Best Credit Card Processing for Salons

In a fast-paced salon, it is important to have the ability to process customer payments quickly and efficiently. Whether you own a beauty salon, nail salon, or day spa, choosing a credit card processor that meets your business needs while also adding valuable services is important.

Having a good understanding of payment processing features and fee structures will help you choose a processor that fits your business.

Our Top Picks for Credit Card Processing for Salons:

Easy Pay Direct
Offers super sleek Clover systems that are customizable to your business while also boasting full EMV compliance.
Domestic accounts have zero early termination fees.
Variable contract terms.
High risk tolerance.
Single point of contact for multiple merchant accounts.
Public pricing is available.

summary

5/5

Best for

E-commerce companies, SaaS companies, "high-risk businesses", & established small/medium businesses ($500,000+ in annual sales)

Specializes in

Easy Pay Direct has unique gateway software and banking solutions to optimize payments for eCommerce, SaaS, information products, supplements, and CBD amongst other verticals.

Pricing Summary

Setup Fee:  $99

Monthly Fee: $24.95

Swipe Rate: 1.59% + $0.17

Keyed-in Rate:  2.39% + $0.29

Early Termination Fee: $0 (domestic accounts)

Contract Terms:

1 Year 3 Years
Bank Associates Merchant Services - BAMS
Allows salons to integrate with existing customer management systems while providing powerful transaction analytics.
Takes a personal approach to each merchant account.
Primarily works with low-risk businesses.
They have a value-added service to help small businesses secure growth loans.
They accept all major payment types.
Quick setup for their integrated software.

summary

5/5

Best for

Merchants in various industries, including e-commerce, restaurants and many types of retailers in need of payment processing services for multiple payment types.

Specializes in

Bank Associates Merchant Services specializes in Level 2 and Level 3 payment processing solutions through its own proprietary software. This company also offers chargeback defense and dispute assistance to help merchants keep their chargebacks as low as possible.

Pricing Summary

Setup Fee: N/A

Monthly Fee: N/A

Swipe Rate: Unknown

Keyed-in Rate: Unknown

Early Termination Fee: $595

Contract Terms:

Unknown
Helcim
Gives salons a powerful Customer Relationship Manager as well as attractive customer portals and online stores.
No setup fee.
No early termination fee.
Works with small businesses.
Month to month contract.
Works with merchants in the United States and Canada.

summary

4.8/5

Best for

Small businesses

Specializes in

Online, retail, service industries

Pricing Summary

Setup Fee: $0

Monthly Fee: $20

Swipe Rate: Variable

Keyed-in Rate: Variable

Early Termination Fee: $0

Contract Terms:

Month-to-month

What is Credit Card Processing for Salons?

In today’s business world, it is hard to exist as a cash-only salon. Clients want the flexibility to be able to use multiple forms of payment. According to recent data, credit cards are the most popular form of payment.

You do not want to lose customers because they are unable to use their preferred payment method.

Working with a payment processor can give your business the ability to accept:

  • All major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover
  • Mobile and contactless payments
  • ACH payments and eChecks
  • Mobile wallet payments like Google Pay and Apple Pay
  • Gift cards and loyalty programs

Credit card payment processors can provide both the hardware and digital tools needed to accept credit cards for your business.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Payment Processor

With many payment processors to choose from, how can you know which is the best fit? It is a good idea before beginning your search to review your sales history and identify what features you would like to have.

You may discover additional or alternative features during your search but this will give you a starting reference point for what you’re looking to achieve.

Essential Hardware

If this is your first time working with a payment processor, you will want to familiarize yourself with all of the hardware options available to you as a business.

Each processor may offer different brands of hardware with different capabilities but there are some general categories of hardware you will want to consider.

Point of Sale Hardware

This is the machine that was traditionally known as a cash register.

Now, this can take many forms:

  • Countertop POS: This is a freestanding device that sits stationary on a desk or countertop and has a digital interface.
  • POS Apps: These are applications that can be installed on any device that is connected to the Internet. This can give your tablet or computer the ability to accept credit cards.
  • Mobile POS: These are small, handheld devices that allow cards to be swiped or dipped on the move. They still need an Internet connection to function.

At a minimum, you will need this component, however, you can add additional pieces of hardware to complement your system.

Additional Hardware

Most customers want the option of a digital receipt. While you can offer digital receipts via email or text, you may also want to consider adding a receipt printer to your system.

Most processors offer thermal printers which need little maintenance.

Another piece of hardware to consider is a barcode scanner. This may be especially helpful if your salon sells many types of products.

Item price and inventory information can be entered into the system saving your employees time. You can also create barcodes for coupons or services to facilitate entering those as well.

Rates and Fees

Of course, this is often the first question business owners have when they are seeking a payment processor. In the world of payment processing, there are many types of fees so it is good to be familiar with the main ones you might encounter.

First off, it is important to recognize there are what are known as Interchange and Assessment Fees. These fees are set by the card networks and payment processors have no control over them.

These fees are collected by the payment processor but get passed on to the bank and card network associated with the card.

