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Paying by Credit Card Just Got Easier for Your Clients

A quicker payment process for your clients means you’ll get paid faster. If you’re using our Stripe integration to accept payments online, your clients will now only have to enter their credit card information once and it’ll be remembered for all future payments. Yep, that’s right. Once.

The invoice payment form where your client enters their credit card information will look and work the same way. The key new addition is Stripe’s Remember Me feature. If your client selects this, they’ll need to provide their mobile phone number. Stripe securely identifies your client via text message so they don’t have to retype their payment information when they go to pay you in the future. It’s as simple as that!

Stripe Remember Me

We did have to change the way Harvest invoices get sent out in order to make this happen. If you have multiple recipients on an invoice, the invoice will get emailed separately to each recipient. Everyone will no longer be on the same invoice email. However, we did add copy to the bottom of the invoice so that you can quickly tell who else received the invoice:

Invoice Recipients

Stripe has done some research that confirms that a client whose credit card details are saved is less likely to abandon the payment form. This latest update should take away any client’s excuse to procrastinate paying your invoice! If you have any questions, please reach out to us.

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This was posted in Product News.
  • Nice update. What if the payment info changed?

    • Katie Rose on March 30, 2016

      @Arash Thanks for the kind words. The Remember Me feature pre-populates the client’s credit card information, it doesn’t lock it down. Therefore, your client will able to update their payment information at any time, and have Stripe remember the new information.

  • I was wondering why/how the invoice emails had changed. The other day I had one end up in a client’s spam folder for the first time and I imagine it’s because the invoice is coming from notifications@harvestapp.com rather than my set address. Also, now it’s harder to follow up on an invoice sent to multiple people since there’s no contiguous email thread. I appreciate that some people are using Stripe and will benefit from this update but this is really two steps back for me.

    • Katie Rose on March 30, 2016

      @Chris The invoices were always sent from notifications@harvestapp.com, even before this change. Unfortunately, sometimes these emails do get marked as spam. Once your client unmarks one as spam, they should be all set.

      I realize the invoice email is not a quick reply-all email thread anymore, but we did include the emails of everyone who the invoice was sent to at the bottom so you can start this thread. Sorry that you don’t find this update that beneficial!

  • This decision to disable one function to enable another disadvantages my business.

    I’d prioritise the same email to multiple recipients over persistent credit card details.
    Alignment with my client’s procurement processes is more valuable to my business. I acknowledge there’s a workaround, but it’s still friction in my invoice process that I didn’t invite, and I don’t benefit from.

    If it’s not possible to retain both functions, why not give businesses the opportunity to select the option that’s less-worse for them?

    • Katie Rose on March 30, 2016

      @MA I’m sorry for your trouble! I can understand the frustration of some added friction in your invoice process. Besides adding the ability to remember a client’s credit card details, we felt this change is a better way to send invoice emails, which is why we did not make this a setting that could be changed. Before this update, Harvest had no idea who was actually receiving your invoice. Now, Harvest knows exactly who is the recipient of your invoice. I’m sorry again that this update isn’t what you’re looking for!

  • Hi, this is a nice addition. Until now few clients used the online payment methods, but I think its nice letting them choose.

  • Hi, this is a nice addition. Until now few clients used the online payment methods, but I think its nice letting them choose.

  • I know you have automatic invoice creation, but will you ever have automatic billing through Stripe? The ability to have a monthly or annually recurring invoice that automatically charges the clients credit card would be a huge and important feature. Remembering a credit card is nice and all, but automatically charging it would be perfect.

    • Katie Rose on March 31, 2016

      @Ryan Thanks for passing along this feedback! It’s not on our radar to add recurring billing through Stripe. I can see how this would be useful though. Sorry I realize this isn’t the news you’re looking for, but your feedback is noted!

  • I second Ryan’s feature request. We take another look at Freshbooks every few months – it’s been years since we switched and we still desperately miss the automatic billing. We keep expecting it from Harvest any day now. Very, very disappointed to hear it’s not on the roadmap at all.

    • Katie Rose on April 1, 2016

      Thanks for these thoughts @Kyle. I’m curious to learn more about what types of projects you use recurring billing for. What types of businesses are these projects for and why do you use automatic billing? Are you billing for the same amount each month? Thanks!

