I am doing some freelance work. I am about to send an invoice and in the footers I am writing that payment can be made by check at the address X, paypal to Y, or bank transfer.
Is it OK to include my US bank routing number and account number? Is this safe? What information should be included?
Or is there a better way to handle this?
When I've had freelance clients pay by bank transfer, they usually ask directly for the information. But very few do, unless they have direct deposit set up for their employees' payroll, since banks charge a hefty fee for wire transfers - typically around $30 in the US.
That info is on all your checks, so while I can't recall having ever seen it on an invoice before, it's probably harmless to put it there.
Direct transfers are great, by the way. I once had a client's check take two weeks to travel fifty miles by US mail, so if a client is willing to do wire transfers, I'm happy to pay the fee. I also put my FedEx number on my invoices and request checks be sent to me using it on my nickel. It's worth it to me to pay to have the peace of mind of knowing that the payment is actually going to arrive safely.
We have separate this information from our actual invoice -- and created a "ways to pay" attachment which we provide for new clients, and on request. The "ways to pay' does include bank routing information.
For many of our production projects we require a portion upfront prior to starting the project and our clients have appreciated our willingness to make immediate payment easy.
We have never found that providing this information to create a problem.
This depends where your invoice is sent.
Our billing system typesets invoices in LateX, and embeds the information on a need to know basis depending on where the invoice is being sent.
Yes its absolutely fine.
Bank routing number: tells them what branch you have your a/c with.
Bank a/c number: tells them whether you have a valid a/c.
Never give out your card number, Start & expiry dates and CVC code.
No , neve rdo it. Make sure our customers can not pay you. Then, when you send them a reminder they can still ignore it.
I operate on a need to know basis for bank account information. Broadcasting it only makes it more likely that someone you don't want will get it, though it's not easy for them to use it. The few clients I've had that did a direct transfer had their own forms for me to fill out with this data, so the only information they needed on the invoice was the amount and their PO number.
Everyone else in the business community only cares about the mailing address. Make sure you also include your contact information, especially a phone number, since that's the first thing anyone will use when they have a question about your invoice.
For individuals, PayPal makes sense, but I've never seen a business that wants to pay an invoice this way. If you're doing a lot of billing to larger companies, you may want to leave this off since it could be seen as unprofessional.