• Advice

4 reasons why you shouldn’t use Venmo for business transactions

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For many years, Venmo was many independents’ go-to for taking payment in exchange for services. This was because it was one of the only smartphone-based options, which is no longer true. Many apps exist that allow you to bill for your services. You might be wondering why the app you use to receive payment matters—getting paid is getting paid, right?

Not quite. How you are collecting payments can bolster your earnings or lose you money to high transaction fees, poor professionalism, and a complicated process. Not to mention using the wrong payment processing app can clog your cash flow, leaving you with less money to reinvest and grow your business.

There are a few reasons to be choosy about the platform you use for collecting payments. Here we dive into why using Venmo to process business payments can lose you money, clients, and growth opportunities. We also cover why an all-in-one clientflow solution can help you save money, keep clients, and set you up for growth.

What is payment processing software?

Payment processing software enables independent business owners to accept electronic payments from clients. With a good payment processing software, clients can pay an invoice from their desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, often at the click of a button.

The best payment processors safeguard personal information like your name and your client’s name with encryption. Some examples of payment processing platforms include HoneyBook, Clover, PayPal, and Venmo. HoneyBook is technically more than a payment processing platform, but more on that later.

Why you should stop using Venmo for business transactions

Whether you’re just starting or you’re operating an established independent business, it’s possible you’ve received or sent a payment through Venmo. Many of us have; I’ve taken payments for bartending catering services through Venmo myself way back in the day. 

There are very, very good reasons why I no longer do, and one of them boils down to a story.

A caterer’s experience using Venmo for business

I was thrilled when a referral contacted me to use my bartending services at a wedding in a historic hotel. The day came and the event ran smoothly, up until payment was due. I emailed the invoice to my client and offered Venmo, check, or cash as payment options (I know, I know—I needed a more streamlined clientflow).

When payment day arrived, the client sent payment—to the wrong Venmo account. After many painstaking emails back and forth, several hours spent with Venmo’s support team, and talking to the account holder who received the money, he was able to send me the payment for my services. 

Lesson learned. Those are hours my client will never get back in their day, and I’m not just talking about hours spent with Venmo support. I’m talking about the hours we spent emailing back and forth, and on the phone, and on apps, to accomplish something that should be an error-free, simple process: Securely send an invoice and offer click to pay. Sounds much more professional, am I right?

Why using Venmo for business payments is unprofessional

If my story didn’t give you pause, that’s okay. There are a few more reasons why you should be wary of offering Venmo as a way to accept online payments for your professional services. Venmo for business requires so many steps to get paid, and we just can’t imagine you having to go through that.

1. Venmo invoices don’t—and can’t—represent your brand

If you’ve ever sent a friend money through Venmo, you’re familiar with the layout. The blue accents, the grey and white background, etc. That’s what your clients see when you request payment through Venmo, too. Instead of a professional file that represents your brand well, you’re promoting Venmo’s brand. Not a good look since you’ve worked hard to align your brand everywhere else!

2. Venmo for Business doesn’t offer flexible payment options

Point blank: Venmo for Business requires your client to use Venmo. You send an invoice with Venmo for Business, and the client has to sign up for Venmo (if you want to take advantage of low fees). If your client pays with a credit card instead of the app, the payment fees more than double from 1.9% + $0.10 to 3.49% + $0.49.

Consider your clients. Are all of them tech-savvy? To make your process as user-friendly as possible, you should offer tools that everyone can use.

If your client doesn’t use Venmo and you require it for payments, you may lose them before you get the chance to complete the booking process. Venmo simply isn’t a universally satisfactory option.

3. Inflexible transaction fee structure

Every online payment platform has transaction fees, but there are plenty that have less-than-desirable fee structures. 

At first, Venmo payment fees for business look appealing at 1.9% + $0.10 per transaction, but the hidden cost is in the types of payments. These low transaction fees only apply to purchases made within the Venmo app or using the QR code.

Your clients should be able to pay however they want without it coming back on you financially. HoneyBook’s payment processing fees are designed to compete with major credit card processing apps like PayPal. 

And they do: HoneyBook’s credit card processing for entered payments is 0.09% + $0.24 less than PayPal’s credit card processing fee. Here’s a breakdown of all HoneyBook’s transaction fees:

Card on FileACH Payments (received from clients)Instant Deposit (optional service for transfer of received funds)
2.9% + 25¢3.4% + 9¢1.5%Additional 1%

And then, there’s Venmo: while that 1.9% + $0.10 looks appealing, remember it’s only for Venmo to Venmo transactions, and Venmo isn’t a preferred payment method for clients. The fee for the preferred transaction method, credit cards, shoots up to 3.49% + $0.49—that’s 0.59% + $0.24 higher than a one-time credit card charge using HoneyBook’s payment platform and 0.09% + $0.40 more than HoneyBook’s card on file fee for autopay.

