April 19, 2023

ServiceM8 vs Payaca: Which software should you use?

ServiceM8 laptop next to Payaca PC

If you’ve clicked on this blog, it’s likely you’re either considering signing up to Service M8 and want to make an informed decision before purchasing, or, you’ve tried Service M8 and you’re looking for something better.

Whatever your reasons, in this blog we’re going to cover what Service M8 offers, areas it doesn't cater to and how it stacks up against the alternative, Payaca.

Before we get into the detail here’s a high-level summary of what we will cover:

  • A look at Service M8’s limitations 
  • Why Payaca is such a popular alternative
  • A dive into some of Payaca’s best features

The main difference between the two comes down to what each CRM seeks to provide. 

Payaca offers a ready-to-go, optimised solution, that helps you manage your whole business. Service M8 is a piecemeal product, that predominantly caters to technicians rather than the whole business.

Service M8 limitations

As with any product or service, Service M8 has its limitations. Not all of these may be an issue for you, however, it’s important to understand what these limitations are in case the software lacks in a crucial area.

No Android app 

If you don't own an Apple phone or tablet then this might be a significant issue for you.

Service M8 focuses development on one app. This means it's limited to Apple devices and is unable to cater for android and IOS.

Service M8 believe that focussing on one app allows them to deliver a better product. From our experience, Payaca has always catered for both Apple and Android and still proudly deliver a quality product for both device types, with rave reviews from our customers.

Furthermore, many tradespeople do not own Apple products and even if you do, it’s likely that someone in the team favours Android.

This is a real issue, especially when attempting to take payments in the field. Any Android field users will be unable to use Service M8’s payment functions.

A misleading offer

To combat the lack of an android app, ServiceM8 are currently running an upgrade to iPhone offer, where they’ll help pay for up to 5 members of a business to switch to iPhone. 

However, the deal is not directly paid for by Service M8. 

Instead, they provide the value of the new phone in credit to your account, meaning to claim your savings you will have to stay with Service M8, paying 50% of your subscription every month. Essentially you’re trapped in a contract.

With Payaca on the other hand, you have total freedom.

Hidden costs

A significant drawback with Service M8 is the number of hidden costs within the software.

Although Service M8 is able to offer a wide range of features and capabilities, many of these are not built into the software and instead, you have to pay extra to add integrations.  

Also, their pricing is structured according to the number of new jobs created per month rather than on a per-user basis, which means using their software can quickly get expensive, especially if you use it often.

Furthermore, Service M8 does not offer a yearly subscription, meaning there are no associated discounts.

Limited Customer Support

Although there are training and support resources available, if you want direct support or to speak to an operative over the phone, you may struggle to find someone.

Service M8’s approach is to provide its customers with the resources customers need and leave them to self-teach. If you want additional training you will need to pay for it.

Most of the time, this approach is fine, however, if you come across a significant issue you cannot solve yourself, then things becomes more difficult. Without easily being able to access a support team it can be challenging to get problems resolved without paying.

What's more, for UK-based customers, reaching an operative over the phone can be a challenge as ServiceM8 is based in Australia and they work according to that timezone.

Why choose Payaca?

Many of the weaknesses inherent in Service M8 are addressed by Payaca. 

As a dynamic young company, Payaca has entered the job management market with the aim of resolving these issues, providing a quality alternative that trade businesses can turn to.

Let's get into some examples.

Everything you need to run your business 

One of the biggest strengths of Service M8’s CRM is also its greatest weakness. With its partnered integrations, Service M8 is able to cater to almost any requirement. 

However, the problem with this is that these integrations take time, money and energy to set up. 

Rather than having everything you need ready to go, you need to find a bolt-on that fits. And, if there are multiple features you require, getting everything you need can start to add up pretty quickly.

This is where Payaca is a cut above. 

Payaca is designed to be an all-in-one solution that is ready to go, “out of the box”. 

Where Service M8 focuses on the technicians, Payaca is designed to help you manage every aspect of your business, from lead generation, through to customer management and taking payments.

With Payaca everything you need is there and has been optimised to work seamlessly with all other features. Everything has been carefully designed to the highest standards.

Furthermore, if there is something missing, Payaca is always improving, with the team producing and releasing new features all the time. So if there is something that needs to be added, those features really will get built.

Professional quality

Whether we like it or not, how you look and how you present yourself are important. 

You will know this from running your business; everything from the quotes you send, to the website you use, it all paints a picture of who you are. This is something Payaca understands.

With Payaca you gain access to software that is designed to look professional and make you stand out. From the app that your field agents use, through to customisable lead capture pages, everything is designed to look good and work efficiently.

In particular, Payaca’s quotes are market-leading. Quoting with service M8 will produce quotes that look like this…

With Payaca, you’re quotes will look like this…

On average quotes sent with Payaca have a much higher conversion rate and are always impressing customers. If you don’t believe us, just read some of the reviews.

Just having that level of quality and professionalism sets you apart and allows you to win business you might not otherwise have won.

