Deciding between invoicing and payment acceptance

Which payment option works best for my small business? 

Autobooks is a versatile digital payment acceptance solution that works inside your financial institution’s existing online and mobile banking platform. Autobooks allows you to accept a variety of payment types, including debit cards, all major credit cards, and ACH bank transfers. 

Once it’s time to get paid (congratulations on the sale!), you’ll need to decide how exactly you will take a customer payment. For card-not-present transactions where you don’t have to rely on a payment terminal (Autobooks’ specialty), the circumstances around how you get paid can often vary.  

But that’s not a problem for Autobooks, thanks to the two digital payment acceptance methods available at the tap of a button. You can choose from invoicing or payment acceptance, directly inside online or mobile banking. Sounds easy (and it is), but it’s still up to you to decide on which way to go. 


What is an invoice, and when should I send one? 

An invoice is simply an itemized bill for products or services rendered, along with a method that allows customers to pay. It typically includes all the important details, like a unique invoice number, the amount due, a due date, a listing of the product/service, and more. Invoices are usually sent out by the business after the service has been completed, typically by mail. 

If you are contemplating (or already run) an organization, a service-oriented business, or a client-focused firm, invoicing will likely be your de-facto way to accept payments. If that’s the case, Autobooks makes it easy to share an invoice with customers. Autobooks offers a ready-made invoice template that looks professional and includes all the essential information you need.  

In addition, with Autobooks you can easily: 

  • Fill out an invoice with a few taps of your screen
  • Send it to a customer, via email 
  • Receive payment directly into your business checking 
  • Track it all right inside your online or mobile banking 

What all this means is that, unlike traditional paper invoicing, Autobooks allows you to automate the entire invoicing process. 



To send an Autobooks invoice from anywhere: 
  1. Fill out the basic fields on your invoice inside online or mobile banking, then click send.
  2. Your invoice is delivered to your customer via email. Customers can click on a link from their email to view and pay. 
  3. Customers can pay using any major card, including American Express®, or by ACH bank transfer. You'll only pay 3.49% per card transaction, and 1.00% per ACH transaction.* 
  4. Funds go directly into your checking account and are usually deposited within two business days. They’re never tied up or held by another platform.  

*These are typical rates, but may vary based on the partnering financial institution. Please contact your bank or credit union to learn more.  

Although invoicing is indispensable for some businesses, there may be unique situations that crop up from time to time that will require other forms of payment acceptance. For example, a customer may ask to pay immediately or later over the phone. If that’s the case, it’s helpful to have an easy way to take that electronic payment on the spot. This is when the Autobooks payment form comes in handy! 


What is digital payment acceptance, and when should I use it?  

The Autobooks’ payment form is the heart of digital payment acceptance. The payment form is ideal for taking immediate payments from customers, on the spot or on the move. No matter the specifics related to how you accept your payment, all payment details must be entered inside your payment form.  

Here are some typical circumstances that are well suited to the payment form:  

  • When an invoice just isn’t appropriate for your business model (e.g., you sell goods at a temporary stand) 
  • You need to take a payment or donation on the spot or over the phone 
  • You’re dealing with multiple customers, and need a convenient way to take a quick payment 
  • You've generated a paper invoice and want to give your customers the option to pay with a credit card, debit card, or bank transfer 

The beauty of the Autobooks’ payment form lies in its flexibility. That’s because no matter the circumstances, you can rely on a variety of options to take a payment. Here are just a few: 

  • Customers access your form by clicking on your unique payment link or by scanning your unique QR code. 
  • You can share your payment link anywhere you interact with customers, such as in a text message, in an email, on a social media post, on your business/organization website.  


To accept a payment with the Autobooks’ payment form from anywhere: 
  1. Take a customer payment on the spot — just enter the payment details into your unique Payment Form inside online or mobile banking. 
  2. Prefer to have a customer pay from their own device? Text or email a secure payment link to your Payment Form, where they can complete the transaction themselves. 
  3. You can even access a QR code that links directly to your payment form. Display it anywhere you'd like to accept payments (stickers, pamphlets, business cards — anywhere!). 
  4. Funds go directly into your checking account and are usually deposited within two business days. They’re never tied up or held by another platform. 




Get started with Autobooks invoicing and payment acceptance  

Autobooks is offered in partnership with hundreds of small-business-friendly banks and credit unions, nationwide. If you don’t currently use Autobooks, you can contact a partnering financial institution from our growing list. 


Find a bank or credit union

If you still have questions or need specific help, please visit the Autobooks Support Center. You can access a variety of how-to content there, or just submit a support ticket to chat with one of our support specialists.