Web developer Nick Janetakis has a nice guide here on accepting payments as a freelancer. His guide is specifically focused on receiving payment via email.
His ultimate hero of the piece is Zelle. Unlike Paypal, this integrates directly with banking partners. This means you don’t have to sign up with Zelle directly, they basically serve as the service the banks use, as long as your email address is registered with the bank, you can receive payment via their service. Plus not a lot of fees, which is a nice bonus.
One service that’s not mentioned in the piece is Google Wallet, which integrates with Gmail for sending and requesting payment. Obviously the integration is limited to people living in the Google ecosystem, but that’s quite a big user base. Linked debit accounts don’t have any fees, and the transaction limits are also generous ($50,000 over 5 days).
If you don’t need payments tied to email, your options really open up. Messaging platforms often have pretty robust payment systems in place, including Facebook Messenger, which doesn’t have any fees. It is limited to $10,000 a month, which might be a deal breaker. Also, requesting payment via a messaging app doesn’t exactly scream professionalism, but that may be more a matter of personal taste.
Also, I’m bound to mention my personal favorite money transfer app, Square Cash. It may not have the lowest fees or highest transfer limit, but it’s dead simple, doesn’t require recipients to sign up for the service and always worked fast for me.
Nick Janetakis comments: