If you own a beauty salon, regardless of your specialty, you’re likely to spend most of your time on your feet and with clients. When it comes to making appointments and taking payments, you need systems that are easy-to-use (for both you and your clients), reliable, and inexpensive.
As we move to an increasingly cashless society, customers are looking for speed and convenience when they pay – in addition to accepting a wide range of credit cards, they want their service providers to allow them to make contactless payments via both phone and smartwatch.
The payments landscape has changed significantly over the past few years – small business owners now have more choice when it comes to accepting client payments. However, while having lots of options is undoubtedly a good thing, it can be overwhelming to research and compare different payment tools and platforms to select the best one for your salon.
Read on for some pointers on what you should look for – and look out for – when choosing a new payments system for your beauty salon.
1. Is it portable?
Providers that offer portable payments hardware give you the flexibility of processing payments wherever you are. Whether you’re in your salon or making sales at a pop-up event away from your usual place of business, a portable reader will allow you to accept payments anytime, anywhere. With a cordless solution, you can even take payment while your client is still in the chair waiting for their nails or hair to dry.
2. Does it allow you to take over-the-phone payments?
Even if your clients are usually present at the point of sale, there will be times you need to take payments over the phone using a virtual terminal. A quality payments system will allow you to manually process credit and debit card payments using your client’s card number, expiry date and CVV – perfect for those times when your client isn’t in front of you.
3. Does it integrate with other parts of your business?
Running your salon is much easier when the different moving parts of your business talk to each other. Leading payment systems such as Square provide the other tools you use each day – like your scheduling, accounting, point of sale and inventory software – to save you time and streamline your operations.
4. Does it work with your space?
When you’re in the business of aesthetics, it’s fair to assume that you want your payment system tools to look good. The evolution of the payments industry means you no longer need to choose between something clunky but reliable, or a solution that’s sleek but less effective. Today’s providers offer attractive and unobtrusive readers for contactless and chip payments that complement your workspace and point of sale experience.
5. How much does it cost?
Comparing costs between providers can be tricky. Depending on your provider and the way you choose to set up your payments system, you may need to purchase hardware and/or pay a monthly subscription fee to use the service. You’ll also generally pay a percentage of the value of each transaction you process to your provider – with Square rates start at 1.6% per card present payment.
As always, it’s worth reading the fine print to check there are no hidden one-off or ongoing fees.
6. How quickly will you get your money?
There can be quite a bit of variability when it comes to deposit times from different payment system providers. If you’re transferring funds from PayPal, one of the original online payment systems, it usually takes between three and five business days for the money to arrive in your account. Cloud-based solutions like Square offer faster payments – between one and two business days – so you have your money faster.
7. Does it offer a wide range of payment options?
It goes without saying that offering your clients a choice of payment options is a sensible approach for salon owners. You should look for a payments system that accepts eftpos, Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards with either a chip or contactless, as well as emerging payment methods such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
9. Is it secure?
Security is critical when you’re dealing with clients’ payment information. Check that your provider offers multiple layers of encryption, real-time transaction monitoring, and has a comprehensive process in place for any payment disputes that arise.
10. Can you access real-time reporting?
A solid payments system will allow you to keep an eye on your cash flow in real-time as payments are made. This lets you compare your weekly, monthly and quarterly income quickly and easily at any time, so you’ll always know how you’re tracking. The best payments systems allow you to sign into a Dashboard from anywhere to view your performance and support informed decision making wherever you are in the world.
11. Is there comprehensive customer support?
If something goes wrong or you need technical support, being able to speak to a human means you’re more likely to be able to resolve your issue quickly. In addition to having a solid help section and FAQs on their website, look for a provider who offers phone support during your work hours.
Whether your beauty business is a hair salon, nail or lash bar, or a day spa that specialises in waxing, tanning and cosmetic treatments, finding a payments system that’s just right for you will revolutionise the way you operate.
Square’s flexible payment solutions make it easy for beauty salon owners to accept client payments quickly, easily and securely – and receive funds into their bank account as soon as the next business day. There are no ongoing fees or hidden charges - you only pay a small percentage of the transaction value each time you make a sale.
With Square, you can sign up and start taking payments within minutes – no credit checks or bank visits required. Visit the Square website or call 1800 870 189 to get started.