Should My Pet Sitting Business Accept Credit Cards?

Michael Grenier
Michael Grenier May 14, 2024

Deciding what payment types you will accept from your clients is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as you set up the financial side of your pet care business. Traditionally, many pet care businesses have accepted cash or check payments only. However, today, in 2024, it is almost a prerequisite that pet parents have the option to pay their sitters electronically through the use of a credit or debit card.

In addition to being a convenient option that saves pet parents a lot of hassle, accepting credit card payments from clients benefits both you and your business. Below, we’ll outline some of the reasons why and discuss how you can get started accepting credit cards for your pet care business.

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Convenience

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 mail in a check, credit cards allow pet parents to pay straight from their phone or computer, no matter where they are. With such a versatile way to pay, it is much easier for clients to pay for your pet care services, making getting paid a much simpler endeavor for your business.

With a smooth payment experience and excellent customer service, you have the perfect combination that can result in more business as clients repeatedly return to use your service. Repeat clients are the lifeblood of any successful pet care business, so by accepting credit cards, your company is making it that much easier for clients to use your services.

Here at Time To Pet, our integrated processor partners can securely retain a client’s card information, which can allow you to initiate the transaction for them, set them up for Automatic Charging if you have it enabled for your company, and even allow them to pay their invoices themselves through their Client Mobile App or Client Web Portal. With Time To Pet Payments, they’ll even be able to view their upcoming invoices, update their payment methods, and tip their favorite sitters – all at the click of a button!

Accepting credit card payments for your business makes things easier for everyone involved by eliminating a number of obstacles on both the client and business sides. From a pet parent's point of view, this can be seen as a great benefit to using your services.

Increased Sales & Tips

Not only are credit cards convenient - they can also lead to an increase in sales and tips for your company. As mentioned in the previous section, a simple and easy-to-navigate payment process can be a massive advantage for many pet parents who use your services. With this in mind, they may be more likely to use your services because they know they can pay with the most convenient method. Additionally, clients may be likely to spend more money when they pay with a credit card than other, more precise payment methods (such as cash or check), which can increase your company’s overall revenue.

As another bonus, we have found that pet parents are substantially more likely to add a tip for their pet sitter when they pay using a credit card versus any other payment method. In fact, we saw over $15,900,000 spent on tips across Time To Pet last year alone!

There may also be some pet parents in your area that will only work with a business that accepts credit cards. By giving your clients this additional payment option, you may open your business up to a subset of clients who have never considered your services before! More clients being drawn to your business is always a good thing and can further help to increase your sales and the number of repeat clients that rely on your company.

Get Paid Faster

When your clients have multiple ways to pay your business, they are much more likely to submit their payments quicker and in a more timely manner. In fact, many pet care businesses that use Time To Time require that payment be submitted before services begin. They can even configure their settings so that pet parents won’t be able to request services without a payment method on file. This way, you don’t need to worry as much about clients flaking or skipping out on their payments. We’ve even had some customers state that they get paid up to a week faster than before once they integrate credit card payments for their companies.

Charging a client’s credit card will also allow you to instantly verify a client’s funds (as an error message will appear if our payment processor can’t run the payment), which helps eliminate risks for your business, such as cashing a bad check. Credit card statements and invoices also leave behind a paper trail that makes referencing transactions much more straightforward and to the point. 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!

Professionalism

Accepting credit cards has become such a widespread business practice that, by not allowing clients the option to pay for their services electronically, you run the risk of your business coming across as less professional than that of your competitors. This can damage your company’s reputable status and result in a loss of trust from both existing and potential clients.

You can combat this by accepting credit cards, which can help make your business appear more established and on the same level as most companies in other industries where allowing clients to pay by credit card is the norm. Additionally, 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 potential pet parents when it comes time to choose who they want to look after their pets.

Credit Card Fees & Security

Some common concerns that may come up regarding accepting credit card payments are processing fees and the security of a client’s personal data and billing information.

These concerns are valid, but credit card processors like Stripe (who is the integrated payment processor in Time To Pet) consider the safety and security of the data stored in their systems their highest priority. They possess a robust set of tools to help prevent fraud, which is of great benefit and comfort to both you and your clients!

In addition, accepting credit card payments is generally more secure than accepting cash or checks. When you accept credit cards, you don't have to worry about losing money or checks and running to the bank to make a deposit.

Lastly, while credit card fees can be quite inconvenient, most business owners find them a small price to pay for the increased business and satisfaction they see from their clients. We have seen some incredible data on our platform that payments made via credit card or ACH are over 7x more likely to have a tip added than payments made via cash or check.

Even with the increase in tips, credit card fees can still be a concern. To help combat these fees, we know many of our customers build the fees into their pricing structures. For example, they may include a slight price increase on their services (like $1 per event) while implementing credit card payments to help lessen the amount they are paying toward these processing fees. Plus, you can write off those credit card fees on your taxes!

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How to Accept Credit Cards

At this point, you may be wondering, if I want to allow credit cards as a payment option for my business, how should I set that up?

Well, the first step to accepting credit card payments for your business is to find the right credit card processing provider. Luckily, support for integrated payments is built into our system.

That means that after integrating payments, your clients can either submit payments themselves directly through their Client Portal or Client Mobile App, or you can process their payments yourself if you have their card information on file and the authorization to run it. Depending on your location and the options available, clients may be able to pay using a credit or debit card, ACH or e-check, and Apple or Google Pay. With so many convenient options available, payment processing is a breeze for most clients!

Time To Pet even has options for automatic payment processing or integration to a payroll processor like Quickbooks Online, making things even easier for you to track.

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 boons and benefits electronic payments can bring to your business make it an incredibly sound choice for you, your business, and your clients.

Did you know? With Time To Pet, you can accept credit cards and charge your clients through our supported payment processor: Time To Pay Payments Powered by Stripe

Time To Pet is modern pet sitting software trusted by over 3,000 of the world’s most successful pet sitting and dog walking companies. We help pet care professionals start, grow and manage their businesses.

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