Beyond interchange and assessment fees, some important fees to compare between processors are:

  • Transaction fees: These can be structured in multiple models depending on the payment processor: flat-rate, tiered, subscription. It is common for a percentage to be applied to the total sale along with a small flat fee.
  • Chargeback fees: This is the amount charged if a customer disputes a charge and it gets reversed. These can be costly and multiple chargebacks can jeopardize your processing account.
  • Termination fees: Before establishing an account with a credit card processor, be sure to understand the commitment and any fees associated with terminating the agreement.

As mentioned, it might be a good idea to review some of your recent sales histories to see what the cost of processing might look like under various billing models.

Some payment processors can review this for you and advise you which solution would fit your business the best.

Regardless of the payment processor, they should be able to provide a transparent breakdown of the rates and fees you can expect. Carefully review any contracts and ask questions if something is unclear to you.

Value-Added Services

Beyond being able to accept certain forms of payment, working with a payment processor allows your company to harness technology. This improves the function of your business while also adding features that give your customers a better value.

Customer Management

Certain payment processors offer a digital platform to manage your client base. Through here, you can enter customer information like names, emails, phone numbers, and birthdays.

You can utilize this type of software to help with scheduling as well, even giving clients access to book services themselves.

You can enter details about services or preferences your client has that future employees can reference so that you are continuously improving their experience.

By collecting this information, you can use it for other things such as sending promotional emails or mailing postcards to customers.

Oftentimes, these customer management capabilities are included in the cost of processing so choosing a processor that offers them gives your business an advantage.

Powerful Data Analytics

Beyond managing customer data, you can use digital tools in order to analyze transaction data. Most payment processors offer systems that can run reports that allow you to review your sales history and trends.

Having access to this analysis can allow you to make future decisions for your business. For instance, you can see what days and times are most popular.

You can look at average sales amounts, and identify what products and services are most popular.

You can run reports by employees to analyze trends in customer preferences for a particular person.

Using this information, you can decide to modify your business operations and scheduling.

Some systems even allow you to track product inventory and can alert you when it is time to place a reorder.

Things that were once tedious to analyze manually are visualized using the power of computing.

Gift Card and Loyalty Programs

Having the ability to provide gift cards and a loyalty program will help to generate more revenue for your business.

Issuing gift certificates and loyalty cards that can be tracked digitally are quicker for employees to issue and more convenient for customers.

Gift certificates can be a significant source of revenue around holidays.

Customers may choose your salon over others if you offer a loyalty program that provides incentives for being a repeat customer. By tracking loyalty programs within a digital system, customers do not need to worry about bringing their loyalty card or having to start over if they misplace it.

Additional Tips for Choosing a Payment Processor

Beyond some of the common considerations discussed above, there are other important aspects of a payment processor to consider. Two that are critical are customer service and reputation.

Customer Service

Any time you are introducing new technology into your business, there will be an adjustment period for staff to become familiar with the new system.

Ask your processor how long it will take to implement your system and how much time is needed to train employees.

Some processors offer training and resources to help the transition go smoothly.

After initial setup, some issues may emerge or the system may not be functioning as expected. Know ahead of time what type of customer service your processor offers.

Some offer live support 24/7 while others are only available during normal business hours.

As a business owner, you will need to decide what level of service you are comfortable with.

Also, be sure the processor offers multiple avenues to get in touch with them. Some common methods are phone, email, chat, or a support request form on a website.

Choosing a processor that will be able to support your business when something goes wrong will give you peace of mind knowing that you will be able to fix the issue as quickly as possible.

Reputation

Credit card processing is a critical function of your business, so you want to partner with a company you will be able to rely on.

Choose a processor with a strong track record and an established presence.

A simple internet search may reveal reviews left by other business owners. This can provide helpful insights into how that processor functions and what kind of reputation they have.

You may also want to visit the Better Business Bureau’s website to see if that processor has a history of complaints against them. BBB profiles may also indicate how long the company has been in business.

After going through the process of setting up your merchant account, it would be disheartening to have to start over if your processor goes out of business.

Establishing a relationship with a well-established and reputable payment processor will save you from avoidable headaches.

Final Thoughts

Adding credit card processing to your salon is a great way to offer your customers flexibility in payment options while adding valuable features to your business.

Before starting your search, consider your business’s unique needs and transaction patterns.

Choose hardware that allows you the capabilities you will need as well as the software that lets you manage your business the best.

Consider rates and fees and carefully read any agreement to understand what your charges will be for processing.

To add value to your processing costs, you may want to choose a processor that offers additional digital features like customer management and data analytics.

This will give you valuable insights to inform future business decisions.

Choosing a processor that gives you the ability to issue gift cards and manage loyalty programs is another way to increase revenue.

Finally, you will want to choose a processor that offers excellent customer service and has a stellar reputation. If something goes wrong within your system, you will not want to wait very long for it to be resolved.

A credit card processor should be easily reached and offer live support during the hours you may need it.

The internet is a great place to find reviews for processing companies to see what type of reputation they have. You may also want to speak with other local business owners to see what their experiences have been.

The process of choosing a credit card processor for your salon can seem overwhelming at first but by being knowledgeable about what to look for, you can feel confident that you will choose one that will become a long-term, trusted partner.

Be sure to check out our top picks for Best Credit Card Processors for Salons:

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