As a freelance contractor or sole trader, it can be difficult staying on top of bill payments and invoicing – but the vast majority of businesses simply cannot operate without an effective billing and invoicing software solution in place.
Not only do these systems help companies to process and issue mass payments, but they also fill a crucial customer relationship management role in shaping and facilitating various payment journeys and bespoke experiences. According to one survey conducted Dun & Bradstreet, SMEs in the UK alone are owed an average of £64,000 in late payments, with more than a quarter of businesses saying timely payments were critical to their financial survival.
Fortunately, there are plenty of bill payment software solutions available on the market today that are capable of assisting businesses in mitigating threats of non-payment.
In order to help sift through the dizzying range of software that’s out there, we’ve compiled a list of 10 leading solutions currently available, spelling out what they do, what makes them stand out as superior online payment solutions and crucially how much it costs to set up.
Over the last seven years, GoCardless has rapidly disrupted and redefined Europe’s billing services landscape with one of the sector’s cheapest and most reliable online payment platforms. The London-based firm now facilitates recurring transactions and bill invoicing for over 30,000 organisations via its online dashboard, custom API and integrations with more than 150 existing accounting software tools, including Sage, Zuora, Online Scout Manager, Quickbooks and Xero.
GoCardless is ideal for setting up direct debits, as it includes intuitive mandate functionality, is exceptionally user-friendly for consumers and empowers businesses to collect both variable and fixed payments on a one-off or repeat basis.
The GoCardless Standard package features no monthly fee, and simply charges 1% per transaction up to a cap of £2.
Over the course of the last two decades, PayPal has established itself as one of the web’s quickest and easiest online peer-to-peer payment platforms. In recent years, PayPal has rolled out a dynamic suite of business solutions offering companies a proverbial one-stop shop for all their online billing needs – from invoicing or collecting payments on the web, to in-store POS terminals, overseas transactions and financing opportunities.
A unique aspect of PayPal's offering as a premier bill payment solution is its Invoicing tool, which enables users to create and send detailed invoices via email that customers can action and pay via card or their existing PayPal account in just a few clicks. From its sleek dashboard, PayPal users can then manage invoice history, deploy automated email reminders and monitor unpaid invoice activity.
Businesses can register for PayPal free of charge, and then pay a transaction fee calculated based upon overall sales volume.
Launched by eComCharge in 2013, beGateway is a while label payment gateway that enables users to customise, upgrade and update their payment and billing provisions with the help of an easy-to-use API architecture.
beGateway is ideal for setting up recurring payments, and similar to PayPal also features a Pay by Link function allowing companies to create and send branded invoices via email that customers can pay directly from their inbox. Likewise, the platform can also be utilised to manage recurring payments and pre-defined direct debits.
Yet above all else, beGateway stands apart from the competition because of its scalability. The online payment software’s modular architecture and customisable API is designed to grow alongside businesses, and the operation speed of its applications is built to multiply by the number of modules companies choose to deploy.
It is possible to rent or buy to own a licensed copy of beGateway's white label processing platform with technical support provided for a small fee.
Jack Dorsey’s fast-rising payments platform Square has established itself as an industry pioneer for brick-and-mortar SMEs across the globe. Yet although the start-up’s name stems from its cheap, trademark POS terminal, it’s Square’s increasingly wide range of business services that has given it pole position as one of the sector’s most formidable players in terms of its virtual terminals, invoicing and bill monitoring capabilities.
Square Invoices is one of the web’s easiest online invoicing services – and like PayPal, Square’s customisable invoices are free to send and monitor. Customers are then given a range of payment options, and funds paid are deposited directly into business bank accounts in as little as a day. Users wishing to leverage the integrated architecture of Square’s full software suite will benefit from an automatic invoice synch across the Square Point of Sale app and dashboard.
Square doesn’t charge a transaction fee if invoices are paid via BACs or cash – although bills collected via card come with a fee of 2.5% per invoice.
Open source payment solution Ayden is a relatively small online billing platform – but what Ayden lacks in size, it makes up for in functionality. Ayden supports a wide range of in-store, in-app and mobile wallet payments to create a fully-integrated, frictionless payment experience for consumers. Yet Ayden’s primary USP is its subscriptions and recurring payments solution.
Unlike many of its competitors, Ayden features a Real Time Account Updater for Visa and Mastercard clients allowing customers to set card preferences that automatically refresh card details on client systems when a new card is issued – resulting in fewer customer drop-offs and higher authorisation rates.
