As good as it feels to cash a client’s check, no one wants to be the one to collect it. Learning how to both automate and simplify client payment takes the awkward interactions out of your payment request process. And, depending on what service you employ, it can also help clean up your bookkeeping, improve staff productivity, and increase the speed with which you get your own bills paid.

Client payment quandaries are as old as the design profession itself, and the reasons are often fairly simple to understand. “I think when it comes to getting paid on time, it comes down to three things,” points out Matt Winmill, chief technology officer at NR Interiors in San Antonio, Texas. “How easy is it for them to pay; [whether] they trust online pay; and the timing in which they receive the invoice.” Master those three components and you’ll be well on your way to a payment system that saves both client and team member alike stress. Scroll on to see some tips for how NR Interiors and other firms manage the sometimes icky, but always necessary, task of collecting from your clients.


The change in seasons doesn’t only bring about different weather. It can also inflict a slowdown in payment timing, so be aware of seasonal delays. NR Interiors, for example, noticed a compelling trend. Perceiving that delays in payment tended to occur around two times of the year — the end of summer, before school starts up, and at the end of the year, around the holidays — impacted how they run their business today. “During those two times, clients are on vacation and will pay later or forget,” explains Winmill. The firm’s solution? A reminder system. “We just send reminders every two weeks until we get paid. Usually after the first reminder they will pay their invoice.”


Not every client is savvy — or trusting — enough to dive into online payments. That can result in a delay, where the client either drags their feet and submits payment late or submits it via paper check by mail. For some firms, overcoming client trust issues requires outside help. Studio Pay provides a certain level of assurance when it comes to submitting payments online. “With StudioPay, it’s easy for them to pay because all of their options are there on one screen, whereas with Stripe there are extra steps,” says Winmill. Other online services arrive with their own challenges. “A large portion of our clients didn’t trust Plaid because they had to enter their personal bank information. So, they would just send a check in,” shares Winmill.

Created specifically for interior designers’ business needs, StudioPay offers integrated payments posting, gross settlement, and other features applicable to design businesses both big and small. For clients, the service offers one-click payments, high flexible limits, and low, competitive fees, making for a solution that keeps both sides of the business happy… and running smoothly.

Ease of use

Another roadblock to prompt payment is how difficult some online payment systems can be. Offer your clients a tutorial on how to use your online payment system of choice, and be on hand to help when questions arise. (StudioPay itself also comes with dedicated in-house support.) Offering clients who aren’t digitally savvy the chance to walk through the system together, however simple it may be to your own trained eye, can save you valuable hours and stress over the long haul.

“StudioPay allows us and our clients to make proposal and invoice payments swift and easy.  It was a flawless transition from our last merchant,” Coraly Castellanos, Operations Director, AP/AR, at Ponton Interiors in Tampa, Florida, shares. An added bonus of the system is its ability to manage funds within Studio Designer itself. “Plus, by having our payments flow directly into our Studio Designer account, we can apply funds and move our orders forward more quickly than ever.”

It also makes matters easier for design firms’ bookkeepers and accountants, whether internal or external hires. “In just a few months, StudioPay has drastically improved and streamlined the way in which we accept payments from our clients,” concurs Melissa Colgan, of Melissa Colgan Interiors, in Washington, D.C “The payment interface is super convenient and easy for our clients to navigate and it has made tying payments to proposals much easier and more timely for our bookkeepers.”

For any design firm, using a system — versus tracking clients down by phone, email and carrier pigeon — can take any potential sting out of the interaction. After all, no one likes being tracked down when they owe funds, even if they’re more than willing to pay up. “Our process for requesting client payments is the same,” says Matt of any changes since implementing StudioPay. “But the complaints have dropped significantly.”

To learn more about StudioPay download this free guide today!

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