Last editedJul 20232 min read
Over recent years, the interior design industry has undergone significant changes. In particular, the COVID19 pandemic encouraged interior designers to focus more on services they could offer remotely, especially online. This change has made it more important than ever for designers to be able to take interior design payment digitally. With that in mind, here is a guide to accepting digital payments as an interior designer.
Benefits of accepting interior design payment digitally
Accepting digital payments unlocks a lot of possibilities for expanding an interior design business. Even if you don’t want to tap into the online market, digital payments are convenient and therefore popular with real-world clients. This helps when it comes to tendering for work.
Digital payments are convenient for interior designers too. Firstly, they are easier to manage (and safer) than traditional payment methods. Secondly, using digital payments makes it easier to track cash flow. This is a prerequisite for managing your cash effectively.
Types of digital payment methods for interior designers
The two main types of digital payment methods are payment cards (debit and credit cards) and bank debits. Most other payment types leverage one or both of these two systems. For example, mobile payments and e-wallets are usually funded by either payment cards or bank debits.
Digital currencies (cryptocurrencies) are not. At present, however, cryptocurrencies are still very niche. If you do choose to accept them, you will almost certainly need to accept at least one other form of digital payment as well.
These days, most digital payment methods will work internationally to some extent. For example, payment cards work around the world but their acceptance levels vary.
International bank debits are more limited. GoCardless does, however, still cover the majority of countries that UK-based merchants are likely to want to access. In particular, GoCardless supports the ACH network. This means that merchants can charge US customers using their local bank debit system.
Setting up digital payment systems
These days, no matter what type of digital payment system(s) you choose, you will have a choice of ways to integrate them into your business. You can choose the one(s) that best suit(s) your needs, wants, goals and level of technical expertise.
For example, if you want a simple way to take payment cards online, there are website builders with integrated payment solutions. If, however, you want something more customised, there are providers that have extensive and robust APIs.
If you want to take bank debits, GoCardless offers you the choice of a dashboard, numerous partner integrations and an API.
Some digital payment methods will require you to invest in equipment and/or infrastructure. For example, if you want to accept debit or credit card payment in the real world, you will need a card reader. In general, however, these are very affordable.
Updating your interior design payment terms
Once you’re set up to accept digital payments, you’ll need to update your interior design payment terms to reflect this. You might want to take this opportunity to think about the details of the digital payment method(s) you’ve chosen.
For example, if you accept payment cards, you have to accept both debit and credit card payment. Credit card payments are, however, notoriously expensive. You may therefore want to steer people away from them. One way to do this would be to surcharge credit card payments but offer at least one other way to spread the cost.
If you supported bank debits, you could run your own instalment plans. Alternatively, you could partner with a recognised buy-now-pay-later scheme such as Klarna.
Managing digital transactions
Accepting digital transactions offers businesses a great opportunity to improve their brand image and lower their administrative burden. For example, businesses can create branded invoices with links that take customers directly to where they can make payment.
Businesses can also invest in financial software packages (such as Xero, Quickbooks and Sage) to automate tasks such as sending invoices. These, coupled with a bank debit solution such as GoCardless, can make staying on top of payments much less time-consuming.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution (with award-winning customer support) that helps you automate payment collection. It cuts down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with and helps improve your bottom line. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.