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Accepting Payments As A Graphic Designer

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Last editedMar 20233 min read

A lot of graphic designers are focused on how to attract clients and expand their portfolio, but one of the most important parts of the job is identifying how you will be paid for your work.

There are other freelance graphic designer payment terms which we will explain below, but the first thing to do is make sure you know how you can be paid and that your clients agree to this payment method. 

Graphic design payment methods

There are four ways that graphic designers can get paid by their clients, and it is probably most efficient to accept most or all where possible. By having multiple ways to get paid as a freelance graphic designer, you can improve your chances of getting paid on time. The four freelancer graphic design payment methods are:

  • Online payment

  • Credit card payment

  • Direct bank transfer

  • Cash/cheque.

Online payment

Online payments are very popular due to their ease of use, so it is important that graphic designers have such options for payment available for their clients. PayPal is the most popular online payment system, though there are others you can look into. The idea is to make it as simple as possible for your clients, and they are most likely to use PayPal, so make this one a priority. 

There are transaction fees for PayPal payments, so you may want to discuss who should pay them with your client. You can also set up a which lets you send a link to your client that simplifies the process for them. 

Credit card payment

There is a lot of fraud with credit card payments so this isn’t the most popular payment method for freelancers. You might be able to use a payment processing platform like Stripe which offers more protection, but this is only really necessary if you have a client who insists on paying via credit card.

How to collect payments with GoCardless


Create your free GoCardless account, access your user-friendly payments dashboard & connect your accounting software (if you use one).


Easily set up & schedule one-off or recurring payments via payment pages on your website checkout or secure payment links.


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Direct bank transfer

Depending on the fees due for each transfer – which can be high for international transfers – a direct bank transfer is one of the best ways to get paid as a freelance graphic designer. The waiting period between payment and access to the money is usually pretty uniform and can be easily accounted for.

The only real worry is the difference in currency exchange rates. If you are being paid in a foreign currency then you would be wise to understand the exchange rates being used by you and your client’s banks.

Cash / cheque

Many graphic designers work with local clients that they can meet in person, and this opens up the possibility of being paid via cash or cheque. The only worries with these offline payments is counterfeit notes and bouncing cheques. You will want to be well versed in recognising counterfeit money, and be wary of accepting cheques if you do not know the client very well.

Additional issues include cheques taking time to clear, and cash leaving you with a wad of notes you need to deposit. But they are viable payment options so be open to them if your client prefers it.

Graphic design payment terms

Getting paid also requires establishing the terms of your contract. You will want to include clear project start and finish dates, as well as the scope of your services being provided. The payment method should be agreed before work commences, as well as any other special conditions. 

Also outline the process for the client wanting to change the contract, such as asking for more work or different work than originally agreed. You should also agree on who owns the intellectual property (IP), or at what point do you as the creator of the work hand over the IP to the client.

The last thing to add into the graphic design payment terms is how and when each party can terminate the contract.

We can help

GoCardless helps freelancers spend less time and effort on getting paid on time. Direct Debit, a pull-based payment method, enables freelancers to get paid automatically on a date of their choosing. 

Instant Bank Pay lets freelancers take one-off, same-day payments via paylink, quickly and seamlessly. Such rapid payment might be required, for example, for services that are outside the scope of a retainer. 

Integrations with major accounting partners allows users to raise and reconcile invoices automatically. 

By controlling when you get paid, significant amounts of stress can be reduced. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about freelance graphic designer payment terms, or any other aspect of your business finances, then get in touch with our financial experts at GoCardless. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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