Meanwhile, Ayden’s AI-based RevenueAccelerate toolkit offer one-of-a-kind insights designed to minimise risk, optimise payment journeys and increase revenue by an average 1.43%.
Ayden is free to use, but charges a processing fee and payment method fee for each billing transaction.
Tipalti might be most well-known for its range of popular accounting management software, but it’s the US-based provider’s mass payments management solution that has helped Tipalti to earn a place as one of the globe’s top billing services providers.
Tipalti’s integrated suite features white-labelled supplier onboarding, payment method and currency selection and global remittance services via a single cloud system. Tipalti also enables businesses to accept early payments, issue automatic payment status communications and manage payment reconciliation via its intuitive dashboard. Tipalti’s OCR Invoice Processing automatically matches invoices to POs and routes approvals, while the platform is capable of handling thousands of payments at sale to over 190 countries.
Building upon Tipalti’s sterling reputation for compliance and risk management, the software’s payments functions are bolstered by over 26,000 banking rules with a view to mitigate payment errors almost entirely.
Tipalti offers free platform demonstrations.
Cloud-based payments provider Stripe has only just recently launched its new Stripe Billing toolkit, but the service has already grown rapidly to become one of the easiest and most effective bill payment software solutions available.
Stripe Billing features a heavily customisable API that’s simple to integrate into existing sites, apps or CRMs. Meanwhile, the system’s intricate abstractions are ideal for helping clients to simplify or change their existing billing models.
The interface also comes with comprehensive testing capabilities to experiment with pricing – alongside the invoicing service and easy-to-use recurring payments functionality you’d expect from a leading bill payment software provider.
Last year, Stripe reported its billing recovery tools slashed client payment declines by 45% and increased revenue by 10%.
Customers can use Stripe Billing on a flat rate fee structure or pay based on usage.
Bill.com’s cloud-based bill payment solution markets itself as a B2B-focused alternative to PayPal’s percentage-based payments and invoicing fee structures. Instead of taking a percentage from each payment, Bill.com offers businesses a flat-rate service starting from $29 per user, per month. That being said, separate, flat rate transactional fees do apply separately.
Apart from Bill.com’s no-nonsense pricing, it also stands out as a superior bill payment solution because of its flexible and modular architecture, which is easy to deploy and integrate with existing accounting software based on a company’s individual needs.
The solution’s accounts receivable module is capable of automatic invoicing, offers a range of ACH payment methods and features direct deposits functionality that automatically synchs up with existing accounting software. Meanwhile, Bill.com’s accounts payable module includes an Auto Bill Entry, recurring payments approval system and smooth drag-and-drop dashboard experience.
Bill.com offers a 30-day free trial period.
PaySimple Pro is a cloud-based online payment software suite that includes POS and processing services, billing and invoicing solutions and a customisable customer relationship management (CRM) system. It’s ideal for SMEs needing to set up subscriptions or repeat payments for either fixed or variable amounts, and PaySimple Pro’s intuitive client interface allows for the creation and deployment of branded reminders, email alerts and payment landing pages.
PaySimple Pro’s reporting capabilities also provide business owners with bite-sized and interactive revenue predictions to assist companies in planning ahead. Businesses using MailChimp’s marketing services can also take advantage of a recently announced integration to ensure all customer records are constantly being updated in real-time.
PaySimple Pro offers a free trial period, followed by a monthly rate starting from $49 – although additional transaction fees for ACH and credit card processing apply.
Payzer offers one of the market’s most accessible billing services platform, and is perfect for contractors, freelancers and small businesses in need of a flexible billing and invoicing solution that is easy to deploy and comes with no strings attached.
Payzer’s enables businesses to accept and process payments online or in-person via its Google Play and iOS app, and subsequently monitor each customer’s billing activity and transaction history using its comprehensive mobile dashboard. Payzer also comes with an instant credit function that allows businesses to extend customer financing of up to $55,000.
Although Payzer’s USP is its mobile billing functionality, the solution also includes a toolbox of accounts payable essentials – including the ability to transfer money, issue and manage employee purchasing cards, zero a company balance and remote pay functionality.
Payzer is a contract-free bill payment software solution, and users do not need to pay a subscription fee, signup fee or cancellation fee. Users simply pay for the service based on a transactional fee structure starting from 1.39% for regulated debit cards.