Why you should consider adding mobile payment options

FirstlineFirstline September/October 2020
Volume 16
Issue 5

New data highlight another way your veterinary practice may be able to increase revenue: Offer additional payment options.

making payment on phone

GaiBru Photo / stock.adobe.com

According to an independent survey of 380 small business customers and 350 small business owners commissioned by business software provider Weave, small businesses that allow clients to pay for services using a variety of methods earn 29% more revenue than those that offer fewer payment options.

“Studies have repeatedly shown that providing more payment options, including Apple Wallet and Google Pay, increases customer satisfaction and encourages repeat business,” Jeff Lyman, Weave’s chief product officer, told dvm360. “Additionally, businesses that do not begin to explore ways to offer expedited services risk falling behind their competitors who can allow clients to take their ill or anxious animal out of a crowded lobby, settle them down and then pay their bill.”

Nearly half of the small businesses surveyed said that the more payment types they accept, the more money they make.

Mistakes small business owners make

Credit card fees are a major point of contention for business owners and customers alike. Upwards of 35% of small business owners surveyed believe they overpay for credit card transaction fees, and 21% say they’ve had to cut back on spending elsewhere because of processing fees, forgoing investments in marketing, new products and updated technology. But should those fees be passed onto the customer?

Nearly half of the small business owners surveyed (41%) worry that charging a credit card fee will cost them customers—and with good reason. Almost three-quarters of customers surveyed (71%) said they try to avoid businesses that charge fees to use a credit card.

But limiting payment options to check or cash could prompt clients to look for pet care elsewhere. According to the survey findings, more small businesses have lost a sale because they didn’t provide sufficient payment options than because of negative online reviews. In fact, respondents reported, not accepting the right payment options has cost small businesses more customers than inconvenient hours, poor customer service or unfriendly employees.

What do customers want?

With online sales in the United States totaling an astronomical $601.75 billion in 2019, many customers are looking for that same purchasing ease at physical locations. While cash, checks and credit cards remain the three most commonly used and accepted forms of payment, they aren’t the only options. Carrying cash is becoming a thing of the past. In fact, only 36% of the customers surveyed say they always carry cash and just 20% are sure they carry enough cash to make a purchase in the stores they frequent.interested in paying via their phone. If given the option, 30% of small business customers would frequently or always pay via text. That number more than doubles to 62% for buyers under 35 (these younger buyers are also nearly twice as likely to avoid small businesses that don’t accept their preferred payment type).

Lyman also suggests that practices consider instituting a text-to-pay option. “This allows the practice to bill for services without forcing clients to wait and pay if an animal is experiencing anxiety in a crowded lobby or if the appointment was a no-show,” he says.

Instead, customers are much more likely to carry a cell phone and a growing number are

“Billing for no-shows is becoming more of a norm in today's world and without an efficient way to collect those payments, practices are leaving money on the table,” he adds.

How does mobile pay work?

Apple Pay and Google Wallet are two of the most popular mobile payment technologies on the market. Each allows users to upload credit card information onto their smartphones. Accepting this form of payment requires two things:

  • Your hospital must have an account with Apple or Google.
  • Your point-of-sale terminal must be capable of accepting contactless payment.

To pay via phone, the client simply hovers their phone over the terminal to transfer data and make the payment.

Amanda Carrozza is a freelance writer and editor in New Jersey.

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