Trade Tales | Sep 22, 2023
The influx of mobile payment methods like Venmo, PayPal and Zelle has changed the game for efficient money transfers. But does it make sense for designers to use these services when charging for an entire project? We asked nine designers—Byron Risdon, Tyra Johnson, Swati Goorha, Sherrell Neal, Erin Coren, Rhonnika Clifton, Monica Santayana, Ronald Alvarez and DuVäl Reynolds—whether they like old-school methods like writing a check or if they prefer clients to simply click a link to pay an invoice.
“In the beginning of my business [in 2016], I only accepted checks to keep my expenses down. Over the years, as projects have increased in size, I accept wires and credit cards. I use a program that allows me to send proposals and invoices online and accept electronic payments, which makes the billing process streamlined and more efficient.” —Byron Risdon, Byron Risdon Interior Design Studio, Washington, D.C.
KEEP IT ONLINE
“I accept payment digitally by invoice or product purchase through my website. At the website point of sale, all standard payment methods are accepted. When clients pay via invoice—whether it’s payment in full, deposits or milestone payments—automated clearing house transfers are also available.” —Tyra Johnson, Tyra J Studio, Dallas
“We accept credit card payments with a credit card fee. Most of our clients pay us with checks. We have also received [payments via] Zelle, Venmo and bank transfers.” —Swati Goorha, Swati Goorha Designs, New Providence, New Jersey
CLICK TO PAY
“Our proposals and invoices are set up with links for clients to pay by credit card or ACH, although the majority choose to pay by check or bank wire.” —Sherrell Neal, Sherrell Design Studio, Houston
“We prefer payment by wire as it is fastest and easiest. Checks are also sent and paid in full. Rarely are we asked about credit cards, in which case we will work with our clients [to accommodate them], but we prefer wires.” —Erin Coren, Curated Nest Interiors, New York
RIDE THE WAVE
“Our firm accepts a variety of payment options, including cash, check, credit card and wire transfer, to support our client’s needs. Occasionally, we’ll also work with our clients who request Xoom bank transfers. We log these payments via our online accounting system, Wave, a free accounting software and small business management system. For over 10 years, our firm has enjoyed the use of Wave’s accounting tools, as well as personalized bookkeeping support, to help keep our business and client finances in order.” —Rhonnika Clifton, RJ Clifton Designs, Houston
“Check or wire is the primary accepted form of payment. We will allow credit card payments if requested with an added 3 percent transaction fee. Credit card payments are processed by Houzz Pro, and all other payments are handled directly through our bank.” —Monica Santayana and Ronald Alvarez, Moniomi, Miami
“Currently, we collect payment through StudioPay, an integrated client payment solution offered by Studio Designer. There, clients are able to pay via ACH transfer or credit card. Every so often we’ll have a personal check, but that’s rare. We find that electronic payment is convenient for most and ensures a quicker response.” —DuVäl Reynolds, Duväl Design, Fairfax, Virginia
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