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Up until now we have done this by sending out a check.
We'd rather professionalise this process and ask the clients to sign up and get the amoung deducted automatically from their credit card.
Which companies have posters used to do this and which one would you recommend?
Thanks in advance
If they are business clients, requiring payment by credit card is not "professionalizing". It's the opposite. Most businesses expect invoices, 30-day terms, and payment by check.
Certainly it makes sense to have this payment option avaiable, and it probably makes sense to encourage it (a bird in hand...) But depending on your business, REQUIRING CC payment might be a very bad idea.
Companies with 200+ employees usually have a decent Accounts Department and will choose payment by check.
As for a mechant services account providers, I've been with Total Merchant Services since early 2000, and don't plan on switching anytime soon! Anyone who provides a gateway to Authorize.net is probably okay, you just need to look at fees and customer service levels :)
Although it may be too late to change current arrangements, why not consider quarterly or yearly billing depending on the invoice amount. Billing departments tend to dislike dealing with small invoices more than paying up front and avoiding 11 additional invoices.
If you are dealing with businesses that do not have a dedicated billing department (even some bigger ones) then you may be looking at companies that also don't have a company credit card (I'm talking about the UK here), may companies have to use a founder's/employee's credit card.
This is very common, so much so that one of our LSE listed clients, who make profits in the multi-million pound territory, use a marketing manager's credit card to pay their AdWords!
Having said that, i had the same problem recently, but i found a service called freshbooks which specializes in professional looking invoicing for businesses like web designing / consulting. I tried the demo out and it looks good so far. You can attach it to paypal or a payment gateway of your choice and bill straight from them, including recurring billing.
They have a nice admin panel, and even options to snail mail awesome looking invoices.
It's the best solution i found without using the lame invoicing feature in paypal.
Another one is blinksale but that uses paypal only, however it's a big step up from the internal features on paypal.
[edited by: Hiredguns at 4:21 am (utc) on Dec. 8, 2006]