Methods and terms of payment
Choose the methods of payment most suitable for your company based on the company type and what your customers are used to. When making the choice, take into account the different costs caused by different methods of payment and the time it takes for the money to appear on your company’s account. Provide clear information on the methods of payment approved by your company both at your physical and online shops. Use the terms of payment to determine the date of payment, or the due date for your invoices.
Many methods of payment are available in Finland, and your company may choose the ones that suit it the best. However, you should note that the methods of payment provided by your company may not be unreasonable for your customers.
If you have a physical shop, the methods of payment you can offer include cash, debit and credit cards, contactless payment, and mobile payments, such as the MobilePay service. If your company sells expensive products, such as cars or furniture, you can also offer a possibility for partial payment.
If you have an online shop, suitable methods of payment include credit cards, mobile payments and paying through an online bank or a payment transfer service, such as PayPal. You can also send electronic or paper invoices to your customers. You can also offer online billing, partial payment, direct payment or cash-on-delivery.
Other payment methods include text message payment, prepaid payment cards and gift vouchers.
Select the methods of payment based on your company’s products. For instance, the methods of payment used in a car dealership are usually different than those used in a kiosk. Whether you provide services to your customers in a physical or online ship also affects the choice. You should also find out what methods of payment your customers favour and are used to using.
The more methods of payment of offer, the more customers will find it easy to use your company’s services. On the other hand, offering several payment methods causes costs to your company, and you should therefore think in advance which methods of payment your customers are most likely to use.
Find out the start-up, monthly and event fees and possible commissions. Sales volumes may also affect the extent of the fees.
In selecting payment methods, consider how quickly you would like to get the money from sold products to your company’s use. This is because different payment methods involve different periods until the money appears on your accounts.
Familiarise yourself carefully with the limits and conditions of different payment methods. Please note that not all payment methods are available for all online shopping platforms.
If your customer is a company, it has the right to demand a machine-readable electronic invoice.
Make sure that the payment transaction is always secure and that your customer has been provided with all information needed in paying in a clear way.
You do not have to accept cash. If customers cannot pay with cash or debit cards in your physical shop, provide information about this already in your marketing or at least on your shop’s door. Also include information about all the cards and other methods that customers can pay with on your front door or near the cash register.
Also provide clear information about the methods of payment, their descriptions and related additional fees in your online shop. Offer at least one commonly used payment method without additional fees.
If your company allows customers access to its property, such as in the car rental and accommodation sector, you may require that your customers pay with a credit card due to the risk related to the transaction. However, if your company only accepts credit cards, you must provide information about this already in connection with your marketing.
Regardless of the payment methods, always remember to offer your customers a receipt for their purchases.
Terms of payment determine the time by which the purchase must be paid, i.e. the due date of the fee. According to recommendations, terms of payment in business-to-consumer transactions is 14 days. In business-to-business transactions, the terms of payment typically range between 7 to 30 days. Use the terms of payment to also agree on other issues related to paying, including discounts related to the time of payment.
Advance payment allows your company to receive the payment before the customer has received the product they have purchased. Note that you may not require your consumer customers to pay in advanced unless there is a special, reasonable cause for this. Cash payment allows the customer to pay for the product they purchase with cash or a debit card at the time of the transaction. Credit sale allows the customer to pay the purchase price in full or a part of it later after receiving the product.
Your company may also offer extended payment terms. While this may allow your company to get new customers, the extended payment term may also undermine your company’s liquidity and profitability. You should therefore make sure that the company’s sales grow enough to cover the costs incurred by extending the payment period.