Correct. The online payment processor, PayPal, is a great tool for you too, dear food producer. Here are the top 5 wonderful things about PayPal and more information on how using PayPal will affect your business.
1. Automating your payments
Cheques need to go to the bank to become usable and eTransfers require logging into your bank and answering security questions. Cash is nice, but it doesn’t always happen. When taking payments on an ongoing basis, I highly encourage working with PayPal. Invoices can be sent and automatic pay buttons set right on your website – and when these payments come in they DO NOT require your supervision! You can sit back and enjoy the email notices that pour into your email notifying you of who has paid for what and how much. That’s automation baby!! Let the money accumulate in your PayPal balance and whenever you want to, you can use it to make purchases online or withdraw the desired amount to your bank account 🙂
2. Easy record keeping
When tax time hits every year – are you frantically running around trying to gather all of your income and expense records for your accountant? PayPal provides the option to download a PDF version of all of your transactions for a defined period, making it very easy to keep track of how much you made and spent.
3. Your customers don’t need to have a PayPal account
One of the frequent misconceptions about PayPal is that the customer who you are requesting a payment from also needs to have a PayPal account. This is not true! The system will of course prompt anyone without an account to create one, but you can just as easily ignore this and simply pay with a credit card. It works just as well.
4. PayPal accounts are free (the basic ones)
Unless you’re setting up complicated business accounts on PayPal, your account is always free. There are no monthly fees or hidden fees. Basically, PayPal only makes money if you make money, by taking a small fee for incoming funds to your account.
5. Refunds are easy and painless
It happens – customers back out of their chicken or egg orders, people move and need to cancel their CSA shares. Refunding via PayPal is very simple and quick to do, and PayPal fees are automatically retracted as well.
There are downsides, right?
Kind of, if you consider PayPal fees as a downside. I prefer to look at it as a necessary payment for getting to use an excellent service. It works like this: no one using PayPal to pay for something ever pays a fee (yay for your customers!), however anyone receiving money on PayPal is charged a service fee (it ranges from 2-3% per transaction). It’s explained very well here: https://cms.paypal.com/ca/cgi-bin/marketingweb?cmd=_render-content&content_ID=marketing_ca/fees
This is a bit off topic, but have you seen this sweet little square thing?? It’s the little gadget that attaches to your iPhone/Smartphone and allows you to accept payments from credit and debit cards wherever you are (at the Farmer’s Market, on the road, at your CSA drop-off points…). It’s very user-friendly and the actual “square” gadget is free! Like PayPal, they make their money by taking a small % from each sale. Amazing technology! Check out their site: https://squareup.com/