Always improving

As a company, Payaca doesn’t rest on its laurels but is constantly iterating and improving, adding new features all the time.

Many of Payaca’s latest features such as the ability to send multiple invoices and the release of service plans were introduced off the back of feedback from customers using the software.

Where the company is going and the changes it makes are all heavily influenced by its customers. So by signing up to Payaca, you're also signing up to the promise of continued improvement, something you won’t get from Service M8.

Additionally, as a small business, Payaca is able to move quickly, bringing out new iterations and updates in a short space of time.

What’s not to like?

Feature highlights

As we’ve explained, Service M8 offers many of the standard features you’d expect from quoting software, however, it isn’t pioneering the new features that Payaca is.

In fact, Service M8 is already attempting to adopt one of the features Payaca created; the pipeline view - an intuitive new way to view and manage your workflow. This just goes to show how Payaca is leading the way in the industry.

Here are some more details. 

The Pipeline

The pipeline view is an interface where you can view ongoing projects, broken down into distinct stages, allowing you to manage each step. 

For example, an initial stage might include booking a new customer, this could progress to sending a proposal, having the proposal accepted, delivering the service and then receiving payment.

Each of these steps can be broken down into pipeline stages that you can interact with. 

For example, you can open a stage and add or remove information, or you can drag the stage across to the next step in the pipeline.

Although ServiceM8 is attempting to copy this feature, it’s been in the works for months, without any progress. It just goes to show how Payaca is leading and improving so much faster.

Market-leading quoting and invoicing 

A solution like ServiceM8 offers perfectly adequate quotes, you can include all the right information and send them out to customers.

The thing is, if you’re paying good money for quoting software, you don’t want something that just does the minimum, you want to stand out. 

Payaca’s quotes are different. 

As well as looking good, they also make you more money. Within a Payaca proposal, you can create multiple-choice options or add optional extras.

This means that the customer is able to choose which products or services to go for and they are able to upgrade to premium options within the quote.

This is a powerful feature as it allows you to make more from every quote and increase customer satisfaction.

Service Plans

Payaca’s latest release is yet another example of how they are moving the industry forward.

Service Plans introduces a feature you won’t find anywhere else, not with ServiceM8 or any provider.

What Service Plans allow is for trades businesses to create and manage recurring revenue services and subscriptions.

For example, if you wanted to sign up customers to regular boiler checks, you could put them on a service plan and charge them a monthly or yearly fee.

All the customer data is stored and handled in the Payaca account and synced with the calendar.

It’s a powerful feature and an example of how Payaca offers more than its competitors.

If you want a more detailed explanation of how service plans work, you can find out more in our blog on repeat revenue and service plans


Service M8 and Payaca both offer an automation feature. Both are able to send out custom communications over text or via email and both are able to use triggers to send messages.

On the surface it might seem that both offer the same thing, however, there is a big difference in the flexibility and scope of what each can do.

Where Service M8 offers a fixed feature that can be switched on or off, Payaca allows you to fully customise your automations to achieve tailored results.

With Payaca you can create unique triggers, conditions and actions. 

For example, your trigger might be that a quote, once created, will cause an email notification to be sent. And you could include the condition that any customers with the name ‘John Smith’ are excluded. 

You can change these parameters as much as you like. 

You can automate deals, invoices or events and you could change the trigger to an expiry date of your choice.

Essentially you can build out the automation so it fits your specific need.

Compare this to Service M8 who use a one size fits all approach, with no customisation. Automations are either on or off, and you have very little ability to adjust them.

A good example of how this can be an issue can be seen when attempting to use automated payment reminders.

The way their automations are set up, payment reminders are sent out from when the job is marked as complete, not when the invoice is sent, with no ability for you to change this trigger. 

This means you have to rapidly send out your invoice once the job is marked as complete, or risk sending a payment reminder before the invoice.

If this is not a setup that suits you, you are unable to change it.

In comparison, Payaca's powerful automation feature allows you to set up unique automations tailored to your needs and your business processes.

Which is better, Payaca or Service M8?

When comparing both CRMs, there’s a lot to consider, with both offering a broad range of features.

It’s difficult to say that one is better than the other as such an opinion depends on what you are using the software for. 

As we mentioned at the beginning of the blog, Service M8 is able to accommodate a large number of features and capabilities due to its add-on, however, what you gain in the breadth of features you lose in optimisation.

Payaca holds itself to high standards and has designed its features to be the best they can be. With Payaca you are investing in a quality solution that is always improving. 

So if the feature you need can’t be achieved with Payaca, then Service M8 might be the option for you (although check with the Payaca team, as they might be bringing out just what you’re looking for around the corner). 

But if you’re weighing up the two and you’re comparing like for like features, then give Payaca a go and see why Payaca customers are raving about the software.

Payaca offers a 7-day free trial with no strings attached. Try out the software, experiment with the features and find out if it’s for you.

Start your free trial here.