Payment methods would best serve a person to be considered ‘Buyer Options’. For some odd reason, the more ways we have to pay for something, the more likely we are to buy, and you are ‘selling’ your voice online, right?
Every voice talent should research trying to offer as many ‘payment methods’ as possible. Did you ever walk into a restaurant and ask, ‘Do you take credit cards?’. If that host said, ‘No, sorry, only cash.’, even though you had the money, the fact that you were not offered a multiple buyer options, did it not make you want to leave? Why? “Money” is psychological, and that is just plain ole’ business. Everyone wants to feel that they are smarter because they spent their money on something no one else bought, or someone that offered options, which allows for the buyer to find people to work with that have the same business sense. ‘Buyer options’ offer that for your client. Therefore, planting a flag in the ground that states, ‘Sorry, I am only accepting payments via (insert method)’ is an open decision to limit the people who work with you, but it does shape who you will work with. If you do not like Paypal, chances are you will work more with clients who also do not like it. There are several ways a person can be paid:
- Credit Card
- Money Order
- Wire transfer
I list the most established that I see used most. I know of others like Direct Debit or Moneybookers.com. My general advice, for reasons related to identity theft and fraud: Be careful with signing up for payment services that you are not familiar with. When in doubt, research it using fake information. You will not break anything. This will make you more savvy when people present new payment methods to you, for example, if you are hired by someone outside of your country. By stating you will not accept certain options, you shape who will work with you because all of the above options are not available in every country. There are also types of payment methods that are quickly becoming a thing of the past as this world moves towards a ‘paperless society’. There are ‘pros and cons’ to the methods above, as well:
- Paypal – Most widely-used, has a fee, but is not used globally
- Credit Card – There is an inherent fear of ‘identity theft’, but it is a quick way to be paid. Depending on your bank’s policy, you may incur a transaction fee. Check your bank statements for such things.
- Money order – Although money orders offer a degree of security, as ‘the seller’ you are asking ‘the buyer’ to do work to pay you. Telling someone, ‘I only take money orders’ is basically stating, ‘When we are done working together, you have to go to the bank or post office to pay me.’ Also, be aware of the types of scams involved surrounding money orders.
- Check – There used to be something comforting about hearing, ‘The check is in the mail’. Today, it is more comforting to read a check has cleared.
- Wire transfer – I have seen the credibility of this method implode over the last few years due to scams. Perhaps the saddest result about this is that the actions of a few have led to mistrust between people working with people not from your country.
Important: Remember each payment method has a different workflow and fee to it. In addition, your own bank may have fees. Just remember clients will pay more, when it means they have to work less as a buyer. Given that statement, every voice talent should be mindful of offering their own brand of customer service, just like every online business. Make it VERY easy for them to pay you. How? Reduce the amount of emails, link clicks, and reading, from the time work is complete to the time you invoice, and make sure all emails about invoices have explicit instructions on how to pay.