PaySimple Helps Service E-tailers with Billing

Sally Curran

Updated · Jun 02, 2008

If your business involves providing a regular service, such as dog-walking, housekeeping or massage, or you have a subscription-based clientele, and you have a Web site, finding an efficient and dependable way of billing is a must, so why not automate it online? An alternative payment method called PaySimple can help you.
PaySimple uses a method similar to the model health clubs and gyms figured out many years ago: automatic deductions from bank accounts or charges to credit cards, taking the hassle out of collections. Fifty percent of Internet users pay a bill on a recurring basis online, according to the company, and there’s no reason small businesses can’t take advantage of this trend.

Eric Remer, PaySimple’s CEO, said that his company is focused on bridging the gap between giant corporations and tiny enterprises. Utilizing technology to make billing and collections more efficient empowers small businesses. Currently, he said the company has 1,600 clients and increases by a rate of about 200 per month.
PaySimple automatically bills, collects and deposits payments. In addition to recurring payments, PaySimple handles online payment processing, e-mail invoicing, ACH (Automated Clearing House ) direct debits, eCheck processing and credit card processing. It can also provide merchant accounts and service your payment gateway.
The company, said Remer, also gives customers the control, functionality and service that banks collecting automatic withdrawals cannot provide. For example, PaySimple collects payments, but the e-tailer handles contacting customers whose payments don’t go through for whatever reason. Likewise, if a customer has a question or issue to resolve or a change to make, he can contact the business owner directly.

Installing in Three Steps
Integrating PaySimple, Remer explained, is an easy, straightforward process. No HTML experience is necessary, nor is any technical expertise. Instead of printing and mailing invoices and processing incoming checks or credit card payments every billing cycle, the dog walker, for instance, could spend a few minutes setting up a payment page and be finished. Remer estimated that creating buttons could take as little as 15 seconds on a new site. PaySimple is an on-demand system that PaySimple hosts, so there’s no software retailers have to install.
PaySimple implementation is a three-step process that usually takes a relatively short amount of time to complete. First, an ACH/merchant account application is submitted. After approval, customer databases are uploaded and any necessary customization occurs. Finally, staff is trained, most often with a half-hour phone call.
All data is encrypted for storage using 256-bit certificates (compliant with 128-bit encryption) and SSLs. Fees vary, but set up is generally about $200 and there are monthly maintenance fees of $20 to $30.
PaySimple can also save small online business owners time &#151 and money: Paperless invoicing reduces paper, postage and printing costs.

More Options for Tough Times
In today’s tightening economy, PaySimple gives consumers options. Especially for service-based companies that have historically collected payments via checks, Remer said that PaySimple can help e-tailers with their cash flows. He noted that a church that used PaySimple as an option for parishioners to submit offerings saw a four-fold increase in donations, mostly likely because of the ability to set up recurring payments.

Sally Marek Curran is a frequent contributor to

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