As a creative business or agency, waiting for payment and getting paid can be a hassle. Though Net 30/60/90 day payment terms have always existed, it’s often the small businesses and agencies who are more severely impacted when it comes to waiting on payments from other businesses or clients. If you’re on the receiving end of a payment, there are also numerous ways to get paid or for a business to pay you. How do you determine what payment method is best for you and your business?
If you own a creative business or agency there are several methods for you to send and receive payment:
With a variety of payment methods, it can be difficult to choose one and more importantly, to decide which method of payment is the best for your business. ACH payment can oftentimes be the quickest and most efficient option but in this article, you‘ll discover that when you need money quickly to operate effectively at full scale and without hassle, Lumanu could be your best bet.
ACH transfers are simply electronic, bank-to-bank transfers that are facilitated and processed through the Automated Clearing House (or ACH network formerly known as NACHA) – a US-based financial institution that processes electronic funds such as Direct Deposit and Direct Payments for consumers, businesses, and federal, state, and local governments.
Think about it this way, ACH is an electronic payment that makes it possible to receive that hard-earned money directly in your bank account as soon as payday rolls around, as opposed to having to go to the atm and cash a paper check in real-time. What‘s a paper check you might ask? Yea, we‘ve never heard of that either. Another more common example of ACH is when you might enroll or opt into receiving a direct deposit when it’s time for the government to issue you a tax refund or receive government benefits. The only information that’s needed for an ACH payment includes the account number, the routing number, the account holder's name, and the value to be transferred.
As a business owner, the more common use case for ACH is when you need to issue recurring payments to vendors or receive payments from a client or customers. While ACH transfers can be cost-effective and user-friendly, it’s possible you may still incur fees and find yourself waiting for payment from clients.
For creative businesses and agencies, this could cost you. Oftentimes agencies and small studios are held up by Net 30/60/90 day payment terms or are having to chase down a brand or client before you can pay your vendors. This could potentially impact relationships with some of your best vendors. Vendors and creators are less inclined to work with agencies that take too long to deliver on payments. If you don’t have a stable cash flow, it becomes difficult to consistently pay out vendors in a timely manner and your long-term relationships with high-quality partners will suffer. It’s important to have a streamlined payments process and automate money transfers as efficiently as possible to keep your business healthy and running.
The benefits of ACH transactions for agencies
ACH payments make it easy to make recurring payments. This offers a lot of conveniences if you work with the same vendors consistently, not to mention it can help instill trust in your vendors when it’s time for them to collect payment on an invoice. It’s way more convenient than writing and mailing a paper check. Sending and receiving ACH payments can also be a fast payment option – it can take the transfer of funds from one bank to another 1-2 business days. For reference, the automated clearing house network requires that credits settle in one to two business days and debits settle the next business day.
ACH transfers are commonly free, but of course, this depends on your business’s bank or payment processor, and the transfer amount. In this case, ACH transfers are more cost-effective than wire transfers. While wire transfer is a popular form of sending payment because it offers same-day payments, you‘ll likely incur fees for international transactions and same-day service isn’t always reliable for these types of transfers.
This all sounds fine and dandy but as a business, moving large payments from point A to B is not always this smooth and could cost you extra money and time.
The costs of ACH transactions for agencies
Most banks can enforce limits on the amount of money that is sent via ACH transfer. There may be limits on the dollar amount or on the transfer of one payment to another bank. Additionally, banks can enforce limits and restrict international transfers. If you’re an agency with an international client or vendor, this could get tricky.
If you own an agency then time is money, but if you‘re a bank timing is not only important but critical to allowing the transfer of funds. ACH transfers are notoriously known for taking several business days to process. ACH payment processing usually takes 1-3 business days and if you send payments over the holidays, this could be even longer. If you’re dealing with impatient vendors and creators with bills to pay, sometimes days are not an option and you need a fast way to make payments.
It’s also important to be wary of scams that can occur when using ACH as a payment option. Scammers are getting more clever by the day and many times it can be small businesses and small business owners who are more susceptible to these types of scams. A classic example could look like an instance where a scammer sends you or other employees of the company an email that states that you are owed money and all that is needed to resolve payment is your account information (e.g. account number, routing number, etc.). As an agency, it’s important to stay vigilant in these instances and find a safe way to make bill payments.
So what does all of this mean for your agency? You need a fast and hassle-free way to send money and get paid. Lumanu recognizes that this is a network issue and an industry-wide challenge that prevents creative businesses and agencies from operating efficiently and focusing on the creative part of the business. Using a payment system like Lumanu provides a secure, quick, and easy way to send payments from business-to-business.
With Lumanu for Business, you pay your vendors, contractors, creators and more without impact to your cash flow. You can initiate individual or bulk payments all with the click of a button. For same-day transfer of funds, your vendors and customers pay zero processing fees and Lumanu supports all types of payment methods including push payment, credit card, PayPal, wire transfer, and Bill.com.
We now support international withdrawals in local currencies. If you’re an agency working with international clients, money transfers just got a whole lot simpler. Read more here.
To learn more about Lumanu and our easy-to-use payment solutions, schedule a demo!