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Online Invoicing – your customer’s perspective

Posted 8 years ago in Xero news by
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After the launch of our new online invoicing feature we’ve received a lot of great questions and so we’d like to show you in more detail exactly what your customer’s experience will be when you use this new feature. Below is a step-by-step walk thru of what happens. As always, you can use the free Demo Company to see this in action, without sending anything to your real customers.

We also want to share our thinking about this feature, so please read the full post.

Sending an invoice is still the same. In addition to the PDF there’s now an online invoice link that’s automatically part of the message…

Your customer receives an email as they always have, but now there’s a link to view the invoice online. Our next release is scheduled to include a feature giving you more control over these email templates…

The link takes your customer to a live invoice. If you want the Pay Now option to appear on the invoice you just need to include your PayPal email in the branding theme – otherwise, the Pay Now button won’t appear…

If the customer has outstanding bills, it will be highlighted in the top left of the online invoice.

If your customer wants to see the details of those outstanding bills they will need to create a free login…

The reason we require a login to view outstanding invoices is to give you an audit trail of exactly who has viewed those invoices and when they were viewed.

Once they login, the outstanding bills can be viewed securely online…


Our thinking behind online invoices

Thanks for all the feedback everyone. This is a new and different way of invoicing and it’s just the first step as we enhance and refine the feature based on your feedback.

Keep in mind, the primary objective is to get your invoices paid quicker and easier. This is just the first step of using Xero to build an online relationship with your customers. Ultimately, we see this as a way to eliminate the rekeying and double/triple handling of invoice data around the world. For instance, with online invoices your customers can now download a CSV of the invoice data to import into their accounting software.

Connecting with customers

Online invoices is about making a better connection with customers. There are, in fact, advantages to your business if your customers are using Xero as well: your invoice data flows directly into their books without anybody needing to re-type anything, plus they get a hardcopy of the PDF automatically attached to their invoice record. This greatly streamlines the communication between you and your customers. Better communications is better for your cashflow.

We’re currently working on features that will enable you to build an online profile for your customers to connect with. Today was just the very start. We’ve already received tons of great feedback that you can now see when your customers have viewed your invoices.

In case you still have questions about Pay Now and Login, here are the answers you’re looking for:

Pay Now is optional

Pay Now is only available if you choose to make it available. However, if you don’t make it available, your customers can’t pay you with a tap of a button. So you should weigh up the value of getting paid immediately and easily VS. chasing down debtors. If you add up the cost of chasing debtors (time + expenses + opportunity cost) you might find that the small PayPal fee is worth it.

If you want to use the Pay Now option, PayPal is currently the only payment gateway available, but we’re working on adding more payment gateways for you to choose from. Let us know which ones you want (ie, Stripe, eWay,, WorldPay).

A login is optional

Your customers do not need a login to see your online invoice. If you decide you want to use the Pay Now feature your customers won’t need a login either.

They only need a login to save the invoice or see outstanding invoices. The reason we require a login to see outstanding invoices is to give you an audit trail of exactly who has viewed those invoices and when they were viewed.

More formatting options are coming

Our next release is scheduled to include a feature giving you more control over email templates – your messages to customers – how they look and what they say.

More feedback please

Your feedback is extremely useful, and greatly appreciated, so please keep it coming. We know this feature isn’t perfect, yet. We encourage you to join the discussion over in the Xero Community.



May 10, 2013 at 8.00 am

Please add Stripe payments. They’re the best processor and have the easiest integration path.

As soon as you have that, we can cancel Freshbooks. 🙂

James Grimsey
May 31, 2013 at 9.21 am

Catastrophic that paying through Paypal means you can’t mark the invoice as paid, or did I just get that wrong, this doesn’t seem like it can be rocket science, wasn’t this available before?

Luke Rooney
June 3, 2013 at 3.35 pm

the co-branding on the invoicing should be optional… i’ve had a couple of customers say to me ” I don’t want to JOIN xero just to pay the invoice” …or they have to ‘investigate’ if they are in the right webpage to pay the bill & are confused when MY branding is nowhere to be found…hmm

Anthony Nelson
July 11, 2013 at 11.14 am

Hi, can I ask where worldpay API is in the work stack for Zero?

Charlie Ramirez
September 3, 2013 at 4.38 am

Hi. I was wondering if you were contemplating integration with


December 29, 2013 at 12.35 pm

Actually the so called reason that a trustworthy brand/domain has to be used is exactly why xero should not interfere

My customer trust my domain and my logo, so if the real goal was trust and getting paid more quickly then we would be able to use our logo instead of xero and be able to mask the xero URL into our own via DNS or a cool trick.

