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25 Payment Tools for Small Businesses, Freelancers and Startups

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Billing your customers is, of course, vital -- but even more critical is getting paid for those bills. Thanks to the ongoing evolution in the payments industry, there are more payment tools and platforms to choose from to help find the perfect option for your business based on how many payments you receive, the type of business you have and your budget.

I’ve worked with many payment companies over a span of more than 10 years, and I’ve learned that not every payment company is created equal. For that reason, I’ve compiled a list of 25 payment tools to consider for your business. These options will expand the number of payment methods you can accept which will help attract more clients, facilitate faster payment and ensure a secure environment for both parties during every transaction you make.

Dwolla is a developer-friendly payments system that lets you customize how you make and receive recurring, bulk or single payments. Offering a free account with no transaction fees, it only links to a U.S. bank account or credit union account. There are no account setup fees or transaction fees. However, Dwolla is strictly made for domestic payments.

Authorize.net is a payments gateway that offers domestic and some international transactions for small to medium-sized businesses. You can accept all major credit cards, signature debit cards, echecks and digital payment options like Apple Pay, PayPal and Visa Checkout. Other features include automated recurring billing, a free suite of security and fraud prevention tools and the ability to synch with your Quickbooks. Although there are no annual renewal or hidden fees involved, there are some other fees to consider: a $49 set-up fee, $25 per month gateway fee and 2.9 percent plus $0.30 per transaction.

As part of PayPal, this company has bolstered the company’s payments expertise and provided more options for you to pass onto your customers -- like Venmo, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Bitcoin and debit and credit cards. There are no extra fees, including no fees for refunds, inactivity or failed transactions. You only pay for those transactions you actually carry out. After your first $50,000 in transactions, you will pay as little as 2.9 percent plus $0.30 per transaction.

2Checkout focuses on global payment acceptance, providing you with a secure and compliant gateway to do business in nearly every country around the world. It offers both online and mobile platforms for payments, including numerous language and currency options, recurring billing, hosted checkout and fraud protection. You can accept all major credit and debit cards as well as PayPal, and then get paid by bank or wire transfer. Transactions are 2.9 percent plus $0.30 per transaction. While there are no setup or monthly fees, you will have fees like an extra 1 percent added on to each transaction from outside of the U.S., 2 to 5 percent charge above daily bank rate on currency conversion and a $20 chargeback fee.

Square is a credit card processing company that provides a way for small businesses to accept credit cards without carrying the burden of additional fees. You will be able to accept credit cards anywhere and process gift cards with their free magstripe reader that works with the Square app on smartphones and tablets. Features include fraud protection and deposits on demand with payments received in your bank........

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