to the typical merchant account fees (per transaction flat fee and a percentage of the sale), rather than the typical $0.50 per transaction for an ACH payment. However, you don’t have to pay a monthly base fee. This option is usually viable for new companies or ones with very low transaction volume.
One of the drawbacks to IPN has been that the customer has to establish an account when using ACH payments. There is no charge for your customer to set up an account and pay this way. IPN also allows a “guest” account, where the customer can provide you with the necessary bank information for an ACH payment without having to establish an account.
You can also set up recurring payments and improvements in QuickBooks 2012 make the reconciliation process much easier and more reliable.
When implementing your next payment solution, Intuit Payment Network is worth a strong look.
If you have any questions regarding IPN or need assistance in implementing your payment solutions, please do not hesitate to contact us.