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Dear Bracha,

I recently started a side hustle. I turned a long-time hobby into a small weekend-and-evening business. I’m struggling to find payment options that don’t cost me an arm and a leg and are comfortable for my clients. I’m not ready for a credit card machine. I have a cash option, but it’s not enough. I’m specifically looking for options that are simple and easy for my clients to use.


Leah G.


Dear Leah G.,

Congratulations on your side hustle! It’s exciting to start something new, and I wish you much success in this new venture.

The majority of payment apps are free for consumers to transfer money. However, when the consumer uses the app to pay a business, the business often has to pay the platform a small percentage of the sale and/or a transaction fee. It’s not fun, but unfortunately, it’s the cost of doing business.

You haven’t mentioned the type of business you operate or the average dollar amount per transaction. Therefore, some of the payment options listed below may be more appropriate than others for your particular business.

Paypal: Paypal is a third-party app that has an option to send money to family and friends and an option to send money to businesses for the purchase of goods or services. Paypal has created an array of payment tools for small businesses, and is used by many small businesses in the U.S. and around the world.

Paypal is easy to set up and works internationally. The sender merely enters the recipient’s email address and the money is sent to his/her PayPal account. The business can request money from the client as well. Once the money is received, the recipient can transfer the money to his/her bank account.

CashApp: A third-party app, CashApp is simple to set up and navigate. Users can send or request money from their contacts. The app automatically deposits the money into the recipient’s bank account. User names have dollar signs before them.

Venmo: Venmo is extremely easy to set up and navigate too, and is the preferred choice for many younger people. Users can send or request money from their contacts. Users can deposit the payment into their bank accounts once they receive them on the app. Users’ names have @ signs before them.

Like CashApp and Paypal, Venmo is a third-party app. However, the default settings make each transaction public. Therefore, should you go ahead with this option, you might want to consider changing your privacy settings before using the app for business.

Zelle: Unlike many other money-transferring options, Zelle works directly in your banking app. It’s a secure option for sending money and is especially useful for large dollar amounts. The payment goes directly into the recipient’s bank account.

Zelle is also simple to set up. The recipient doesn’t need the Zelle app to receive the money. Zelle also has high payment limits.

Note: When sending money with Zelle, it’s important to type in the details of the recipient correctly. Should there be an issue, the money goes to the wrong account, and there isn’t much that can be done about it.

Zelle, PayPal, CashApp and Venmo are free for the consumer and the business to download. The only fees are those associated with the transaction.

Quickbooks: Quickbooks has a monthly fee in addition to the transaction fees. There is special pricing for businesses that process over a certain amount of dollars a month.

These are just a few of the more popular apps that consumers can use to purchase goods and services from you. Many others exist as well, such as Xoom, Square Cash, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and the like, some of which use credit cards.

Since some of these apps aren’t designed for businesses, keeping track of your cash inflows and outflows for business and tax purposes is imperative.

This new venture should be with mazal and bracha.

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Bracha Halperin is a business consultant based in new York City. To comment on her Jewish Press-exclusive tech columns -- or to reach her for any other purpose -- e-mail her at [email protected]. You can also follow her on Instagram or Twitter at: @brachahalperin.