Taking payments during COVID-19: Whats the best way?

By Mike James | 22nd June 2020 | Advice

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As many therapists reopen or prepare to reopen, Safety and confidence that helps the patient journey and experience is paramount in our minds. One often overlooked area is payments. Are you doing all you can to be as efficient as you can be?. SIF Founder Malcolm Sloan shines a light on what the best options could be.

iZettle vs SumUp vs Cash vs Online what is best? 
 
With lots of talk and preparations happening to reopen clinics we have seen a lot of talk about what to do about payments. 
  
Traditionally most therapists have been cash based, but even before COVID-19 an increasing number were seeing the benefits of affordable point of sale card machines and online bookings. 
  
Guidelines recommend not handling cash so other options need to be considered. 
  
For point of sale devices these can be available from your bank though unless you are a particularly large clinic/group of clinics the price points tend to rather high. 
  
Two companies have captured significant swathes of the market which are iZettle and SumUp with Square being another one that has a significant minority. They have captured significant amounts of the market with low up-front rates to purchase a machine, no monthly costs, software to tack everything easily and low payment processing rates. So, which one is best? 
  
As you will probably know by now at SportsInjuryFix.com we believe in a personalised approach, so will rarely. if ever give a blanket recommendation. It depends on your situation and preferences. 
  
All three have the same card not present fee of 2.5%. In person rates are 1.75% for iZettle and Square and SumUp is 1.69% or even lower for SportsInjuryFix.com members through an exclusive rate we negotiated. 
  
As such the differences are not huge. If price is your biggest driver than SumUp is the clear winner, even before the exclusive Sports Injury Fix discount. 
  
If user interface, user experience is important to you then Square and iZettle are worth a look as the pricing is not hugely more expensive, and you may feel it is worth spending the extra amount.  

sports-injury-fix-blog-covid-19-payment-methods-barrier-sign-cash-paymentsGiven fewer people are carrying cash then the traditional model of cash only can be a barrier to some patients. The payment processing fees for any medium are now low across the board. If you lost 1 client out of every 500 due to lack of being able to pay in advance or pay card you would be losing money overall. 

Therefore, is it worth making their life more difficult?  It is thus no surprise that those that moved away from cash pre COVID-19 many had gone cashless through online and card machines having seen the bigger picture benefits of convenience, saving no shows etc. 
  
The limit for in person card payments has increased to £45 due to COVID-19 and thus can cover many situations. The downside is it still relies on someone having to physically get the card out and is often tapped on the machine rather than held close to it. 
  
As such the ideal situation is to receive payment without requiring in person payment. The cheapest way to achieve this is to send the client your bank details and they make a transfer. This however requires a lot of manual process to carry out and check it has been paid. It is also not the quickest solution for patients to do. 
  
Most reputable booking software have payments integrated even though it is only a recent addition for most of the major ones so not many therapists are familiar with this. The rates here are typically very competitive, it’s incredibly simple for the client to pay at the time of booking and you will receive confirmation that everything is booked and paid meaning it is the by far the most time efficient process too.  

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If you wish to just take a deposit, or use separate bank accounts for self employed staff then at the time of writing only one software allows you to do this which is www.sportsinjuryfix.com.  
  
There has been quite a lot here to take on board but to summarise take two actions. 
  
Make sure you have a point of sale card machine. 
Make sure you have online bookings and payment enabled. 
  
Doing these two things will not only enable you to trade safely but you will have processes that are friendlier and easier for your clients too. 
  
If you want to find out more about the exclusive lower SumUp rate, online payments, deposits, self employed separate bank account payments or just to review your current set up then please book a call at www.calendly.com/SportsInjuryFix or email info@sportsinjuryfix.com 

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