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Remote payments, credit cards, how do you do it.

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by kmetal, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    hey guys, I may have gotten another studio design/consult gig, this time out of state (lol I'm not shy with the self promotion on gs.) I have paypal, but am a complete newbie. I'm usually paid via check or cash, but this is the first 'official remote' job, where I won't be present. I would love the ability to take credit/debit, as well, and would prefer a method that includes all forms of payment in a single account. Remote work is my goal/focus, so this remote payment is essential.

    Any advice, links, and stories are welcome.


    El Kyle
  2. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    If in the country I use E-Transfer through email and online banking. I'm in Canada, I assume you have the same in the states... Easier, and faster than paypal for the receiver. Paypal is easier for the sender.

    Paypal charges a sum for you to transfer to your bank account and it can take a few days for that transfer to happen after you ask it to transfer.
    If you set up an account with automated payment like from website sales paypal charges a sum as well.
  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Thanks Chris, I'm gonna research e transfer right now. If I have to eat some PayPal fees short term I will, it's just filed under cost of doing business, but defiantly looking for a more direct approach.

    I appreciate your thoughts.
  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Looks like I'm going to possibly need something like e transfer when international payments are involved. After a few hours of digging I've found two services that will cover all my basic needs. I'm still researching. Particularly for service based people, like us musicians and engineers, two companies seem to have an edge. "Flint" and "PayPal Here".

    Flint is cool because it's that same price to either manually type a card number, like over the phone, in a remote tech support situation. 2.95% + 30cents each transaction. It doesn't have a sniper, rather uses your phones camera. It's doesn't save the picture, it goes directly to the card service co. And more importantly for customer security, it won't allow you to screenshot the screen.

    This appeals to me because of how simple it is. No hardware, and supposedly, no other fees. If it is this simple, then it's going to be my first choice for credit/debit sales. The payments are deposited into your account nightly, with a two day "buffer" so what goes in tonight, was from two days ago. This isn't a big deal, although, instantaneous would be nice. Lol it'll be a sign of success when I don't need my money immediately. There is no swiper available, it's smartphone camera only, or manual typing.

    It's super cool, because it will automatically generate an html link to the typical checkout screen where you'd enter payment data. So you don't need a website to take online payments. You can aumatically email an invoice, and include the paynow link, or even include it on Facebook, or dare I say RO ;). It's % are the highest by 0.25% and the flat fee of 30 cents is also double the typical. This doesn't come into play in any significant way, since my average transaction is 25-300$

    PayPal here, is cool because it takes checks. I'm still looking into the fees and all that, but checks, would be my primary use. It has an available cardswiper which could be handy. Since its PayPal, it's well known, and fully featured.

    Between the two services, I think I can handle any and all common remote transactions. The only thing I'm still questioning is shopping cart type things. Eventually I'll be shilling original drawings and plans, and hopefully some super awesome original gear like pre amps and eqs. But one hurdle at a time.

    I'll keep updating this as I learn more about the inevitable 'fine print' and 'oh mans'.

    Eventually I'll have to set up a merchant account through my bank, and I'll manage all my stuff via the website, but that's a whole different area, and will come slowly with time.

    Right now, while I'm on hiatus, and accepting select, limited scope projects only, it's a huge step just to be able to take card payments. Eventually E-wallets like Apple Pay, will be accepted, but again, I'm trying to start slowly. Quick books accounting software itself is $400. Ouch. So I may have to pickup a cheapo 1tb HHD, install w10, and use it specifically for office and admin work.

    Going through this for the first time seriously, as a true full out business in the upcoming years, is revealing to me exactly how complicated and simple things can be. I also, understand why many of the "bosses" I've had through the years who were first time, or inexperienced owners, have failed. I literally have almost no overhead, and no facility, and it's an incredible amount of accounting, and maintenance. Just outlining my inventory properly, is a project in and of itself, and I sold just about everything I had!!! Im glad some of my education is coming in handy, as I had hoped, when I was a finance major, before stopping my senior year.

    The strange thing is the more "professional" I become, the less energy is actually devoted to music directly. I will make sure the boring stuff is properly setup and automated on the front end, so once it's rolling, I don't need to be distracted with left brain stuff. Hopefully.
  5. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Oh this is web based.. I though it was a mixing service .. yeah,, pay pal is good. Be aware they can keep 1/3 of payments for a period of time for refunds etc if you are doing decent volume. If they are pay paling your account directly and not from a web based store this doesn't apply but from a store it can depending on the type of account you set up.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I use paypal and Square.
    With Square, I swipe CC on my iphone. Just did one last night. Works great.
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I'm not being clear. It's both, I think. Lol. In other words, many times over the years, club owners, and friends will just call me when something breaks, or they need to know something about there system, and I'll walk them through step by step. I consider that "remote tech support". So that would mean reviving payment via phone or email invoice.

    Eventually when my site is setup (scooped magix/xara web design premium on sale last winter) I'll be doing online mixing, which would have the option of flat rate, or hourly. Also, they'll be easy live acess to me via video conference, and I'd also like the ability to record the AV so the client can reference the conversation. I have like 15 pages of notes somewhere from when I talked to rod one day. Key word being 'somewhere'.

