Today, we’re announcing new improvements to LocalPay, Local Line’s payments platform that allows farms to accept online payments from customers. Read below to learn about the exciting new updates and how to take advantage of them!
In addition to being able to accept all major credit cards, you’ll now be able to accept ACH payments directly from your customers. ACH stands for Automated Clearing House, and is similar to a wire transfer. ACH payments are particularly popular with wholesale transactions where the order values are too high to pay with a credit card. For example, if ABC Grocery Co orders $15,000 of tomatoes from Tom’s Tomato Farm, that payment is usually not paid with a credit card and is instead paid by ACH, wire transfer, or check.
When customers check out and select ACH as their payment method, they’re prompted to add their bank details including their name, account number, and routing number. Before placing their order, they’ll see the Authorization Mandate, which gives you, the supplier, permission to debit their account for the total order amount. When the order is placed, the money will be sent from their bank account to yours.
Similar to credit card payments, customers can grant you permanent preauthorization to debit their bank account by selecting to save their bank details to their account for future use.
One of the benefits of ACH is that it costs significantly less than credit cards. You can expect to pay around 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction from a credit card, but with ACH you only pay 1.0% + $0.00 for each transaction. Even better is that the 1.0% fee is capped at $50, so if you receive a payment for $5,000 or more, you’ll actually pay less than 1%. In the example we used above, if Tom’s Tomato Farm wanted ABC Grocery Co to pay their $15,000 invoice via ACH, the cost to Tom’s Tomato Farm would only be 0.33%! Compared to a credit card fee of 2.9%, Tom’s Tomato Farm would save $385! ACH can be a great option to save money on credit card fees while maintaining the convenience of online payments.
Prior to these new improvements, getting onboarded to LocalPay required farms to complete a lengthy application, meet with our team to review it, and then wait a few days after each submission to receive approval.
Now, you’ll be able to set up your LocalPay account in 30 minutes. You still need to complete a (shorter) form, but after you click submit, the new LocalPay system will notify you within roughly 20 minutes with either an approval to begin processing payments, or a request for further specifics that our underwriting partner occasionally requires.
Historically, LocalPay users were able to download two reports. One for individual transactions, and one for batch deposits to your bank account. With the new LocalPay, you’ll be able to access over 16 reports, all of which are downloadable.
In addition to being downloadable to spreadsheets, all the new reports also come in graph form in your LocalPay dashboard, which helps visualize your payment data.
Clearer Payout Reconciliation
The new LocalPay makes it easier to reconcile payouts in your bank statements. For starters, each deposit in your bank account will now include “Local Line” in the transaction description to help you more easily recognize the transaction. Also included in the description will be a batch number, which will correspond to a batch number in your LocalPay dashboard. In your LocalPay dashboard, each batch number can be expanded to show the collection of payments included.
Point of Sale (POS)
While not available quite yet, our new LocalPay improvements lay the foundation for what will become Local Line POS, our custom POS integration built on top of LocalPay. The Local Line POS will allow you to log an order in Local Line, tap a button to send the order to a physical payment device, and then accept a customer's payment in person via credit card.
When you use the Local Line POS, your products, inventory, orders and payments will remain in sync for both your online store and in person transactions.
Interac E-Transfer (for Canadian Customers)
In the future, for our beloved Canadian customers, you’ll be able to accept E-transfer payments through your Local Line store. When checking out, the customer will select the “Interac E-Transfer” payment method, which will prompt them to login to their online banking and submit the payment. Once the payment has been sent, the order will be successfully processed.
For those who want to accept E-transfer but who also offer payment terms for their customers, such that their customers are not required to pay at checkout, you’ll also be able to offer Interac E-transfer as a payment method on all invoices. That means customers will see a “Pay Now” button on each invoice, and it will allow them to pay via E-transfer.
Getting Started with LocalPay
If you’re a current LocalPay customer, your account will be automatically upgraded sometime before December 31, 2023 at no additional cost. There will be no disruption to your customers on how they pay for their orders.
If you’d like to start using LocalPay, please sign up at register.localline.ca, navigate to the “Payments” tab, head over to the “Payment Gateway” tab, and select “Connect” under the LocalPay section.
Please note that the enhanced LocalPay is currently only available for farms in America. We expect the new LocalPay to be available in Canada prior to the growing season in 2024.
If you have any questions about these improvements, please email us at email@example.com or call us at toll-free 1 (855) 699 1026.