Friday, March 27, 2009

How to Set Up Automatic Payments with PayPal

wedding technology expertWritten by guest expert Terrica Skaggs of Fabuluxe Inc.

Before we get into Terrica's guest post, I just want to let you know that you can now follow her on Twitter under ChicWeddingGeek for tips and advice on all things tech related to your wedding business.


How to Set Up Automatic Payments with PayPal 

PayPal is one of the most popular and widely used payment processors in online retailing. If you are looking to accept payment via credit cards or online checks, it can be the answer to your prayers. Streamlining your online PayPal experience makes it all the better. You can set up a system to bill your clients automatically, without having to do anything on either one of your behalves.

In order to do this, you will need to set up a business account with PayPal. In doing so, you allow PayPal to charge you a nominal fee for processing your payments. The rates are lower than other online processors and physical merchant systems. Don't worry - you can claim these fees on your taxes, instead of unethically or illegally passing them to your clients. If you haven't set up a PayPal account before, you will need to confirm your account with your bank account and credit card.

First, Bill Your Client for Their Retainer
At the endorsement of your client's contract, they will need to submit their retainer to your company. Since this will be a lump sum, you will need to bill this separately to your client. Simply invoice your client through PayPal's Invoicing Tool or if you use Outlook, you can use the PayPal plugin to invoice them directly from an email message.

Second, Allow Your Client to Subscribe to Their Payments
Per your agreement, at the time of your client's next payment date, you should establish the beginning of their payment subscription. This will work best when the remaining payments are broken up into equal payments. For example, if the client's contract is for $1000, the retainer can be $500 and the remaining amount to be billed is $500. You could opt to bill the client $100 for the next five months.

Click on the Merchant Services tab, and then the Website Payments Standard link. You will be creating a subscription button (or link) for your client. Fill out the form accordingly based on your agreements, remembering to cease billing on the date that you wish to receive your last payment.

Following these steps will allow you to set up recurring payments for your contracts. Depending on how web savvy you are, you can have a "hidden" page at your site to handle all of your payments, using HTML with custom buttons, menus and forms.

Terrica is the resident tech guru for The Smart Planner and will be sharing tips and advice on all things tech each Thursday. Have a tech question for Terrica? Shoot us an email at info{at}thesmartplanner.com with Tech Guru in the subject line and we will try to answer it here. Follow Terrica on Twitter at ChicWeddingGeek for tips on all things tech related to your wedding business.

1 comment:

5Senses Events said...

this is a really great article. you just saved me months of "who's due when? have i sent the invoice?" thanks chicwgeek!