A colleague asked me how to process a client’s payment herself with PayPal. She had heard about my Credit Card Authorization Form, but wasn’t sure about the actual mechanics of processing credit card payments herself on behalf of her clients and whether she needed to be able to log into their PayPal accounts.
So, here’s what I explained:
Okay, so the credit card authorization form is an agreement between you and the client whereby the client provides you with their credit card details and allows you to keep them on file. This is so that when their fee to you is due, you can simply run the credit card yourself instead of waiting for them to do it.
It’s best for clients who pay you a monthly retainer or any other usual or set amount on a regular basis. This is an excellent way to take another detail off of your client’s plate while ensuring you are paid on time every month. And it really doesn’t matter what credit card processing service you use. My client’s love it and I never pay myself late, lol. 😉
With regard to PayPal specifically, there are a couple ways you can process the payment. The first is that, yes, you can log into the client’s PayPal account if they wish to provide you with that information. However, it’s not necessary and for many reasons I really don’t recommend this.
There needs to be a great deal of trust there already for a client to provide you with their PayPal account info. That level is usually only established with clients who have been with you for several years, and you don’t want to get blamed for any problems with their account just because you are the only other person who happens to have access to it. Know what I mean?
I recommend the second option, which is that you simply process the payment as a guest. As a guest, you don’t need to log into a client’s PayPal account to process their payment. As long as you have their credit card details and the proper legal authorization form on file, you can process any payment without the client even needing an account.
Here’s how to set up a payment page on your website. Here’s an example of my payment page from my old website:
- Create a dedicated web page on your site. You can simply call it “payment” or “submitpayment.” Include the link in your navigation, site map or otherwise make it clearly visible and easily found on your site (perhaps as an image graphic in a sidebar on all pages).
- Get the HTML code to place a PayPal “Pay Now” button on the page.a) Log into your own PayPal account and go to the “Merchant Services” tab.
b) Click on the “Create Payment Buttons for Your Website” option, then click on “Create a Button.”
c) Select the “Buy Now” button type.
d) Since this is going to be a generic button, leave the “Item ID,” “Price” fields blank. If you want to give a name, call it something like “Submit Payment” or “Pay Now.”
d) Under the “Customize Button” section, click on “Customize text or appearance.”
e) Under “Select button text,” select “Pay Now.”
f) Read through the other options so you know and understand what’s there and change anything you need to accordingly. You also have the option to use your own button graphic if you choose.
g) Once all that is done, click on “Create Button” and the HTML code will appear. Select that code and place it in the HTML section on your Payment page where you’d like the button to appear.
- Publish your new Payment page.
So now, whenever you need to process a payment on behalf of a client, you just go to your Payment page and click on the “Pay Now” button. When the PayPal page appears, click on the option where it says “Pay with your debit or credit card as a PayPal guest” and then enter the amount due and the client’s credit card information.
Simple as that!