Last editedMar 20233 min read
There are plentiful benefits to freelancing. It gives you complete control over your own career, as you dictate the clients, hours, and schedule. Yet along with these benefits comes some added responsibility. One of the first unknowns to figure out is the question of getting paid. You’ll oversee all accounting, invoicing, and payment collection. So, what are the best payment methods for freelancers? Here’s how to get started.
How to ask for payment as a freelancer
The first step is to determine how to ask for payment as a freelancer. This will depend on the nature of your business and the volume of clients you serve. Most freelancers send invoices asking for payment. Invoices are official documents providing a paper trail of services provided and payments owed. It’s important to have this documentation for accounting and tax purposes.
There’s a wide range of invoice templates to choose from, but you’ll also need to think about your payment terms and invoicing frequency. Many freelancers choose to ask for payment by issuing invoices at the end of each calendar month, while others prefer weekly or one-off invoicing.
Payment terms show your rates, the methods you accept as well as the due date. It’s best to go over all these details up front with new clients to avoid any surprises once work has been completed.
How to receive payment for freelance work
Now that you know how to ask for it, it’s time to figure out how to receive payment for freelance work. This involves selecting the most convenient payment method for you and your customers. To begin with, you’ll need a dedicated business bank account to receive payment. All business finances should be kept separate from personal finances.
Receiving payment in a timely manner requires proactivity on your part. Chasing up on late payments is often a freelancer’s least favorite part of the job. If you don’t want to waste time crafting overdue invoice reminders by hand, consider using software to automate the process. Accounting software like Salesforce or Xero will schedule and submit these reminders on your behalf.
What to look for in the best payment method for freelancers
Think about your client preferences when selecting the best payment method. If your customers prefer to pay by credit or with debit card, you’ll need a suitable payment gateway to process these payment details securely. Compare factors such as:
Per-transaction and monthly fees
Built-in merchant account
Integration with your accounting systems
Free invoice generators
Integration with your website
Client-facing payment portal
International currency conversions
What is the best payment gateway for freelancers?
Taking the above factors into consideration, it’s time to weigh your options. Consider geographical location, industry, and transaction volumes as part of this decision. Here are a few of the best payment gateways for freelancers:
PayPal is beneficial for its widespread recognition, which means new clients are likely to trust making a payment this way. It’s easy to get started with a business account and fees are comparable to other gateways. However, if your account becomes restricted it can be difficult and time-consuming to resolve issues.
2. Google Pay
If you want to avoid the per-transaction fees and account restrictions of PayPal, Google Pay is another great option with widespread recognition. It merges Android Pay and Google Wallet to provide a convenient payment option. The downside is that it doesn’t offer as broad a range of payment options as some other gateways on this list.
Stripe is a good choice if you’re looking for a user-friendly payment method. It enables card payments from your freelance clients, though you will pay per-transaction fees. Stripe also only facilitates card payments, so if you want to offer bank transfers or other alternative payment methods it won’t be suitable on its own.
While Stripe only facilitates card payments, GoCardless focuses on bank payments. However, this makes it more secure and affordable than card payments, with lower transaction fees and a reduced change of costly chargebacks. Our services are ideal for freelancers. Accept one-off payments using our Instant Bank Pay feature or set up recurring invoice payments with ACH direct debit.
GoCardless is one of the best payment methods for freelancers. We integrate with over 200 accounting software and other partners, automating the invoicing, payments collection and reconciliation process. Instead of spending time chasing up on late invoices, this means you can focus on growing your new freelance business instead.
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.