Get the latest tips and tricks directly from our in-house technology team! Today’s post includes tips on how to process a charge vs. send an invoice from Fattmerchant’s Director of Technology, Daniel Walker. Read on to learn more, or watch the video here!
Let’s talk about how to use our virtual terminal, Fattmerchant Payments Online! My motto is: “There’s always a faster way”. So I’ll be throwing out some basic info and some meatier time savers to help your business grow!
Firstly, we need to understand the difference between a charge and an invoice. Think about it like this: I could invite you to a party by sending you an invitation. Until you actually come to the party all we had was an invitation. Once you walk in, and the party starts. The party is creating a charge. In Fattmerchant Payments Online, charges are a record of when actual money was exchanged between you and a customer. This means everything that shows up in the “Activity” page: charges, refunds, voids, and credits. An Invoice is a request for money. Now, not everyone needs to use invoices, but after this, you may consider giving it a shot!
> TIP: The difference between invoices and charges is “It’s not a charge until the *Fatt* lady pays!!”
An invoice is a request for money from your customer or client. Have you noticed that keeping track of credit card numbers can be a pain? Fattmerchant Payments Online makes it simple to request a payment from your customers, while allowing customers to add saved payment methods for future transactions. The moment an invoice is paid, a charge is created.
Let’s walk through sending an invoice. After logging in, click the “+ New Payment” button in the top left. This is the details page. Here, you can insert line items and change the prices and tax. The total is calculated automagically.
> TIP: A good rule of thumb is to use a separate line item or each product or service on your invoice – this makes it simple for both you and your customer to review later on.
Once the price is correct, click continue. Now you’ll see all of your customers. You can search for one but if you haven’t set up any customer records yet, you can either click “New” to add a new customer, or “Skip”, to enter in an email address to send the invoice to later.I like to store all my customers and keep things organized.
> TIP: Transactions and customer information can also be exported from the Activity page, so recording all email addresses is a great way to create a
mailing list by exporting your data and grabbing emails or phone numbers!
After selecting a customer, you have a tough decision to make – selecting the payment method! This screen lets you decide whether to type in a credit card or bank account to charge right now, or to send an invoice. Let’s just click “Create as Invoice”. If the customer record doesn’t have an email, it will ask you for one now, but it won’t send the invoice until you click “Send Invoice” on the next screen.
> TIP: You can store an invoice as a draft as long as you want! It will not be sent until you are ready. To send it later, find your drafted invoice in the
“Invoices” page using the left main menu. Click the invoice, and click send.
Now that we’ve created an invoice, you’ll see a green alert saying: “Your invoice has been created as a draft”. Once it’s 100% ready to send, click the blue “Send Invoice” button at the bottom.
> TIP: What if a customer wants to pay by check or cash? You should still create an invoice! Once it exists, find it in the Invoice page and click: “Enter Payment” – then choose between a card or a manual method like cash. You can even add a note. After the invoice is paid, then send it to them – that way it will act as a receipt!
One business owner asked if they should avoid tracking cash – I said no because that way your dashboard will reflect accurate numbers for your business as a whole. Remember, we don’t share your data with anyone but you!
Remember, if you have the payment info now, you can just use it, but if you don’t, then send an invoice. The customer will receive an email instantly with a link to pay it. Whether it succeeds or fails, it will then show in your activity page.
There you have it! If you have any questions or want to learn more about the Fattmerchant Payments Online Platform and everything it can do, give us a call here at 321-414-5257 or email [email protected] to get your own personal demo.