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Starting a coaching business takes hard work and determination. You’ve set up a website and booked your first clients. Now, how are you going to get paid? The best payment method for coaches will depend on your location, budget, and technical know-how. Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there that make it easy to get paid – so you can spend more time focusing on your clients.
What are the main online payment methods?
You want to make payment quick, easy, and secure for your coaching clients, and that usually means setting up online payment. Coach payment methods boil down to the same options on the table for most other small businesses. This includes two main systems within the United States, bank payments and card payments.
1. Bank payments
To take online bank payments for coaching, you’ll use the ACH system. An ACH debit is an instruction given from the customer to the bank. It authorizes coaches to withdraw payment directly from the customer’s bank account when payment is due. ACH payments offer numerous advantages. They’re safe and secure for the customer, while reducing late and failed payments. Bank payments also keep transaction fees to a minimum. However, it’s important to note that these payments do take a few days to process.
If you opt for ACH debit as your coach payment method, you can use a third-party payment processor or Direct Debit specialist like GoCardless. GoCardless manages ACH payments on your behalf through a simple online dashboard, which is quick and easy to set up.
2. Card payments
The second option when it comes to online payment methods is via credit or debit cards. While bank payments are convenient and secure, some clients might prefer to pay with their card. In this case, you’ll need a merchant account and payment gateway.
Merchant accounts are special bank accounts designed to let businesses accept card payments, temporarily holding the money while it goes through all required checks. The payment gateway is the service that connects your coaching website with the payment processor, securely transmitting cardholder data. There are also all-in-one payment processors that provide both functions, such as Stripe and PayPal.
Types of payment methods for coaches
While most coach payment methods fall into one of the two categories mentioned above, there are many different platforms to choose from.
Naturally, we’ll start with GoCardless, which is suitable for taking one-off payments for client consultations as well as recurring payments for long-term customers. To get set up, you’ll simply need to ask clients to complete a one-time online mandate form. This authorizes you to collect payments automatically, avoiding any awkward conversations about late invoices. You can set up and manage subscriptions for greater flexibility, and collect international payments from a global client base.
Another good option if you coach clients spread in far-flung locations, Adyen is known for its global coverage. It offers a huge range of payment methods with integrated payments intelligence to prevent fraud. This platform is a card-first company, making it best for customers who prefer to pay with their credit or debit card.
If you want a coach payment method that’s instantly recognizable by customers, PayPal could be a good fit. Your clients don’t need to have a PayPal account set up to pay you with a credit card, but if they do have a PayPal wallet this gives a wider selection of payment methods. It’s easy to get set up with a PayPal business account, though you should expect a few business days for identity verification and security checks. PayPal does also come with higher fees per transaction than some others on this list.
How to choose the best payment method for coaches
With so many types of payment methods out there, how can you find the right fit as a coach? The best payment method for coaches will depend on your goals, client preferences, and budget. For many new businesses, offering a blend of various payment methods is the best choice. You don’t want to go for a card-only gateway and alienate customers that prefer alternative payments or bank payments, or vice versa.
No matter which method you choose, it’s also best to choose a platform that integrates with your existing accounting software. This makes tax returns less of a headache, while also giving you better visibility over incoming payments. GoCardless integrates with over 350 partners, including top accounting software like Salesforce, Xero, and more.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.