Every way to take payments from your art customers

Learn My Craft | 21st April 2023

A woman taking payment from a customer for her artwork

These are the easiest ways to start accepting online payments from your customers.

When you made the decision to start selling your art, your first thought probably went straight to the internet. The internet is one of the most convenient ways to get your art in front of a large audience, but it presents a dilemma to many would be artists. How will your customers send you payments in a way that is easy, secure and trustworthy? This article will explain all of the ways to do this in 2023, demystifying the world of online payments so that you can get on with the thing you love; creating incredible art.

A 2019 report by J.P Morgan looking at ecommerce payment trends predicted the use of online payments to increase at over 10% per year, with ecommerce on mobile devices being the most popular way to check out online. With smart phone technology becoming more popular every single year, your customers are looking for ways to discover products and check out from their devices. As an artist looking to make sales online, you need to have a solution to this ready to go.

Most customers like to have a choice of payment options that suit the way they manage their money. As artists, the products and services we offer can vary enormously, as do the type of customers you will attract. Offering a diverse range of ways for customers to pay is the smartest way to ensure you make that sale. Forbes magazine contributor Ilker Koksal agrees:

By offering a range of payment methods you can reduce customer frustration and increase your conversion rate when it comes to checking out.

As technology keeps moving forward, it can be difficult to keep track of all of the different payment methods and apps, when all you really want to do is create! We’ve got you covered. Here is our essential list of ways to take payments online in 2023, in one simple and easy-to-follow list. Whether you pick one, or a number of methods to accept payments, they will make it easy to manage your payments. Customers will love them too, we’ve only included the most secure and well-known platforms that you can get started with straight away.

1. Use an online payment gateway

What is an online payment gateway?

An online payment gateway is a system that allows you to receive payments via your website. You’ll have used this checkout system if you’re ordered anything from an online store. Most website builder platforms now come with a payment gateway to allow you to receive payments and sell items through your own site. The website platforms do this by integrating the most popular payment processors into their website software, making it simple to sell products online.

Some online payment gateways offer services that mean you don’t need a website to start sending and receiving payments.

Who are the most popular providers??

Stripe, PayPal, WorldPay, Afterpay, Square are the best known. Most website builder platforms incorporate one or more of these providers as standard.

How do you use online payment gateways?

Online payment gateways are integrated into most website builder platforms (think Shopify or Squarespace) already, allowing you to sell products through your website. Customers can simply enter their card details at checkout and the payment gateway securely takes care of the rest. Many platforms also allow you to make payment requests and send invoices to customers without the need for a website at all, giving your customer an easy way to send you money online.

What are the positives of using an online payment gateway?

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Customers know and understand the checkout process
  • Solutions available for online and offline card processing

What are the negatives of using an online payment gateway?

  • You’ll usually have to pay a fee for every transaction processed
  • Sometimes the payment processor will hold your funds for a period of days
  • Some platforms can be fairly basic with limited functionality

2. Use a third-party marketplace

What is a third-party marketplace?

A third-party marketplace is an online platform that allows multiple people to buy and sell in one place. They will handle marketing, hosting and payment processing, you just need to make an account and upload your products or services.

Who are the most popular providers??

There are a growing number of marketplaces focused around art, design and content. The most popular today are Etsy, eBay and Amazon, but for a more specialised audience look at sites like Art Station or Saatchi Art. If you are offering services such as bespoke work or commissions, check out service-based marketplaces like UpWork or Fiverr.

How do you use a third-party marketplace?

Usually, the marketplace allows you to create a profile and upload your listings. Customers will find you on the site and pay using the site’s infrastructure, the money is then sent to your account.

What are the positives of using a third-party marketplace?

  • Third-party marketplaces can offer an existing market of engaged customers
  • Protected data and customer details are all dealt with securely on the platform
  • You can leverage the well-known brand value of the platform
  • Many platforms offer payment gateways that offer you and the customer increased security.

What are the negatives of using a third-party marketplace?

  • You are restricted to the functionality of the marketplace
  • The marketplace will feature your business on the same pages as your competition
  • Some platforms withhold your funds for a period of days to protect against customer complaints, leaving some sellers feeling a lack of control.

3. Use email invoicing

What is email invoicing?

Email invoicing is where you send a customer an invoice for payment via email.

Who are the most popular providers?

Many cloud-based accounting packages offer email invoicing and payments as part of their packagines, which also help you to manage your books and keep a track of customers. Check out Quickbooks, PayPal and Wave to get started.

How do you use email invoicing?

Simply generate an invoice using the software, and input the email address to send it to. The customer will receive the invoice as an attachment to an email with a link to pay using their credit or debit card, or your custom payment terms as arranged by you.

What are the positives of using email invoicing?

