Are You Taking Credit Card Payments For Shoots On Site?

November 16th, 2011

These days real estate photographers can accept credit cards to collect their shoot fee right on site from their clients. I talked about his a year ago. Early adopters were already doing it then but now it’s become very routine. The way you do it is with this little free swipe gadget that attached to your iPhone or Android smart phone. There may be others but this is by far the most popular.

Here’s why you want to accept credit cards on site:

  1. It’s good for you because it maximizes the probability of getting paid up front.
  2. It’s good for your client because many don’t carry their check book with them. They are used to using their credit cards for everything. No one is going to say, “Oh I forgot my credit card”. That’s like saying I forgot my pants!
  3. It makes you look more professional.
  4. It is very easy. It takes about 4 minutes to signup for the free swipe. You pay 2.75% for any credit card (if this gives you heartburn, increase you shoot fee by 2.75%. This is peanuts for getting paid on time and not having to keep nagging you clients for payment.
  5. Payments you take by credit card go directly into you bank account the next day.
If you are doing any shoots at all, the only immediate reason for not signing up for this right now is that you don’t have a smart phone and I’m here to tell you that that’s not a good reason; get one. Another reason for not signing up is if  you live outside the US. Anyone know of services like this outside the US? This is just one reason for having a smartphone more reasons are:
  1. LightTrac
  2. Finding your way around town
  3. Being reachable all the time for shoot scheduling
  4. Keeping your shoot schedule on the fly.
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9 Responses to “Are You Taking Credit Card Payments For Shoots On Site?”

  • is available in Sweden so far, a big pro is that it uses the chip instead of the magnetic strip, this avoids any issues with card copying.

  • It constantly amazes me how fast (like wildfire) new ideas and concepts and products spread across the country and the world given the internet. Over the last two weeks, in various blogs, newsletters and vendor sites I have been seeing Square pop-up and have been thinking about implementing it. We are certain that it will make collections easier for us and we know it is cheaper than paypal or other credit card methods for us. We haven’t implemented it for one reason only and that is our payment policy. We send an invoice for 50% of the contracted order via paypal with the contract. When that is paid, we schedule the shoot. This can be same day or a week apart. We then do the shoot and process the package. Before product is delivered to the customer a new invoice is drawn up, the 50% is credited to the invoice and then the differences added in or subtracted (lighting assistant needed-not needed, etc.). A new invoice and paypal request is generated. As soon as the invoice is credited to our paypal account, our final product goes out via YouSendIt or via the lab doing the processing. We always are paid…. We have found that even if we get paid the 50% deposit up front, on site clients find reasons not to give me the final check before we go back to the office to process or even don’t show up for the shoot and send an assistant who states – the check will be sent by the client at some future date. As our work is 90% web work, our only asset that we are selling is our time. We need to be paid and paid immediately in order to stay in business.
    So…we are thinking about getting smart and then the client on site can make a decision – pay the credit card on site before we leave to process or pay by paypal (credit card) before the work is shipped to them. This is an acceptable solution without changing our successful payment formula and even add an extra % to our profit!

  • I am currently using Intuits Go Payment since I use Quickbooks. I love being able to take payment on site. I agree with Larry it really makes a huge difference. The only downside to Go Payment is the time it takes to deposit in my account. It usually takes about 2 to 3 days before I see the deposit. Still better than waiting for checks from Realtors. A lot of my agents keep a credit card on file and I just charge it when I schedule the shoot. This works great as well.

  • I have had the square for a while, but only had a chance to use it the other day……and there was little or no cell service. 🙁 I do look forward to using it in the future….

  • hmmm.. I can barely text message still!

  • I have been using the Square for a while now and it works really well. In fact, the clients kind of get a kick out of it and get excited to sign my iPhone. Within 24 hours the money is in my account. One can take payments over the phone as well. When the transaction is done it emails your client the receipt. Pretty darn smooth!

  • Unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be available in Australia yet. If anyone knows differently I would love to hear otherwise.

  • I love the idea of getting paid before I leave the property, but I have always waited to invoice until after the client has received and approved the images. Thankfully I rarely have a client that doesn’t pay promptly, but it does ever now and again. I wonder how many people are getting paid before they even finish the job?

  • I love using my square and I welcome the 2.75% fee…especially since I don’t have to worry about the invoicing.

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