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In today’s professional world, you should be able to instantly receive payment the moment your work is complete. Time is money. And traditional payment processes can create unfortunate doubt over when and how (and sometimes if) photographers will be paid.
Systems like Apple Pay and new apps like Uber, make the act of payments across industries the most seamless experience possible. This makes the overall business transaction convenient not just for the professional, but for the client as well. And technology is starting to evolve to bring that very same instant and mobile payment experience directly to the professional photography community. To reap all the value that mobile payments have to offer, find a tool that covers these core benefits for photographers to help your business thrive.
Speed & Convenience
One of the best parts of adopting a mobile payment system is plainly: you get paid quicker.
That means no more waiting around for checks to arrive or cash to be withdrawn from your client’s bank.
With mobility, if at any point you want to get paid, you can get paid – in front of a client or at home; in a meeting or traveling around town. Payment apps don’t require you to be tied to a desk to process or request a payment. And some don’t even necessitate a face-to-face dealing with your client in order to collect payment.
And for your clients, mobile payments are just as (if not more) convenient for them. Traditionally, clients would receive invoices, write a check, and then put it in the mail. Or for in-person payments, they would have to remember to bring cash with them. Slight improvements in technology have allowed them to send electronic transfers, but again this forces them to get in front of a computer, log in account information and formally pay an invoice. All of which end up being a time suck. Mobile payments allow you to ask for payment anywhere, and allow your clients to pay you anywhere – uber convenience all around.
Suggested tools: PocketSuite (affiliate), PayPal, Venmo
Point-of-sale mobile apps are essentially “version 1.0” of the mobile payment movement. Swiping a card from your phone – that’s great and all, but the newest payment technology has just arrived.
Leverage payment apps that allow you to secure payment even before you walk into a portrait session, event or shoot. That could simply mean reserving your client’s payment (like a credit card) before any appointment, just to make sure they are serious about your time. Or it could be as straight forward as accepting a deposit ahead of time for a job commitment planned. Implement flexible yet professional ways to demonstrate to your clients that your time is valuable, and you need an organized payment system that establishes that.
Once your work is complete, all you have to do is charge the card that is reserved on file. Or bill your client for the remaining amount. Mobile payment protection reduces your risk of losing out on a paycheck because a client forgets to pay, or doesn’t show up, or cancels last minute – you’ll be able to actually implement that crucial cancellation policy when it’s required.
Suggested tools: PocketSuite (affiliate), Square Up
As your business grows, so does the number of payments you’re collecting. And that means more for you to keep track of.
Choose a payments tool that allows you to track all types of payments in one place, on the go. Let’s be honest – there are some clients out there who strictly demand paying in certain ways. The elderly “cash only” clients. The credit card heavy customers. The “where did I put my check book?” crowd.
If you’re bouncing back and forth between multiple payment systems to track who’s paid you, how they’ve paid you, and when they’ve paid you – you’re wasting time. Mobile payment tools can now act as income tracking tool as well. Not only for processing those payments on the fly, but for giving you a convenient way to see where all your payments are coming from, who owes you what, and how your business is doing.
Suggested tools: PocketSuite (affiliate)
Finally, with more innovation comes cheaper price tags for its users. That’s you!
The days of 3-4% per non-cash payment transaction are over. And don’t even think about adding payment gateways to your website that require heavy installation, monthly minimums, and all the other fees associated with it.
With more mobile payment entrants in the market, that means increased competition, which results is great news for those mobile photographers out there. Photographers should not pay more than 2% for processing fees, and should incur no other hidden costs associate with being mobile and running a business. Every expense counts when you’re trying to grow a business, so keep this in mind when choosing the right tool for you.
Your Clients Are Ready – Are You?
Adopting a new payment system can be daunting. Most payment systems are clunky, have too many rules, and are difficult to understand. The best part about mobile payments, however, is they are just that – mobile and simple.
The other best part about mobile payment systems is that consumers (aka, your customers) know them, use them, and love them already. So for the first time in a long time, your clients are on the same page as you as you shift a core part of your business into new tools that save you time, money and help you grow. Embrace the convenience, the security, and join the mobile movement.
PocketSuite is a new mobile app for photography professionals helping them run and build a better business. PocketSuite empowers photographers with the ability to schedule appointments, invoice customers, collect payment, track income, and communicate with clients… All from a single app.