  • Email invoicing isn’t reliant on you to have your own website
  • Business customers prefer to have simple printable invoices as part of their record-keeping.
  • The invoice and payment are recorded directly as part of the accounting software, making record-keeping easy and contained.

What are the negatives of using email invoicing?

  • It is slower and more convoluted than other payment methods
  • It is not as suited to higher volume product sales
  • It isn’t integrated into your website or other marketing platforms so must be done manually.

4. Use mobile payment apps

What are mobile payment apps?

Sometimes known as digital wallets, mobile payment apps allow you to store your card details or bank details within a mobile app, allowing for swift, easy payments via your device, without the need to start entering card details.

Who are the most popular providers??

Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Venmo are all well-known providers.

How do you use mobile payment apps?

Many website builder tools offer integration for the best-known digital wallets. Using mobile payment apps is simple, create an account, input your bank or card details and start sending and receiving funds. You can send a payment request using the app and the customer will pay using a link sent to them.

What are the positives of using mobile payment apps?

  • Mobile payment apps provide an additional layer of security
  • They make payments quick and seamless
  • Most transactions now are done using mobile

What are the negatives of using third-party payment apps?

  • Higher transaction fees
  • Security breaches and the casual nature of payments can lead to a lack of trust from customers
  • A wide range of choices makes it difficult to have a universal offering.

5. Use eChecks with ACH processing

What is an eCheck?

eChecks are a digital version of traditional paper checks found in the United States. They are processed using the ACH (Automated Clearing House) network.

Who are the most popular providers?

Seamless Chex, Authorize.net and many consumer banks provide eCheck processing. Just look for ACH merchant accounts to start processing payments.

How do you use eChecks?

Your customer must authorize the payment by filling in a form containing their checking account and routing number, and either a signature or recorded phone conversation as verification for the payment.

What are the positives of using eChecks?

  • Lower transaction fees than most debit or credit card services
  • Convenient digital way to accept check payments
  • Secure system

What are the negatives of using eChecks?

  • eChecks are slow, taking around 6 days to clear payment.
  • Fees are usually due if payment bounces
  • The system is lesser-known in eCommerce, and not well integrated.
  • Better suited to high-value, low-volume transactions.

6. Use cryptocurrency payments

What are cryptocurrency payments?

Cryptocurrencies are an alternative form of virtual currency that can be held and sent digitally between parties.

Who are the most popular providers??

Coinbase Commerce, BitPay, Coinspaid are among many popular providers.

How do you use cryptocurrency payments?

Some website builder platforms have already started offering cryptocurrency payment gateways as part of their package, making it easy to integrate into your existing website. For example, Shopify has a dedicated support team for their cryptocurrency payment gateway.

The main providers offer accounts that let you quickly receive cryptocurrency payments from customers, as well as invoicing and hosted checkout pages. The cryptocurrency will be deposited into your digital wallet when the customer pays.

What are the positives of using cryptocurrency payments?

  • Fast transaction times
  • Innovative, cutting edge technology
  • Payment conversion to any fiat currency
  • No chargebacks, transactions cannot be reversed

What are the negatives of using cryptocurrency payments?

  • Less trusted or known by consumers
  • Minimal existing infrastructure to make and accept payments
  • Every transaction is on a public ledger
  • The market value of cryptocurrencies is highly volatile

7. Use electronic bank/wire transfers

What are electronic bank or wire transfers?

An electronic bank transfer, sometimes known as a wire transfer is when you send money from your bank account to someone else’s bank account using the internet.

Who are the most popular providers?

Most business and consumer banks allow you to transfer and receive money directly between accounts online, but there are a number of services that specialise in making transfers too. Wise, Xoom, and  Western Union all offer ways to make wire transfers online.

How do you use an electronic bank or wire transfer?

Services vary slightly between providers, but the sender will typically need to enter your account number, SWIFT or BIC code, and IBAN number in order to pay you money.

What are the positives of using electronic bank transfers?

  • Money is sent directly to your bank account
  • Convenient, anybody with a bank account can use the service
  • Safe and regulated industry
  • Good for high-value, low-volume transactions.

What are the negatives of using electronic bank transfers?

  • Fees can be high
  • Payments are non-reversable
  • Attractive to scammers

Which is the best way of accepting online payments from customers?

The number of online payment methods keeps growing as customers demand more and more ways to make purchases using the internet. This can seem overwhelming at first, but there are some simple tips to help you decide on the best payment methods for your individual business.

The key is to think about payment from your customer’s perspective. How do they usually expect to pay for your type of art? Where would they go for that product or service if not to you, and what payment methods do they use? Customers expect your payment process to be secure, simple to use and work with mainstream financial products such as credit cards and bank accounts.

I hope you have found this article useful and now understand all the popular ways you can exchange your art for money.

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