Using several different payment methods in a salon is a great way to ensure that your business appeals to a variety of clients.
So, what are the types of payment methods used for salon services?
Traditionally, cash, debit and credit cards are the most commonly accepted salon payment methods, but sticking to just these three can really limit your transactions. Although many clients still want to use these things when making a payment, it’s important to consider other options that are available.
As hair salon owners and staff learn to adapt in an ever-changing marketplace, accepting new payment options benefits everyone and makes your life a lot easier.
Even in our modern age, payment processing still often means handling cash transactions. Business owners and staff know that this is both the simplest payment option and also the most prone to “human error”.
If you accept cash at your business location, then staying organized is key. Even small mistakes can cost you a lot, when they add up over time. It’s important to have an established routine in place and make sure that everyone follows it during payment and sales.
Make sure that you train your staff to:
Check that the money is valid with a special machine or pen (especially for larger bills)
Repeat the amount received back to the customer
Open the till drawer
Calculate the change (encourage them to use a calculator or a function on the register)
Count the change while handing it over to the customer
Put the money in the till drawer and close it
Give the client the receipt
Record the payment in your system/log
Don’t forget to thank them and confirm a follow-up appointment
Remember, if your payment options include cash transactions, you’ll need to deposit the money in the bank at the end of the day.
You should also plan to keep a “float” of about $100 in bills and coins ready in the till. Keep count of that separately when you “square up” your till at closing time.
Whether it’s credit cards or a debit card, these have become the most common payment options for everything from groceries to haircuts. Business owners who don’t invest in payment processing for cards or accept debit card payments regularly miss out.
That said, many credit card companies charge business fees for processing visa mastercard or other credit card transactions. Make sure to do your research and choose a payment processing company that works for your business.
That said, processing these payments is easy. There are several options for business owners to choose from:
These systems usually require a broadband internet connection and power outlet. Make sure that your business is equipped, ahead of time. They’re autonomous and print receipts for each transaction, so you’ll need to order receipt rolls.
These are chargeable and don’t need to stay plugged into a wall, unlike the older, heavy square machines. They do require their own sim card, but are a very popular option for transactions in general.
This kind of reader is a cheap and simple way for a business to take debit card or credit payments, since they only need a mobile device. Be aware that they can’t print receipts, so you may still have to pay for a printer or another merchant system for this.
This is one of the most convenient options out of all the types of payment for hair services. This is an integrated payment system with functions from booking to inventory management. It also has customer support, when you need it.
Processed credit and debit payments are automatically entered into the system, keeping your business and clients’ data secure.
With software payment options, clients can pay by SMS or QR code. These systems are becoming increasingly popular with salon owners because they work as an e-commerce sales.
Processing a card payment is probably the easiest way for most clients to pay. Just enter the amount in the device, read the card, ask the client to enter their PIN number if needed, and print the receipt.
Increasingly, companies like visa mastercard or larger banks use chip or contactless cards. If it’s a stripe card, you’ll have to ask the customer to sign the copy of the receipt and compare it to the signature on the card. Then, put your copy in the till drawer.
This is an older payment method that some business owners still accept. Keep in mind that some merchant services or banks may charge a small fee for depositing cheques, although many banks do allow businesses to do this for free.
If customers are paying by cheque, it’s important to train your service staff to properly accept and verify these. Younger employees might not be familiar with many of these details and could need some training or support at first.
Make sure to:
Check the date on the check
Check the cheque is made payable to the hair salon’s business name
The client needs to sign the cheque in front of you. Afterwards, compare their signature to that on their ID card.
Verify the bank sort code number
Make sure that the words and the figures in the square match
Check that the guarantee card is valid and wasn’t tampered with
Write your card number, initials and the date on the backside of the cheque
Put the cheque in the till drawer
Record the payment in your salons system/log
These processing systems are on the rise because of their popularity with customers. They provide a convenience factor and allow for quick, secure payments.
If you want to stay on top of the game, consider creating an account for your business to accept payments.
Depending on the app (venmo, paypal, payoneer, cashapp, etc.), processing instructions will vary slightly. Usually, you have a code for a transfer, the client puts the amount on their app and enters your code. Then, the money is transferred to your business account via the system.