  • @Kyle Harvest is missing a lot of features I’d like from Freshbooks. I also look at them maybe once a year, although I never end up switching because I like the design of Harvest a lot more, and it’s a lot of work to transfer over 4+ years of invoices. Automated billing and taxes on expenses are becoming really important features to me as I grow my business.

  • @Ryan – sounds like we have a very similar experience. Would be happy to chat sometime about how you work your business processes.

    @Katie – quite happy to talk about this. The most common use case is monthly recurring retainers – which are a fixed amount. We often bill consistent monthly retainers to make cash flow more predictable for both clients and us. Then, we invoice for work performed against the retainer, sometimes it’s a little over, sometimes a little under (so it ends up being a lot like rollover minutes). Because of Harvest’s current limitations, we have to setup an automatic recurring “subscription” in Stripe with the client’s CC, then we have to create a corresponding invoice in Harvest. We can obviously create recurring invoices in Harvest, but we then still have to mark them paid manually as they aren’t talking with the automatically charged stripe subscription.

    Other common uses that would benefit from automatic charges for us include things like monthly rebilling of software licenses, hosting, and domain registrations (annual).

    From a management perspective, we would much rather tweak our services to align with monthly automatic charges, than deal with variable monthly invoicing, A/P, and all the hassle that goes with it. The only thing that stops us from moving fully in that direction is the limitation in the system itself. This is huge for us and would be our #1 request by a mile. – Thanks for asking!

    • Katie Rose on April 4, 2016

      Thanks for the detailed explanation @Kyle and @Matt. It’s helpful to learn more of the background on your recurring billing strategy and process. Sorry this isn’t in the plans right now, but I’ll definitely discuss this further with the team.

  • I can hop on the bandwagon with @Kyle & @Ryan. I am a web developer who offers hosting as well as maintenance agreements for a set amount each month.

    Currently I have to do what @Kyle does and create a subscription in Stripe, then create a recurring invoice in Harvest that sets to draft each month and after the Stripe payment goes through I manually enter the payment in to the Harvest invoice.

    Integration of Stripe subscriptions would be a great addition.

    Still a Harvest fanboy and LOVE the product!

  • Another web developer here along with @Kyle, @Ryan & @Matt. I really really really want to see recurring billing. I recently starting billing my clients quarterly for hosting because many of them were complaining about invoice frequency. Making it entirely automatic for them would be incredible.

    Recurring billing and Retainers that expire monthly even if not fully utilized are at the top of my business wish list for Harvest.

    Thanks!

  • Heather St. Marie on April 7, 2016

    Add me to the list of web developers charging recurring monthly (or quarterly) hosting and maintenance retainers. Thanks!

  • ++ Add me to the list as well wishing for recurring subscription billing, we currently have to use moonclerk in conjunction with stripe and wish we could keep all our data and reports within harvest. To be honest this is a quite older feature already within freshbooks.

    Our services are as such: monthly web maintenance, written posts, and social media management.

    Side note: Seems like a lot of harvest customers want this feature. It would be great to have a page on harvest where the customers can upvote features/suggestions so you can gauge what is in demand and what isn’t. Not sure if this already exists.

    • Katie Rose on April 12, 2016

      @Arash Thanks for these thoughts! As I mentioned in some of the other replies, this isn’t on our near-term radar, but it may happen at some point.

      Separately, I wanted to let you know that we don’t have a page where you can vote or make suggestions on features. Thanks for passing along this feedback though!

  • Does stripe charge a processing fee?

    • Katie Rose on April 11, 2016

      @Shelley Yes, Stripe charges a transaction fee, which is typically 2.9% + $0.30. You can find out more about our online payment integrations here.

  • +++ Add me to the list as well wishing for recurring subscription/automatic billing. I’d love to see Harvest make it a reality this year. I also would love for Harvest to integrate Dwolla into the payment options. I asked about this over 2 years ago. Dwolla has no fees and is more secure than ACH. It’s the future and far cheaper for everyone than credit cards.

  • What I’m curious about is the statement from Katie in an earlier comment that:

    “It’s not on our radar to add recurring billing through Stripe”

    With (by my count) 7 people taking the time out of their day to write comments requesting the same additional feature, it really ought to be on your radar. There is clearly demand for this feature and Stripe has a very well documented API. Can anyone from Harvest provide any insight as to why this feature is being avoided or how it’s not even on the road map right now? It’s really not some obscure fringe case… Automatic billing would be incredibly useful to a large segment of your customer base.

