Save Time: Processing Payments – Online v BACS

There is no right or wrong answer when choosing payment options. But it is important to consider the wider impact of both options and not just how they directly affect you. BACS payments are free but are slower to process (for you and your customer). Online payments are easier for most customers to process and can help increase sales by removing what they see as an obstacle. For some customers though BACS may be preferable. Until you offer both you won’t know what your customers generally prefer. 

The Pros and Cons of BACS

BACS payments are free for you to receive and these days usually appear within your account within 2 hours of the transfer (this can take longer to show in Business Accounts out of working hours).

Where the payment process is slowed down is having to manually send customers your bank details and having to check if payment has been received or chase-up. Invoices must also be manually created to send to clients. Your time (or your teams time) spent on this admin has a value.

There is also the risk of lost business. Some customers find BACS payment frustrating. Sat in front of the TV on a mobile banking app and having to switch between the email app and the banking app to check they are entering the details correctly can be a pain. With the added risk that if they get one digit wrong and they’ve lost their money to someone else. Anything that feels like an obstacle to a customer can reduce sales conversions. If another surveyor comes along with a path that feels easier to follow they may well use them.

Of course, some customers may prefer BACS so it can be beneficial to offer both options.

The Pros and Cons of Online Payments

Online payments can encourage customers to pay much faster. Many consumers now have card details saved on their phone. They click through to the payment page, click to add saved card details and the payment is made. You’ll also be alerted to having received a new payment. Most (not all) online payment merchants can feed payment information straight into your accounting software to create invoices automatically.

But with online payments there is a higher cost – between 0.75% and 2.9% per transaction depending on who you use. Whilst the cash lands in your online payment merchant account straight away, it can take a few days to be paid out to your bank account.

Here you need to decide the opportunity cost of your time and how much card fees will equate to depending on the price of your survey.


There is no right or wrong answer but it is important to consider the opportunity cost of your time as well as the potential to lose sales where customers get distracted from making payments.

Regardless of your choice, Survey Booker can automate the payment request (along with terms), provide details of how to pay you and feed sales information into most accounting software via our Zapier API to automatically create an invoice for each payment received.

This helps make BACS payments almost as simple for you to process as online payments. You just need to check a payment was received to prevent delays in providing customers updates.