I don't know if this is the right section, but it was under "web design" and that works for me.

I assume that many of the members here actually do web design or graphics design, logos, art, programming for a living, or at least side work. This means you must accept payments. Also, by the nature of programming, you probably have clients that aren't local to you. I am wondering if you can share what methods you use to accept payments. When a client tells you he can mail a check or use a credit card, do you find a way to accept that? Or do you have a specific form of payment you make them use?

I've used Paypal to accept payments, but I don't like the fees. I want to make it easy on my clients to send payments, but don't want $10s and $20s taken out of it all in fees.

Do you have your own payment gateway/merchant on your website? Or do you use Paypal, Google Wallet, bank transfer, Dwolla, Stripe, Square, etc etc.

I am needing a good solid way to accept payments and not be taken in fees. I'd rather them mail a check and have to wait an extra few days to get paid than to pay Paypal $15 to accept their credit card.
As a secondary issue, for business record-keeping, it would nice to make sure all the transactions are orangized for taxes and such. If I've got payments coming in from 4 different services just to make it convenient for customers, maybe that's just going too far?

What do you use?

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Paypal and stripe are easy ways to except payments. If you do not want fees.. You have checks or monyorder made availble.

No matter what, fees are always going to be part of the process.

If you want to accept credit cards, then there are going to be fees attached. I've looked at quite a few services over the past 20 years, and they all hover between about 3-3.5% plus a per-transaction fee and often a monthly account fee as well.

I use PayPal because they have several API options, and I have immediate access to the funds. I use their debit card which gives me a kickback of about 1% and lowers the effective rate to something approaching 2.5%. But you may well prefer a different processor if your business is subject to chargebacks, because PayPal can be horrible to deal with in that area. I'm lucky in that my businesses just don't have those problems. I'm very low volume and fairly low visibility so I don't attract attention from scam artists, I take great care to never process a charge unless I'm certain everything's OK, and I tend to have willing customers.

Just as an update, I am expirementing with Dwolla. They are an ACH direct bank transfer service and the entire fee structure is 25 cents to receive anything over $10. Any amount under $10 is free. That's it!
The only hard part is convincing people to sign up and pay this way. It is totally secure in the sense that nobody has to give me their credit card over the phone, or use my sketchy website or what have you. In other words, it works really well for everybody signed up to the service. If you go to "send" money to someone and begin typing their email, it automatically starts finding matching people in the system to send to.
I think it has a lot of promise, and connecting a service to your bank shouldn't be that scary, since people use many services that do this anyway, like Mint or Quickbooks or any other finance tool. Even Paypal and other services connect to your bank for transfers, so there is nothing all that scary about it really.

I also use Nutcache for some business stuff, and they just recently announced integration with Stripe! So now with Nutcache and stripe I can still send out invoices and get paid with credit cards (with blasted fees), but if my clients choose Dwolla, I pay just 25 cents to receive any amount.

Those are two options I thought I'd share.

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