Payment Methods

Your Options for Receiving Payment Online in 2021

Many businesses have moved toward receiving payment online to gain a competitive edge and stay current in 2021. This is especially true as customers have come to expect the convenience of online transactions. With the increasing use of mobile phones and electronics, online payments supply both customers and businesses an easy way to receive payments. However, you may be asking how many solutions are available to you for receiving payments online from your customers. The answer is a lot. But don’t worry, we’ll go through all of the most popular options for receiving payment online in 2021.

Why Should You Receive Payments Online?

receive payments

There are many reasons businesses like yours choose to receive payments online. Some of the biggest include convenience and advancement. Not only are online payment methods convenient for customers, but they’re also a simple solution for merchants. The same is true when we consider advancements in technology. The more consumer behavior leans toward technological advancements, the more merchants need to keep up. Therefore, both of these reasons are good cause to consider receiving payment online for your business.

Receiving online payment offers several other benefits, including: 

  • Providing a safe and secure way to receive payments
  • Receiving payment online saves time and simplifies bookkeeping
  • Customers experience a better shopping experience
  • Receiving payments online extends your reach as a business
  • Enhancing credibility
  • Automatically improving cash flow

Businesses that regularly receive payments online

Businesses that regularly receive payments online often include:

  • Food, beverage, and hospitality businesses
  • eCommerce sites
  • Charities
  • Freelance professionals
  • Hair salons
  • Fitness studios
  • Retailers
  • Software service providers
  • Insurance, real estate, and finance professionals
  • Travel, entertainment, and recreational companies
  • Transportation and logistics businesses

Your Options for Receiving Payment Online

Today, there are several ways to receive online payments. From the unconventional like cryptocurrency to the more traditional virtual terminal. Each method has its place in the digital payments space and creates variety for business owners. At the end of the day, they all serve the purpose of allowing merchants to receive payment.

However, each business is as unique as the needs that they have. The payment method that knocks it out of the park with one company might not fly with another. This is why it’s vital to consider your options for receiving payment online. In fact, you may find that your business uses a combination of these solutions to receive payments!

Online shopping cart

An online shopping cart makes it easy for a customer to pay for products with his or her debit or credit card. They simply input their shipping and billing information into the checkout page and you get paid. The cart also provides a detailed record for both the eCommerce store and purchaser similar to a digital receipt, including the quantity and price of each item. 

Therefore, an online shopping cart keeps the eCommerce retailer organized with respect to distribution and receiving online payments. You can integrate the cart with your inventory control and accounts receivable records to simplify your online shopping cart. Because a payment gateway allows for the payment aspect of an eCart, you can select whichever online shopping cart you like best to integrate with.

Online invoicing

Online invoicing offers several advantages for small to mid-sized merchants. Not only does receiving payment via online invoicing improve cash flow, but it also makes it possible for you to invoice faster and monitor your revenue on one convenient dashboard. When you use online invoicing, you can instantly see what drives your cash flow and can cut down the processing time to a single business day.

Online invoices are especially beneficial for freelancers who want all of their rates and information displayed to the customer. New online invoicing software even allows merchants to customize their online invoices to fit their brand.

QR code payments

Contactless payments may be made in a variety of forms, including Quick Response or QR code payments. When using this method to receive payments online, the user scans a QR code generated by a mobile app and then confirms the transaction to process the payment.  

receiving payment online

QR Code payments have exploded as one of the leading contactless payments, and 83% of customers say they’ve used a QR code at least once in the last year. They are quickly becoming one of the fastest ways to process and receive payments securely and conveniently. You can set up QR code payments easily, as you only need a smartphone and camera to complete the transaction. There is no need for the use of point-of-sale hardware or terminals.

Virtual terminal

A virtual terminal allows a merchant to use a tablet, smartphone, or computer to receive payments securely online. By using this method of accepting online payments, you can accept debit or credit cards, ACH payments, or eChecks virtually.

To use a virtual terminal, a merchant logs into their online account for access. Then, they enter a customer’s debit, checking, or credit information and click “process” to complete the transaction, just like on a physical terminal. You do not need to use any additional hardware or software. However, if you wish, you can link an EMV chip card reader by USB to a laptop or desktop computer.

ACH processing

Another traditional form of receiving payment online is through ACH processing. Instead of receiving checks and depositing them into the bank, ACH processing allows you to receive payments online, straight from your customer’s bank account. These payments can be set up on a recurring basis or stand-alone ACH payments.

Although ACH processing is a convenient way to receive payments, it’s not always the best option for your customers. For example, your eCommerce customers aren’t going to want to input their sensitive banking information to buy a T-shirt. Consider how your business functions and if you’ll need additional payment resources to receive payment online.

Recurring billing

Recurring billing allows you to receive payments online through subscriptions or monthly installments from the same customer. You can receive recurring payments through the use of many of the aforementioned solutions.

Recurring billing allows you to store your customer’s account details for automated processing. After you receive a one-time authorization from the account holder, you can automate transactions based on an established billing schedule. You will still receive notifications for issues such as declined payments, so you can follow up on the matter quickly.

What’s the Best Option for Receiving Payments Online?

How you choose to receive payments online will depend on the type of business you manage.

For example, if you operate a construction business, you may want to choose QR code payments, online invoicing, or set up a virtual terminal for anyone wanting to pay by email or phone. If you manage a restaurant or hotel, you can invoice customers for services, such as catering, by taking advantage of online invoicing. You can also accept mobile payments at the reservation desk for bookings and set up QR code payments for outdoor food and beverage services. The world is truly your oyster in 2021 when looking for online payment options.


There are several ways your business can receive payments online. Your choices for payment processing will depend on your business model, your software integrations (such as accounts receivable or inventory), and your current budget. By choosing the online payment methods that work best for you, you also make it easier to support the needs of your customers.