Credit Card Processing for Freelancers?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by designs216, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. designs216, Sep 17, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012

    designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    I have a client who wants to pay via credit card, which I don't normally accept. Since Google Checkout and PayPal seem more than somewhat shifty, I'm looking at Square. Has anyone here used them?
  2. brisbaneguy29 macrumors 6502


    Nov 27, 2007
    Not sure what you think is Shifty about PayPal or Google Checkout, although I have never used Google so I can't say from personal experience, but I didn't think it had a bad reputation in general.

    I can give you my experience with PayPal, and to be honest I think it is great. I have never had an issue, I use it to receive payments, make payments and issue refunds, and I have never had an issue.

    I do quite a few transactions a month, and I certainly don't think it is shifty, I also think it is your best bet for receiving Credit Card payments as a freelancer.

    There are fees involved, but I think that is a small price for a system thats is easy to use and setup. I also use PayMate, and give my clients the option of what they want to use. The fees are about the same, so it really doesn't matter to me.

    I have not used Square before, so I can't offer an opinion on that one, but I really don't consider PayPal shifty.
  3. Slovak macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2008
    Either PayPal or Square is fine. PayPal makes it easier to send payment via email, Square is great for processing actual credit cards.
  4. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    I must've missed where Paypal seemed shifty. Google Checkout is a pretty reputable service as well, but I've used Paypal a number of times with no issues.
  5. designs216 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    Many thanks for the responses. Anyone else want to weigh in?
  6. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    No argument that that's less than ideal, but for a company that size you're always going to have a few horror stories out of what I'm guessing are millions of accounts. Those four stories center around primarily one event and even the user involved sounded impressed with their eventual response to him.

    I thought this quote was telling, from one of your articles:

    The vocal minority part being the interesting bit, you always hear the squeaky wheel.

    Not that I'm defending Paypal, they've obviously had some issues and need to correct them (and sounds like their CEO is taking steps to do so). But to write an entire company off as "shifty" because of some loud customer service complaints seems a bit extreme.
  7. jsm4182 macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2006
    Beacon, NY
    The biggest problem with Paypal is when there is a dispute they almost always side with the buyer. When you're only dealing with a few trusted clients that you have contracts with its not an issue, but it can be an issue for online stores.

    Square is a great service. I highly recommend it over Paypal if you can process the transaction in person. The fee is lower, you get the money quicker, and clients think its cool.
  8. NiftyMac macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2012
    I use Square in my small business, highly recommend them! Payments get deposited into your personal/business bank account(s) within 1-2 days (3 the latest) of taking payment. Max transaction limit is 999.99, although that shouldn't be a problem for you. You get charged 2.5% per swipe, 3.5% if its input rather then swiped. (If your smart, you will add it in the price you charge)

    I ordered my reader directly from Square it took like 2-3 weeks for me to receive the free card reader. If I would have known that my local bestbuy had them for $10, I would have got it from them. So far I haven't had any issues with Square, and refunding payments are a breeze. Hope this helps!

  9. UTclassof89 macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2008
    I've been using Square for about a year and love it. Payments are easy and fast (they get deposited into your linked bank account that evening).
  10. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    This is not always true. I have been using Paypal since 2000 and have never had an issue. If you ever run into a problem and have a legitimate argument, then Paypal will listen and even side with you. Paypal has always been my number one choice (since 2000) and will continue to be so for a long time. I like Paypal due to the fact that it protects both sides of the coin. They are a very reputable business that has been around for a while. Paypal will be a good choice as they are easy to set up with and have good support should you require it. Just take into account what fees you will have to pay to them and hopefully you can find a way to put it into your invoices.
  11. shotts56 macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2008
    Ditto, never had a problem with paypal since I started using them years ago. I've had way more arguments with my bank than I have with paypal.
  12. JoshBoy macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    I would suggest IPG (Internet Payment Gateway) I work for a bank and we set them up. Basically the web designer drops in a small line of code. For the customer it creates a VPN through to the secure environment, run the transaction and send them back with out the customer knowing they have changed environments, money in the account the next day plus re-billing option.
  13. designs216 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    I decided to go with Square. I like their straightforward terms and the fact that they are new to the scene as opposed to their entrenched competitors. IMO, Google and PayPal have gotten too big and have lost their focus on the customer.

    My first transaction using Square was easy and the money was in my account the next morning. I appreciate everyone's input and I'll refer back to your wisdom if Square ever lets me down.
  14. virtualandy macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    Square is cool.

    If you've got a web page and want to accept payments, another alternative is Stripe:
  15. CrankyMonkey macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2012

    You should also check out Intuit's GoPayment. I compared Square and GoPayment a few months ago and found the GoPayment had better security features.
    - Square had some bad press for storing client information on the device. GoPayment doesn't store anything.
    - Square will validate that the credit card number is real. GoPayment validates the credit card number and also authorizes the payment.

    This was a few months ago, I'm not sure if anything has changed since then.
  16. photographypro macrumors regular


    Jul 7, 2010
    American in Pisa (Italy)
    I use Merchant Focus, the one featured in the Apple Ad

    I use Merchant Focus, the one featured in the Apple Ad a few years back. They have a great iPhone app, and they now offer a FREE $79 card swiper, which gives you a rate way under 2%. I got a $50 iTunes card instead, and most of my transactions (I use this often with my wedding clients), are over the phone, just keying it in, are under 2%. They DO accept transactions over $1000 (very important for me, as I often charge $2500 or more on a wedding balance), and you can accept foreign credit cards. There is a $10 monthly fee to Merchant Focus, and a $15 fee to, so you have to decide if the $25 in monthly fees are worth the savings you will get on the rate. I always get my money in 2 business days. They have apps for the iPhone/iPod, and for the iPad. I love that out in the field I can take their credit card, and immediately email the client a receipt, without electricity or WiFi (Perfect for that family portrait session in the park).

    Since I don't have the swiper, I don't have to carry any extra hardware. The rate is a bit better with the swiper, and if you were doing a trade show where you are doing many transactions, it would definitely be worth it.

    I got this before Square, and Paypal also now has a swiper like Square, but if do some business, the lower fees could cover the monthly.

    Info is here:
  17. baypharm macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2007
    Square or PayAnywhere are cc processors for individuals and businesses. Both have comparable rates. In my experience Square gets my vote as they allow you to change bank account information online - whereas with PayAnywhere it involves filling out forms and faxing those to a processing center. Square also has no monthly fees.

    Intuit's GoPayment requires credit approval - Square and PayAnywhere do not.

    PayPal is not a credit card processor in the traditional sense. You cannot swipe a cc and have it deposited into your PayPal account. I realize there are many PayPal fans here but I am not one of them.
  18. DJ Al B Bad, Oct 26, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012

    DJ Al B Bad macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2010
    Texas, USA
    I use Square and PayPal's Here which are almost identical and both offer free card readers. I like both services and both work great.

    Square deposits into your bank account within 24 - 72 hours

    PayPal Here deposits into your PayPal account immediately for use and if you have a PayPal CC you can also use the funds immediately that way if you want.

    There are some that complain that they are rejected during the application process for PayPal Here but it’s because they do true identity verification questions and if you’re not forthcoming or answer incorrectly, due to impatience, you will fail and be denied - a very simple process.
  19. AFPoster macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    I use Square and it's great. Just prepare yourself to know the calculation to "add" on the additional 3.5% or 2.75% fee so it's not coming out of your end.

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