Anyway I love xero, just started with it, but was reading and surprised that the explanation was that they wanted to create trust with our customers by presenting them a logo and website they may never have heard about, and what’re not expecting to see when reading an email from me

December 29, 2013 at 12.37 pm

Oh…… I would love integration with multisafepay and (no payments). Basecamp

We use the WHMCS plugin so we are covered for now

February 3, 2014 at 7.51 am

Why are we not able to use this function for statements sent out, I.e. If a customer wants to settle 3 invoices at once and doesn’t want to click on each invoice to enter payment details each time. Imagine the inconvenience of 5+ invoices?

Andrew Tokeley in reply to Martin
February 3, 2014 at 9.46 am

@Martin – when your customers receive an online invoice they can select to see all outstanding invoices (link at the top left of the invoice) and pay them all in one go. While you can’t send an online statement directly from Xero you could resend any one of the outstanding invoices, include the online invoice link, and write something into the body of the email to let them know how to view and pay all invoices in one go – you could even set this up as a standard “slow payers” email template 🙂

February 18, 2014 at 4.29 am

Hey shouldn’t the invoice be marked as “paid” after a customer pays throughout he invoice? Im using paypal and after three invoices I have yet to see a “paid” update. Otherwise great feature! Love Xero!

May 3, 2014 at 2.59 am

our company has just switched to xero and we are having some problems with emailing invoices to our customers. When we email directly out of xero the email will entails the name xero which let’s customers know that we are using this system. To avoid that we download the PDF and email it out of outlook which creates unnecessary steps. Is there anyway to avoid the issue?

Catherine in reply to Rebecca
May 3, 2014 at 8.38 am

@Will – yes this would be sensible and in fact that’s how Xero works with other payment services. Right now the PayPal integration is missing this and the ‘paid’ point is once you apply the funds received via your bank feed to the invoice.

@Rebecca – you can change the name that appears as the ‘From’ name on emails you send as well as the ‘Reply-to’ email address that a customer might respond back to. Here’s how to make these changes in our Help Center.

June 5, 2014 at 5.03 pm

This is a great feature, I am currently in the free trial mode before I decide on making the switch. Are there plans so that the invoice URL can be a custom domain? I am wondering why it doesn’t exist already. I would think you could do something like has done with custom domain usage. The less I have to display another website/brand during my customer interactions, the better.

September 4, 2014 at 1.30 pm

Once a customer receives their invoice, will the customer be about to pay a partial amount towards the invoice?

Rochelle Bishop
January 17, 2015 at 7.39 pm

Xero is very appealing and I would switch to Xero from QuickBooks today if my clients could pay straight from their checking accounts without using PayPal. PayPal sucks, it’s not user friendly at all.

QuickBooks charges me $.50 flat rate per transaction to let people pay either from a credit card or from their checking accounts. I’d be happy to pay that to Xero. The problem there for me with QuickBooks is that there is a limit to how much can be collected each month, I think in an attempt to get their customer to sign up for a merchant account which comes with the percentage fee on all credit card transactions. I exceed that limit at least a few times a year. It’s infuriating.

I will keep an eye on Xero to see if it becomes a better option for me in the future. I hope so!

Irene Seelig
June 5, 2015 at 2.58 pm

Hi Xero, this is a great service you offer! It would be great if it can be connected to stripe. This would help my business since I use Squarespace as my ecommerce and stripe as a way to accept payments. Since your business is already affiliated with Squarespace then I think it would be great if your service could speak back and further to Stripe as I am sure a lot of your customers are currently using Squarespace and Strip. I found out about your company through using Squarespace. Thanks again for your services and congrats on your 500,000 subscribers! Best, Irene

ciara McGarrity
October 29, 2015 at 3.33 am

Is it possible to see when a clinet has logged in to see invoice?

Also I can’t see any option for adding a part payment – if the invoice is paid in instalments ?

Many Thanks

Ph?n m?m
July 19, 2016 at 7.46 pm

Superb, what a website it is! This weblog gives useful data
to us, keep it up.

DocuSend Mail
January 19, 2018 at 9.23 pm

The online invoicing is quite an efficient way to make a better connection with customers. The blog has added to my knowledge.

Private Investigator in Mississauga
October 14, 2018 at 6.10 pm

I enjoyed going to your webiste. I leave comments rarely,
you definately up deserve a thumbs!

Evelyn wilson
January 29, 2020 at 11.41 pm

Online Invoicing is really effective for small businesses and you give such a nice blog about Online invoicing its good for new business startups From day 1 to still I used Moon invoice app, they have awesome features about invoice

July 24, 2020 at 5.10 pm

Thank you for sharing this Wonderful blog, It is very easy to learn. I have learned about best invoicing software for the business from your blog and from the

Beeny Atherton in reply to Abrar Xero
July 27, 2020 at 8.54 am

Hi – we’re so thrilled to hear that you enjoyed reading our blog post and found it helpful.

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