May 12: Avoiding PayPal and Credit Card fees on invoices

The Two Big Payment Processors

When it comes to processing online payments most businesses are using a checkout like experience. You are either adding items to a cart and completing a method of payment or are agreeing to use a service and click next which takes you to a checkout like screen to complete the payment.

Although many of these online businesses using checkouts could decrease cart abandonment by adding more payment methods, there are situations where business owners would prefer to invoice their clients.


How to Invoice International Clients

Let’s start with the obvious ones and keep it short:

1. Stripe Invoicing

Stripe Invoices

You can create an invoice in your dashboard with all the necessary items and send it to a client. It’s good for the customer because they can pay by credit card and some other methods like Alipay directly in the invoice.

The only issue is the high fees.

Stripe charges 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.. AND with their free multi-currency invoicing software they take 3.5% when dealing in different currencies.

2. Paypal Invoices

Paypal Invoices

Similar to Stripe — Paypal lets you create an invoice and send to your customer’s email directly from your account dashboard.

It’s less-developer friendly..

But, similar to Stripe the fees on foreign currency invoicing are 6.4% of your total invoice!

Accounting and Invoicing Softwares

Free invoicing software for small business is plentiful.

Here are some examples and they all have one thing in common..

Invoicing Software

I’ve personally used all of these and I’ve attached reviews below..

  • Freshbooks Invoicing
    Cost: $15 per month + typical payment processing costs
    Benefits: Automatic email invoice payment reminders, multi-currency billing, multi-language, deposit requests, customize payment terms and full accounting suite of tools.
    User satisfaction rated: 99%
  • QuickBooks Invoicing
    Cost: $5 per month + typical payment processing costs
    Benefits: Real-time alerts when customers view invoices, automatic email payment reminders, add billable hours synced to calendar and full accounting suite of tools.
    User satisfaction rated: 96%
  • ZohoBooks Invoicing
    Cost: $9 per month + typical payment processing costs
    Benefits: Experience from servicing over 13 million customers, automatic payment reminders, invoice tracking and full accounting suite of tools.
    User satisfaction rated: 100%
  • WaveApps Invoicing
    Cost: Free + typical payment processing costs
    Benefit: Automatic payment reminders, invoice tracking, online bank payments in addition to credit cards and full accounting suite of tools.
    User satisfaction rated: 99%

Other invoicing software known for great customer service to note:

  • Kashoo Invoicing
    Cost: $16.65 per month + typical payment processing costs
    Benefit: Known for support, track expenses, insightful reports and accounting suite of tools.
    User satisfaction rated: 97%
  • Invoice Ninja
    Cost: $8 per month + typical payment processing costs
    Benefit: Item and product library system, recurring auto-billing
    User satisfaction rated: 100%

Complimentary Tools that go with Accounting and Invoicing Softwares

There are new, better payment options to consider that complement with these softwares…

The issue is all of these invoicing platforms use the same payment methods and are succumbed to the high fees of the PayPal and Credit Card networks.

Of course, accepting credit cards makes it easy for your customers, but this is hardly free online invoicing.
Invoicing software isn’t designed to change the way your customers are paying you.

They make it easier to wear your Accounts Receivable Invoicing hat.

So, what can you do to avoid Credit Card and PayPal fees?
Keep your simple invoice software, but offer other payment options.

Let’s run through an example..You are an American invoicing Canadian clients (this works any way you slice it).


Scenario #1

Pay by Cheque for Invoices

You ask them to pay by cheque.
This is super cheap ($0), but the delay can be upwards of 21 business days for the cheque to come in and the bank to clear it.

Scenario #2

Ask them to send a wire transfer.
This is cheap for you as a business owner, but creates friction with your customer.
Also, it costs them anywhere from $25 – $100 and a typical 3% cost to exchange CAD to USD so you are passing down costs to your customer.

Scenario #3

Wave Accounting Invoice

Use Waveapps Online Banking feature.

Wave allows your customer to pay through online banking for a 1% cost. Much better than the 2.9% for other payment processors with Credit Cards or PayPal.

There is a 7 business day delay to get funds so if you need funds quick this isn’t the best option.The other downside is it doesn’t work to invoice cross-border so the best use-case for this is intra-country instead of using cheques.

Scenario #4

Use Curexe.
Curexe works with the best invoice software to even a Microsoft Word invoice template or Excel invoice template.
No need to change your current invoicing process.
Curexe includes an online banking option of payment to your invoices. See example below:

Curexe invoice

^The above is an example of an invoice that would typically be sent to your client, but Curexe adds an online banking payment option so your customers can pay directly from their bank.
It brings your customer through a checkout-like experience..

Curexe Invoices

Most importantly it costs the business owner $0 to accept funds and a wire is sent into their account with no wire fees.

What’s the catch?
Curexe charges a 2% foreign exchange fee embedded in the exchange rate your customer gets.
Much better than the 3.5% all of your customers are used to paying through Credit Cards, Banks, invoicing software, accounting software and PayPal.
All you have to do is email your invoices to and they create the ‘online banking’ button and forward the invoices to your customers.

Examples of when this is useful are:

  • Canadian company invoicing US company
  • Global businesses invoicing Canadian companies in different currencies
  • Recurring payment Saas businesses that want an alternative to offering credit cards
  • Selling in US dollars to Canadian Companies
  • American invoicing Canada
  • Invoicing an American company
  • A common search in Google is: how to invoice a US client from Canada