Invoice by level of trust

Invoicing your clients is a very important part of any client relationship. Failure to deliver correct, easy to pay, timely invoices can be a serious violation of expectations and cause issues in even the best relationships. In this post we'll show you how to do it right by answering the 3 basic questions: What, When and How.

How to invoice

Based on your level of trust with a client, you have the following 3 methods available:

  • Trust Level 0: Credit card invoice
  • Trust Level 1: Bank Transfer invoice
  • Trust Level 2: Saved credit card subscription

Credit card invoice

Adding a credit card form to your invoices guarantee you immediate payment. Trust is relevant on the client-side only if you invoice up-front and not after having delivered your services. Be aware that up-front payments can still be disputed by your client if they feel that you have not honoured your part of the bargain.

If you want to send credit card invoices via ZimTik you'll need either a Basic or Professional license as well as a complete profile. Most importantly your IBAN/SWIFT information must be correct, so that the funds end up in your account.

Once your profile is complete, simply select Credit card as Payment Method in your create invoice dialog:

Bank Transfer invoice

As old as time itself, this is the original form of invoicing. You send your client an invoice which includes your payment/bank details and at a given due date, when they will transfer funds to you. Typically clients will negotiate the due date which can range from 2 days to "6 months from logging the invoice" which is the worst example I've seen yet. In the last case the trust is required on your side: You will have to wait 7 months for your money.

An example from the real world: I subcontracted for a danish IT company over a decade ago. They had agreed to the "6 months from logging the invoice" terms, since this was a large organization partly owned by the government - If you're unfamilar with the Danish Government then be aware that 7 months processing time for an invoice is almost a speed record. In the 7th month we received an email stating that out of a 100k invoice, about 100€ were incorrectly invoiced so they wanted a credit note, new invoice and then an additional 7 months to process.

Saved Credit card subscription

The highest level of trust also gives you the highest level of convenience. For clients with whom you have a strong relationship, they can store their Credit card with us and let you withdraw funds at any time. For freelancers who do a lot of work on retainer, this is the preferred way of collecting payment.

If you want to prime your customer, go to their profile page in ZimTik and generate a link to share with them:

When your client follows this link, they'll be given a chance to configure their subscription and register a credit card. The page will be branded with your name and logo: