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Is Intuit PaymentNetwork, integrated with QuickBooks, the ultimate answer for small business owners?
The short answer is no. It is not the ultimate end-all and be-all for small businesses to receive payments. However, it is an easy, inexpensive alternative electronic payment option for your clients and one we can recommend.
When I signed up for the Intuit Payment Network, I figured I’d find some hidden costs and a long application.
To my surprise, the information they requested is minimal. Funds are paid via a bank transfer within 24 hours for invoices under $5000 (48 hours for $5000 and higher). The only cost incurred is a one-time transaction fee of $0.50.
Credit card merchant accounts usually carry monthly fees, which can drastically cut into profits for a small business owner.
In addition to the monthly fee, the credit card merchants add a transaction fee based on a percentage of the amount of each sale.
Most credit card services charge a minimum of 2.2% of the sale, plus $0.23 per transaction. On a $1000 invoice, the fee for the convenience of offering credit cards would be a least $22.23. That’s $21.73 more than Intuit PaymentNetwork for the electronic payment service.
Intuit Payment Network vs PayPal
PayPal has been a great alternative to credit card merchant accounts because they don’t charge a monthly fee, and do not require a signed contract. Their fees are comparable at 1.9% to 2.9% per transaction, plus a $0.30 per transaction fee.
Since there is no requirement from PayPal for a customer to have an account, paying by credit card is a convenient, no-red-tape transaction.
However, compared to Intuit PaymentNetwork’s bank transfer that deposits funds directly into your bank account, PayPal deposits your funds into your PayPal account. They can be transferred to your bank, but it takes three-to-four business days before your funds are available.
You must apply with Paypal if you want to receive payments of $5000 or more, and the approval can take up to two weeks.
How This Service Works:
You must sign up for PaymentNetwork to receive funds. To ensure that you are linked to your QuickBooks company file, it’s best to sign on through QuickBooks.
The process is easy – just click on Create an Invoice then click on the link Allow Online Payment. The software walks you through the registration process. Be sure to use the same email address you use with QuickBooks.
Setting up an account is free and a very efficient process. They ask only pertinent information: Name, Company Name, Bank Routing Number and Checking Account Number. You will also be asked to estimate the average monthly funds and average per invoice amounts. To ensure your transactions will work properly, you will receive two deposits and one withdrawal. Verify these funds and you’re ready to receive payments.
With QuickBooks 2011 or newer versions, you will automatically see a PaymentNetwork option when you create an invoice. Select electronic payment and a link will automatically appear in the body of the invoice. When your customer clicks on the link, they only need to create a password, provide their bank account information and your funds will be deposited in your bank account.
You have the choice of processing your transactions manually, or they can be automatically generated and recorded into QuickBooks using Sync Manager.
When you receive funds, PaymentNetwork sends an email stating the date, amount and bank account number where the funds were deposited.
Key features include:
- No contracts to sign; no monthly, set-up or cancellation fees
- No hardware or equipment required other than a computer to access QuickBooks
- Request funds from anyone with an email account
- Funds under $5000 are deposited within 24 hours
- You can set up multiple bank accounts
- When an invoice is emailed as a PDF file, the active link takes the customer directly to the Intuit PaymentNetwork
- Send transactions to QuickBooks automatically
- Security is high – no one sees yours or your customers’ bank account information
There are no monthly fees, nor percentage-per-transaction fees. All you pay is a flat $0.50 per deposit received.
The Bottom Line:
- The flat per-transaction fee is extremely affordable
- Ability to deposit money into multiple bank accounts
- Customers can pay effortlessly with a click on the URL printed on the invoice
- Fast, 24-hour turnaround (amounts less than $5000) into your account
- Time saver since transactions can automatically be sent to QuickBooks
- Direct deposit = no driving to the bank
- Your customers must sign up for an account
- Many still prefer to use credit cards over an ACH transaction
- Transactions over $5000 take approximately three days to clear
- Cannot be used with shopping carts