The cashless society is becoming closer all the time. Not many people accept cheques anymore and most small businesses use some form of system for accepting card payments. These can be extremely expensive but a necessity if you trade away from your office or site, for example at shows or events.
What about recurring payments ? we all use them from gym membership to paying our utility bills.
There are two methods I am aware of for taking recurring payments.
Paypal have a system for this and your customers can sign up using a credit or debit card. This is ok if a little bit clunky in operation. It does offer the advantage of customers being able to use credit cards as well as debit cards though. If your sales volumes are not very high Paypal can be quite expensive charging 2.75% plus a small flat fee for each transaction.
There is another system available called GoCardless. This is a web based system that is very easy to use. The sign up process is simple and businesses get a very simple straightforward dashboard to manage their customer payments. The great thing about GoCardless though is that its a direct debit system. Your customer will get a sign up screen with the direct debit mandate, choose their payment date and away you go. Best of all there is a flat rate fee of only 1% capped at £2 with no set up fees and it integrates with many cloud accounting packages.
However I think what is really great about this is the opportunity for small businesses to increase their sales. If you have regular customers what about turning them into subscribers ? This could even out your cashflow maybe reduce your overdraft ! It also makes upselling easier and helps to increase customer retention.