Accepting Credit Cards
Deciding how you will receive payments from your clients is one of the most important decisions you'll make as you set up the financial side of your pet sitting or dog walking business. Traditionally, many pet care businesses accepted cash or check payments only. However, today, it is imperative for many pet parents that the option to pay their sitters electronically be available to them.
In addition to being a convenient option that saves pet parents a lot of hassle, accepting credit card payments is a major benefit to both you and your business. We'll outline some of the reasons why below and discuss how you can set up accepting credit cards for your business.
Pros Outweigh The Cons
While you may have some initial reservations about accepting credit card payments, it is the consensus of both business owners in the pet care industry and their pet parents that accepting electronic payments is not only the preferred payment method but also has a more significant impact on your ability to stay in business than you may realize.
Nowadays, convenience and ease of access are critical to a satisfying and streamlined client experience. While other payment methods may require a client to take a trip to the ATM or write out a check, credit cards allow for a smooth payment process that makes paying for services incredibly easy. This is even more apparent when pet parents can pay directly through their client portal or mobile app, update their card status at any time, and easily tip their favorite sitters. This convenience eliminates a lot of obstacles not only on the client side of things but also on the business side of things.
When you allow credit card payments for your business, it is much more likely that you will get paid on time and that you won't have to dedicate additional hours to tracking down clients to pick up the cash or checks they owe you. Credit card statements and invoices also leave behind a paper trail that makes referencing transactions effortless. With all these worries off your shoulders, you'll have much more time to dedicate to growing other aspects of your business and spending time doing what you love!
Accepting credit cards has also become such a widespread business practice these days that not allowing the option for clients to pay electronically may make your business appear less reputable or trustworthy than that of your competitors. By giving clients the option to pay with a credit card, you provide them with convenience, flexibility, and the polish of professionalism, which can make all the difference to a potential pet parent.
When clients feel satisfied and secure with the services, experience, and reputation your business offers, they will not only help drive business by becoming repeat customers and recommending you to all of their friends and family, but will help you and your staff to make more money as the tips roll in! Last year, we saw over $12,000,000 in tips processed through Time To Pet.
This will not only lead to increased revenue across the board, but with credit cards as an acceptable form of payment for your business, you'll also enable you and your team to get paid more quickly. Most credit card processors allow you to set up your services with advance and/or automatic payments, so not only will you get paid sooner, but you will also have the assurance that your clients won't be skipping out on you once services are rendered. All in all, it's a win-win situation for everyone!
How To Accept Credit Card Payments
Now, you may be wondering how does someone set up their business to accept credit cards in the first place?
The first step to accepting credit card payments for your business is to find a credit card processing provider right for you. Luckily, it is easy to find support for integrated payments in the landscape of today's modern pet sitting software systems.
What this means is that many software systems, like Time To Pet, will allow you to integrate directly with a merchant account directly inside of your pet sitting software so that your clients can either submit payments themselves through their client portal / mobile client app or you can process their payments yourself if you have their card information on file and have the authorization to run it.
Time To Pet even has options for automatic payment processing or integration to accounting software like Quickbooks to allow for an even easier experience for you and your pet parents.
Credit Card Fees & Security
Some common concerns regarding accepting credit card payments are processing fees and the security of one's personal data and billing information.
These concerns are valid, but credit card processors like Stripe consider the safety and security of the data stored in their systems their highest priority, and they possess a robust set of tools to help prevent fraud, which is of great benefit and comfort to you and your clients alike!
Lastly, when it comes to credit card fees, while inconvenient, most business owners find it a small price to pay in the face of increased business, customer satisfaction, and the fact that you can write off credit card fees on your taxes! Not to mention the increase in tips! We've crunched the numbers here, and on a typical $100 payment paid via cash or check, our customers can expect around $0.73 in tips. If that same payment was made via credit card, the typical tip amount is $5.99. That is over 8x the amount of tips you would expect via a cash payment!
Overall, accepting credit cards is a must-have option in today's business landscape. While there may be a slight drawback here and there, the benefits electronic payments can bring to your business make it an incredibly sound choice for you, your business, and your clients.