Offering your clients the option of paying with credit cards or debit cards presents advantages and disadvantages. For many years, the typical massage therapist didn't accept payment by credit card, but that is changing with the ease and low cost currently associated with a merchant account. In many instances, you don't even need special equipment—you can process the transaction by phone or the Web.
Advantages of Taking Credit Cards
A lot can be said for making it easy for your clients to pay you. I recommend accepting payment by credit card or debit card, particularly if you sell products or offer classes. In fact, marketing research shows that people are often are willing to spend more if they can pay with a credit card, and then there's the impulse-buy factor. Advantages that come with accepting this form of payment are added convenience for your regular clients, increased appeal for your gift certificate program, more high-dollar product purchases and an increased likelihood of clients purchasing a package deal for a series of sessions.
Credit Card Services
Contact several banks and ask them about their policies and rates for merchant credit accounts. You may find companies that issue merchant numbers and credit card plates in the phone book or on the Internet; look under "Credit Cards" or "Merchant Accounts."
See Issue 5's Online Resources at futureLMT.com for a list of major merchant credit card services.