Types of Payment: Bank Transfers

Overview

This article will teach you about bank transfers, including what they are, their benefits and drawbacks, and how to accept them in your FastSpring store. Please note that bank transfers as a FastSpring payment method are accepted for all one-time purchase products, but cannot be accepted for subscription-based products that rely on recurring billing.

What is a Bank Transfer?

Bank transfer is the general term used to cover a wide range of credit transfers, including cash payments, giro-payments, and wire transfer to local banks. They are the most common form of cashless consumer payments in most countries within the European Union and Asia–Pacific (references: www.ecb.org and www.bis.org).

Customers will generally initiate a bank transfer via one of the following methods:

  • online banking
  • phone banking (also known as tele-banking)
  • mailing a payment form to the bank
  • visiting the bank and completing payment form in person

Bank transfers are characterized by the fact that they are made at the initiative of the buyer (the customer), and the payment is “pushed” to the bank account of the seller. This fact has several important consequences:

  • An order is not always a payment since customers must instruct their banks to initiate the payment.
  • A payment, once made, cannot be reversed by the customer. The customer can only ask the Merchant to refund the transaction.
  • Although a Merchant has to rely on the customer for completing the payment, bank transfers are very safe and have no reversal risk.
  • Banks worldwide are increasingly allowing their customers to initiate bank transfers online. Although this does not change the fundamentals of a bank transfer, it does allow for the transfer to clear the banks more quickly.

Benefits of Bank Transfers for the Seller

Bank transfer is commonly used by customers who do not have a credit card, or do not want to use it to complete a distance sale payment through the internet, telephone, or mail.  The customer initiates the payment.

Benefits for the seller include, but are not limited to:

  • Transactions are safe and secure.
  • There is no possibility of payment reversals.
  • Transactions are not subject to chargebacks.
  • Payments are fully electronic.
  • This payment method is customer-friendly.
  • This payment method is increasingly popular with customers worldwide.

Drawbacks of Bank Transfers for the Seller

Drawbacks for the seller include:

  • The order is not always a completed payment.
  • There are potential delays in the payment completion process.
  • There is the potential for payments that are not completed by the customer because the customer must contact the bank to complete the payment.

Bank Transfer Set Up

By default, the Bank Transfer payment method is disabled for your FastSpring store.  To accept bank transfers as a payment method, go to SpringBoard's Store Home » Store Settings » Payment Methods » Bank Transfer.  Select Enable. Make sure to click Save.

Note: Bank transfers are available for every country that has a currency that FastSpring supports and take approximately 3 to 5 business days to process. To enable bank transfers in countries other than the US, you must define non-USD prices. For example if you were primarily interested in western European bank transfers, you would want to set prices in  EUR, GBP, and CHF.  For more information, see Currency Settings.

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When customers complete the order process, they will be given payment instructions on the order confirmation page. They will also receive an email with HTML links to view payment instructions and pay their invoice.

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Fulfillment Actions with Bank Transfers

If customers choose Bank Transfer as their payment method, FastSpring gives them an invoice that contains the unique payment instructions for that order. Once we receive the money, which typically takes three to five business days from the time they place the order, the order is approved. When the order is approved,  notifications and fulfillment actions (emails to the customer, download links, license codes) get triggered. 

We're Here to Help

If you have questions or need further guidance on setting up this payment method and associated currencies, please open a support ticket within SpringBoard

Have more questions? Submit a request

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