And remember that after you receive a payment through Venmo, you have to manually transfer it to your bank account in batches, too.

4. Your money doesn’t go directly into your bank account

Once you get paid on Venmo, the payments don’t go directly into your bank account. Strange, right? You have to go in and manually transfer money out of your account, making for a cash flow nightmare.

If you have a business credit or debit card separate from your Venmo account that you use for business purchases, transferring cash from Venmo to your business bank account adds one more step when you need to access your money. 

Furthermore, instant transfers cost 1.75% of the amount transferred with a minimum of $0.25. Fee-less transfers can take one to three business days. 

Not only that but there’s a $5,000 cap per transfer. That means if your client paid you $6,000 for your services, you have to manually transfer $5,000, then manually transfer $1,000, then wait for up to three days to receive your hard-earned cash. Also, this is only if you’ve verified your identity. If you haven’t, you can only transfer $999.99.

Use an all-in-one clientflow management platform with payment processing instead

Instead of using Venmo for business transactions, we recommend using a clientflow management platform instead.

What is a clientflow management platform?

A clientflow management platform offers payment processing and much more. Instead of using Venmo, PDF invoices, scheduling apps, Gcal, and many more tools–you can finally have everything in one place to manage your business more efficiently. 

HoneyBook is a clientflow management platform that enables independent business owners to manage the complete process of selling and delivering their services to clients. From the moment an inquiry reaches out in your contact form, you can capture them as a lead and automate a follow-up email, helping you get back to them first and making them more likely to choose your business. 

If your lead is a good fit, you can easily move forward with booking by sending an invoice that includes payment processing. As soon as your client is ready to move forward, they’ll be able to view the invoice and pay in one step. You can even customize your files to include contracts so the entire booking process is taken care of in one step. 

Less hassle on both the client and independent sides and quick and easy payment collection give you more time back in your day to focus on running your business. Fast, easy payments increase your cash flow so you have the resources you need to scale.

HoneyBook makes it easy to send branded invoices and take payments

We’re not just talking about the ability to add your logo. We’re talking full-blown customization. Top graphic for a header, your name, logo, and custom services. You’ve worked hard on your branding and it’s one of the many ways your clients will never forget you.

A scrolling gif featuring an invoice template through HoneyBook.

With HoneyBook’s invoice templates, you can send customized invoices straight from the HoneyBook app. Additionally, our smart files allow you to link service selection, invoicing, and payment all in the same file, automating your entire booking process so you can get to work on the deliverables.

With HoneyBook you leverage every dollar you earn for business growth

At HoneyBook, we believe in empowering independent business owners to build a life of passion and purpose. That means we prioritize getting every dollar your clients pay you into your bank account stat. We also advocate for filing your taxes and leveraging every write-off that makes sense for your independent business.

Instead, if you earned over $20,000 and processed 200 payments in one year, we send you an electronic 1099-K. That’s it. You have all your cash so you can reinvest in your business and write off new tools, and we send you what you need to report properly.

If you transacted under $20,000 in a year or processed less than 200 payments, you don’t need to be on the lookout for any paperwork from us. You’ll work with your accountant to do your own reporting, and you can download your HoneyBook analytics reports for monthly or yearly overviews of your cash flow. 

Fortunately, whether you transact over $20k with 200 payments annually or not, HoneyBook’s QuickBooks integration makes tax time easy every year.

HoneyBook also offers a dedicated disputes team to assist with any and all chargebacks. We want you to get paid, and we mean that. Our disputes team is here to walk you through unethical refund requests so you keep your cash flow consistent.

Get paid quickly with professional invoices and low transaction fees, every time.

HoneyBook’s clientflow management platform is specifically designed for independent business owners to manage every step of the clientflow, from onboarding to service delivery to referral. With HoneyBook, you get attorney-drafted contracts, customizable invoicing, top-notch payment processing, and project management tools all in one place. 

Venmo originated as a peer-to-peer payment platform. It’s primarily used for sending money between individuals—splitting bills, paying friends back, and other casual transactions—but we don’t recommend it for business transactions.

With HoneyBook, getting paid is easy. Learn more and get 50% off your plan plus a free Freelancers Union contract template here.

HoneyBook Book clients, sign contracts, manage projects, and get paid on HoneyBook, the leading clientflow management platform. Sign up today for 50% off your first year!

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