These will usually cost a small amount in service fees but also offer customer support for a merchant using their systems. Make sure to check the app’s website and read the “fine print” and costs before creating an account and using their services.
In the beauty industry, gift cards are an ideal solution to boost your holiday or birthday-related sales. They’re also a great way to encourage or reward loyal clients.
If your company wants to offer clients gift cards, you’ll need to include them in your salons payment processing systems. There are a couple of ways to do this:
These are often the most simple and the cheapest solution. Purchased by a client online, a person can present a numerical or QR code in person to pay for their hair services.
These are a great option for a company loyalty program. Customers receive a printed (or digital) card with a barcode you can scan to access the client’s account. The data is stored and the amount is updated after each transaction.
These are physical gift cards, swiped through your card reading terminal just like a credit card for easy payment processing. The service amount is then deducted from the client’s account.
Physical cards make great gifts and “stocking stuffers” around the holidays and are often able to be reloaded.
Usually, these are not connected to an account, but work a lot like a coupon. These could come in handy for payment processing during a sale or a monthly promotion event. The costs of gift certificates are minimal and don’t require a lot of technology or complex processing systems.
In the beauty industry, gift certificates are usually a square card with a one-time code to get a free service or a discount amount. Track them by keeping them in your register after a transaction and adjust the cost or fee for services in your sales books.
Before starting a company gift card program, make sure that your POS or salon’s management system supports this feature. If not, consider switching to a more modern one.
If your business has a loyalty program, congratulations! Let’s call this a big win for increasing rebookings and rewarding loyal customers. Along with multiple options for payment processing, loyalty points are one of the best solutions for increasing your monthly bookings.
If you don’t have a loyalty program in place, consider implementing one soon. It could make a big difference.
Essentially, clients can use the points they’ve accumulated making purchases to pay for services or other transactions. Use your salon point of sale or salon’s software system to keep track of how points are accumulated and used during each transaction.
When accepting bookings for specialized services or multiple hair appointments, you might want to get a credit card prepayment or a deposit to guarantee the transaction. Also, some clients may just prefer to pay their fees online using credit and debit cards when they make a booking.
On your business website, clients could just get transferred from the sale/ booking confirmation to the payment page to complete their payment using a credit card, debit, a digital wallet, bank transfer, etc. This is one of the best solutions for guaranteeing appointments ahead of time, too.
Some companies will charge business fees for this. As a merchant, make sure to do your homework and contact the company over the phone or via email if you have any questions about the fee.
Whenever you introduce new technology solutions for your business, you also have to deal with any problems that might occur. Life is full of the unexpected, but we’ll give you a heads’ up about some of the more common issues that you might encounter during a sale.
Be prepared to deal with:
This includes accepting foreign money (especially if you’re a business or merchant on the US/ Canada border), outdated or damaged currency, or anything that looks suspicious. You can ask for another bill or a different method of payment.
In the case of mistakes, all the client has to do is correct it and put their initials next to the correction.
This may be an honest mistake. Don’t get too stressed at first- just give customers the chance to “square up” as soon as possible.
First, call the client over the phone and ask for an alternative method of payment. Give them a deadline. If you have to call again afterward, inform them that you may be obligated to file it with the authorities. Consider emailing them an invoice with the details.
This can happen when someone enters the wrong PIN number, their account has insufficient funds, they’re traveling in a foreign country etc. Ask for a different method of payment. They may have to call their bank on their mobile phone, but it’s usually easy to resolve.
We live in an age of increasingly mobile and versatile technology. If you want your business to stay competitive, the best way to do this is to embrace the change.
The beauty industry is known for its creativity and commitment to clients. Although some companies will charge salons fees for mobile or credit card transactions, it’s often worth it because the benefits to your business- such as increased and repeat clients and profits, outweigh the fee.
By including a variety of payment methods in a salon, you open your doors to an even bigger variety of customers.
Requirements for network payment: The netcheque perspective
Payment card rewards programs and consumer payment choice
The future of the mobile payment as electronic payment system