How to Use Contactless Payments in Your Small Business

mobile payments

Since the beginning of COVID-19, many business owners have pivoted their business models to serve their clients online. 

But for those of you still taking in-person appointments, there’s a lot to think about. There are new spacing requirements. There are enhanced sanitization efforts. There are detailed compliance standards to follow.

One area you don’t have to worry about?

Payment collection. 

With Acuity’s built-in , you can have clients pay for your service without any contact at all. Below, we’ve outlined a few ways you can take advantage of your free trial of Acuity. Our seamless contactless payments will go a long way toward keeping your customers—and your bank account—happy.

Collect contactless payment upfront.

For services like yoga classes, coaching, or tutoring sessions, you can easily collect payment ahead of time using . 

This may help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 at your office or studio, but it can also boost your bottom line. When customers have to pay ahead of time, the number of no-shows goes way down because they’ve already invested in keeping the appointment. Plus, having money in your bank account isn’t just a nice security blanket. It gives you the financial flexibility to offer discounts, package pricing, or items to upsell—which you can also collect payment for beforehand.  

With upfront payments, you’ll get greater visibility into your schedule, allowing you to better plan ahead. You can see class capacity ahead of time. You can forecast billing for the month. And you can see when it might be time to ramp up your marketing efforts

Beyond all these business benefits, collecting payments upfront provides a smoother experience for your customers. When they can pay ahead of time on your website, there’s less anxiety about when to pay, where to pay, or how much to tip—as long as your payment options are visible on your website and your refund policy is clear. 

Handle contactless payment onsite.

Handling payments before your customers even walk through the door is convenient, but it isn’t an option for all small business owners. Maybe you’re a salon owner and you don’t like charging your clients until after their haircut (especially if they asked for a fauxhawk and you misheard that as mohawk). Or maybe you’re a photographer and you don’t charge your clients until they can see just how good you made them look. 

Lucky for you, with Acuity’s payment processing integrations, you can manage your payments online—and onsite. 

So, how do you prepare for onsite payments in a pandemic world?

First, you probably want to decide just how hands-off you’re going to be. Social distancing is still a concern and many people want to limit the exchange of physical money or cards between hands.

You may want to use a with a payment processor like Square. With this, there's no need to download the Square payment app separately; you can connect your contactless reader through the directly, handling scheduling and payments all on one platform. 

For a smoother and safer customer experience, it might be a good idea to let customers know ahead of time that you aren’t taking cash, and that card payments will be handled at a safe distance. Using Acuity’s customizable email and text reminders, you can communicate important updates like this before your customers even walk in the door. 

Similarly, you may need to make changes to your physical space to accommodate social distancing and contactless payments. Say you’ve set up your yoga studio to account for social distancing when your customers are on the mat, but you don’t want them congregating around your front desk to pay. You can handle payments before each class so there’s not a sweaty rush to your front desk after shavasana. Or consider setting up plexiglass barriers to create a safe space as they use contactless chip readers.

Re-open with the contactless payment tools you need to succeed. 

Automated reminders, integrated payment processing, and a client scheduling page embedded in your website—

These tools and more are available with your free trial of Acuity

small business, small business automation, covid-19