    Sorry for the rant, but I’ve noticed new comments appearing on this post but no more communication from anyone at Harvest.

    • Katie Rose on April 12, 2016

      @Andrew I appreciate the additional color everyone has provided on why recurring billing would be useful to add to the Harvest and Stripe integration. It does seem like a feature that makes sense for us to add. I just wanted to be upfront about it not being in the near-term plans; but that’s not to say that we won’t try and add this at some point. Sorry I don’t have a sense on timing here, but I’ll certainly circle back on this thread when I do.

      Thanks again for all the feedback on this, everyone!

  • Just to add my voice to the many folks asking about recurring billing: I also love Harvest and used it extensively for many years. I have been looking around for an easy option for recurring billing and would absolutely love it was added to Harvest as a feature. I would gladly pay for it as an add-on, for what it’s worth.

  • +1 vote for recurring billing. Would love it for monthly retainer and hosting invoices!

  • Is there a way to allow only invoices to be paid by CC? On our larger invoices, we don’t want to take the hit for CC fees, but for smaller invoices, we’d like to give the option to pay by CC.

    • Katie Rose on May 2, 2016

      @Ben @Leo, Noted on the requests for recurring billing.

      @Andy At this point, you can’t customize the payment method per invoice. Sorry about that! If you do want a client to pay an invoice by credit card, the best way to do this today is to include a link to the web invoice when sending the invoice from Harvest. If you don’t want your client to pay by credit card, simply exclude the link to the web invoice.

      Unfortunately, it is still possible for them to pay by credit card if they have in the past. This is something we may consider improving in the future. Let me know if you have any questions!

  • +1 for recurring billing.

  • I too would love automatic recurring billing (the ability to automatically charge clients’ credit cards)! I run a web agency and we have clients who pay for monthly services (website maintenance, digital marketing, retainers, etc.).

  • Gary Davies on May 14, 2016

    Yes, recurring auto payments have to be where things need to go for me too. I host over a hundred websites and would love to have monthly payments setup. I spend so much time chasing recurring invoices it’s crazy! Love Harvest though and adding something like this would be awesome!

    • Calina Madden on May 16, 2016

      Thanks for adding your thoughts on this, Gary! As Katie mentioned, recurring billing isn’t something that’s in our near-term plans, but it’s not out of the question. And I can definitely understand how it could be useful in your situation! Thanks again for letting us know your vote for this.

  • +1 vote for recurring billing. Would love it for weekly and monthly IT support/managed services provider invoices!

    Also, integration in Justworks would be great for approved timesheet->payroll purposes. Retyping that info weekly is kind’a silly.

    • Calina Madden on May 31, 2016

      Thanks for your vote on this, Mike. We don’t currently have plans for recurring billing or a Justworks integration, but we’ll keep both of these things in mind. I can’t make any promises, but it’s always great for us to know what kinds of features you’re looking for. Thanks again!

  • +1 for recurring billing for retainers and monthly web hosting.

    • Calina Madden on May 31, 2016

      We don’t have plans for either of these features just yet, but thanks for letting us know this is something you’d like to see! We’ve passed these ideas on to the rest of the team.

  • +1 — Since there’s strength in numbers I will submit my vote for automatically recurring monthly invoicing.

    I had always avoided enabling Stripe for Harvest before, but I know a feature like this will probably increase the convenience factor for all parties involved, speeding up payments which I feel my be worth the hit of the fee.

    Thanks Harvest Team!

  • I’m another looking for automatic recurring billing, for many of the same use cases.

  • And yet another +1 for auto-billing. I was with Freshbooks for years and was so frustrated by lack of retainers, and their super clunky interface. But I kept putting off switching to Harvest because so much history was invested in Freshbooks. I finally bit the bullet and made the switch when I learned that you had Stripe integration. It never occurred to me that you didn’t have automatic billing, since this is something that Stripe offers.

    Like others above, I am a web developer who provides maintenance services to many clients. Recurring monthly amounts. I do not have time to manually bill these folks. Some are set up through PayPal which is a PITA, but those through Freshbooks was a breeze. I expected the same from Harvest – because you guys do just about everything else they do BETTER than they do.

