You run a small business, and you need to collect payments. What are your options? This article provides a guide to the different ways your small business can accept money from clients and customers. Ultimately, we’ll look at how using a complete Payment Management System like Finli can provide crucial time and money savings for your business.


Paper Checks

Even though digital payment solutions are on the rise, many small to medium-sized businesses still rely on paper checks and manual accounts payable (AP). Some may hang on to the process of writing checks by hand for the sense of pre-digital nostalgia it may conjure. But checks and manual AP come at a significant cost over their digital counterparts.

According to one estimate, the average cost of each manual payment for a small business is $22. That may sound hard to believe, but consider the time it takes to write, record, and mail each check. Add to that the fact that many institutions, including nonprofits, require two signatures for each check. This not only adds work to the process but also takes up your business’s valuable time.


ACH and Wire Transfers

Automated clearing house (ACH) transfers let small businesses receive funds directly from another bank. This process can cut down on the time and effort of paper checks, but it does not eliminate the fees. ACH transfers often involve per-transaction fees ($0.20 to $1.50) and/or percentage fees that can range from 0.5% to 1.5%—that may sound like an improvement over paper checks, but don’t let the small numbers fool you.

ACH also imposes transfer limits and various fees for insufficient funds. Wire transfers are similar to ACH but cost even more—typically ranging from $20 to $30. Due to such fees and wire transfers’ faster turnaround times, most reserve them for important time-sensitive or large-sum payments either domestically or abroad.


Peer-to-Peer Payments

Many small businesses choose peer-to-peer services for various convenience factors when compared to paper checks and ACH transfers. However, many small businesses have discovered how fees from apps like Venmo and Paypal can affect their bottom line, too. For example, Venmo’s fees come in at 1.9% and $0.10 for each business payment, even more than many ACH transfers. Close to the high-end of ACH rates, PayPal charges 1.5% per transaction, while both apps outline a host of other fees for basic payment activities.

Users of peer-to-peer payment apps have also found security issues. For example, one Venmo user’s account was recently frozen for accidentally sending funds to the wrong user. Other issues have arisen from the ability to broadcast payments, a feature that has contributed to mounting criticisms of this peer-to-peer app’s security.


Payment Management System

Finli offers a secure and comprehensive Payment Management System that outperforms its digital and analog counterparts at a fraction of the cost. Finli’s basic level features zero transaction fees. But even more valuable for small businesses is the way Finli lets you invoice customers and generate ongoing payment streams through subscription plans and recurring invoices. 

Regarding security, Finli uses the highest encryption protocols available for financial transactions. Finli also avoids misdirected payments through Pay By Link. Your client receives a text message with a link, and the funds will arrive correctly. 

Add customer relationship management (CRM) and flexible payments, and the value proposition of such a Payment Management System becomes clear. For these reasons, more and more small businesses are turning to Finli over other payment options. Finli is the trusted and secure payment solution that saves your small business time and money.


Need help getting started? Finli was founded to help small businesses instantly invoice, collect immediate payments, and more seamlessly handle their accounts receivable. Sign up for a free trial here!