    Basically realtime conferencing is I guess what it's going to end up? Sorry, just woke up, and I'm brainstorming a bit.

    I'll also have drawings, and prints and plans, that I make, up for sale, in addition to free content. I'm going to do photorealistic renderings in sketch up. The average studio, is in an average room these days, and I'm going to do a series of pre fab type designs, to fit within this footprint.

    For the record, I've been compiling acoustics and construction and musical data, manuals, essays, for about a year. So I'll have a good contribution to the resources over here when I get everything organized on my PC. And I'll also have a good knowledge base on my site. I'm looking to spread proper technique, and make the otherwise elusive information, available for people who just want to make a cool studio, not become an acoustician. I'm not looking to profit off that. My profit comes in when they have specific, intricate questions, which aren't easily answered via forums, or they want custom plans / drawings / or actual on site work.

    Besides having integrity, I belive knowledge is power, and many great men have taken the time to explain things to me, no charge. Whether it's help my mixes, electronics, or acoustics. I intend to continue to give back to the community whenever I can. Philanthropy is the ultimate position of success imho.

    In this case, the client is renting consultation time from me, 1/2 hr, 1hr, 3hr rates is what I'm offering.

    Frankly, they didn't teach any of the practical setup things in school, lol so I'm not shure if I'm classified as an online store or service or both. It's been a while since I've been thinking 'official business' as opposed to 'hopefully they pay for my gas tank' which has been the previous status quo.

    Square is the only other one I would use, based on all the comparisons. I'm going to have to closely weigh Square vs PayPal Here.

    It's good to hear that it works well. My thought process was if I'm stuck using PayPal for some things, and if it does what square can do too, I may as well minimize how many of these services I'm involved with.

    Flint, seems to be the least popular, perhaps cuz its newest.? Maybe because it's very limited in fuctionality, i.e. You take a pic or type in the card number. It doesn't take checks, or have any other features, it's purely for CC/debit.

    Overall square and PayPal seems to be the most widely used and accepted.

    Lmao, who would've thunk I'd be running a pay by the minute phone service. At least mine is G rated, all ages.
  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I signed up for PayPal here, and I've successfully invoiced my mom for $1, via an email link, which allowed payment to be made, by entering credit card info at the prompt. I'm going to test out the refund function, but so far I'm pleased with how easy it is to use, and how quickly the money moves around.

    Flint is slightly lower in fees for manual entries, but I'm going to learn all the functions of PP Here, before I set up any more accounts. If I need more features, or capability, square and flint are the next two options.

    For now, problem solved! I officially accept CC and Debit!!!
  9. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Square is great with physical merchandise and face to face, point of purchase sales. Square is extremely quick to transfer the money into your bank account. Paypal used to be notoriously slow to pay you, I don't know if maybe they've improved that with "PP Here" services.

    I don't know how easy it would be for you to sell intangible services / consulting / intellectual property on Square. It doesn't look like it's hard to do if you have a domain and website of your own. It's not something I've done, so I can't tell you for sure if any additional security and certification levels might be required on your website - if you get to that point. Again, all I've used Square for so far is face to face 'card swipe' transactions, and it's great for that.
  10. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    That's the biggest complaint I've found in my research, I'm going to do some tests, before I rely on it for paying my bills which are all automated and time sensitive. They say in general it's supposed to take 2 days, but we will see. Also disturbing was ompllaints of people getting there accounts 'Frozen' either randomly for 'security reasons' or after an atypically large transaction on their account. MYOB PayPal!!!

    I have a domain, no site yet, however I do have xara web design premium, ready for install when the time is right.

    Square offers the option of manually typing in the CC, and invoicing (I think) online just via an email/link combo.

    I think I may skip flint, even though it's been reviewed in PC mag Ect, because everyone who uses square, seems to have no complaints.

    I appreciate your comments DVD, it's helped me be more confident in square. I may even just sign up pre emptivly, so I have some options.
  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Whoooohooooo! Just sent my first *official* invoice for my entertainment company! Via papal here's email invoicing. Super easy! I even applied a discount!!!

    As far as PayPal being sluggish, they have the option to sign up for one of there PayPal MasterCard(or whatever company) debit, which lets you spend directly from your PayPal account, no/minimal downtime. I signed up, not sure if it'll approve (I have bad credit) lol thanks college and beer for that. But either way I'm wayyy excited. I've been at it a while without a day job, this finally feels real!!!!!!!
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Good for you, its a great feeling to earn income from our passion.

    I've had one of these for over a decade. Its been excellent. Its like a debit card so there is no credit check. If you have money, it works. If you don't, it is empty. Simple as pie.
    kmetal likes this.
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I highly recommend adding Square to your payment options. Not everyone is comfortable using paypal. Square allows you to ask for their card on the spot, swipe while you are standing talking shop.... 20 sec you are done. Its very professional.
    kmetal likes this.
  14. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I'll take your word for it Chris, gonna sign up now. The more options I offer the better. I know personally I don't like paying with PayPal.
    audiokid likes this.
  15. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Just signed up! Gonna do some test invoices tomorrow or something, gonna try and give the noggin a break from numbers for the day!!!

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