    Now, I have to do what one commenter above did – set up the recurring billing completely separate, and create recurring invoices set to “draft” and manually mark them as paid when the recurring billing (outside of Harvest) goes through. It just completely negates the convenience of recurring billing. Furthermore, since it’s taking place outside of Harvest, there’s no record with the invoice of the transaction number at Stripe. In Freshbooks, when the payment is made, the transaction ID and confirmation is stored right in the payment detail.

    I truly hope that your team will consider the voices of what appears to be many who want this. The Freshbooks versus Harvest topic comes up all the time in the online communities that I’m in, and I know that the lack of auto billing would be a dealbreaker for many others like me in choosing which to use.

    Lastly: the BIG reason I left Freshbooks – they seem to have just gotten complacent in where they are, and were not showing any evidence they were going to keep improving, or adding new features, or hearing their customers’ requests. Please keep improving! You’re great now — keep wowing us :)

  • Plus one for recurring billing. This and recurring billing profiles.

  • Is there any place to see an official roadmap of features being worked on? Not to be a jerk, but Harvest automatically bills me every month without action on my part. I’d like to have that same level of friction-free payments with my own clients.

    • Calina Madden on July 22, 2016

      Hi, Andrew! We don’t have a public-facing roadmap, because our plans can change and we don’t want to set expectations that we can’t meet. At the moment, recurring billing isn’t in the near-future for us, but we do use feedback to inform our work. Thanks for letting us know this is something you’re looking for!

  • Calina,

    I’ve been following this blog post since March. I’m consistently getting new followup emails when harvest customers (20+ just on on here alone) are expressing their voice and it’s confirming that Recurring Billing SHOULD BE in the NEAR-FUTURE. Quite disappointing that you just keep saying the same thing over and over.

    As I mentioned above earlier in the year it would be great to have a page on harvest where the customers can upvote features/suggestions so you can gauge what is in demand and what isn’t so you can actually get the data of what should be in the roadmap – how else would you know what your customers want. I’m sure one of your techs can easily make this simple voting page. Whats the hold up? This is harvest’s most commented blog post. Don’t you see the pattern and frustration the customers are clearly expressing here?

    • Calina Madden on August 17, 2016

      I’m sorry for the delay in replying to you, Arash!

      To get back to you about a feature request system, we actually used to have a forum. There were several reasons that didn’t work out in the end, unfortunately. If you’re interested, you can see more about that here: https://www.getharvest.com/blog/2011/11/changes-to-the-harvest-forum-and-how-to-make-feature-requests/.

      I can understand your frustration on this, and I’m sorry you feel disappointed that recurring billing isn’t a feature we’re actively building. There are so many variables—including these blog comments—that come into play when we decide what to prioritize. At the moment, recurring payments isn’t something we’ve actively prioritized, but that’s not to say we’ll never do it. However, I don’t want to make a promise on something I can’t guarantee.

      Thank you for letting us know this is something you’d like, though! It’s on our minds, and though we’re not working on it, we’ll continue to consider it a potential for the future.

      • Calina Madden on August 17, 2016

        On a side note, the blog post I linked to mentioned that our request forum is still online, but it’s since been taken down. We still, however, encourage feature requests via email, since we find email to be best for the kind of conversation we really enjoy having to understand those requests!

  • Just a quick note that I was asked to take a survey about Harvest upon logging in to my dashboard. One of the questions was along the lines of “What feature would you like to see added to Harvest?”. I posted a link to this thread and asked that they please read through the comments. If anyone else here gets asked to do the survey please do the same.

    Hopefully someone with some actual decision making power will see these comments because voices are clearly not being heard through the current channels.

  • Also, one more quick note to say that when I pay my monthly bill to Harvest, it happens automatically without me manually having to push a button to authorize a charge. Would love to bring that same level of frictionless payments to my own clients.

    It’s baffling to me that a company can ignore the utility of a pattern that they use for their very own billing practice.

    • Calina Madden on August 17, 2016

      Thanks for chiming in on this, Andrew. I just wanted to let you know that we got your comments on our survey, and we’re listening—not just through these blog comments, but via many other channels as well, like those surveys, direct emails, and research. It’s always tough for us to tell someone we’re not working on the thing they’ve requested, but we don’t want to promise something if we’re not absolutely sure of its release. Recurring billing isn’t currently in our near-term plans, but as I’ve mentioned, it’s not something we’ve ruled out forever!

  • Love the new feature, always been a happy customer with Harvest.

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