With salon reopenings under way, it’s time to get into the swing of the ‘new normal’ – from familiarising yourself with your new salon PPE to getting the hang of virtual consultations.

One other important thing to remember is how you are going to accept payments in your post-lockdown salon?

As many of us now are avoiding handling cash, card payments are now expected as the most sanitary form of payment.

So, what does this mean for your salon? Are you set up to go cashless? We’ve put together some considerations to help you get prepared…

Can You Accept Tips Via Card Payment?

While keeping staff and clients safe is the number one priority, there are other knock-on effects you might not have thought of. For example, studies have suggested that the increase in cashless payment methods might mean hairdressers and barbers lose out on tips.

Research by Ask Traders showed that almost 80% of those asked were worried that cash would leave them vulnerable to infections. However, over 60% also said they would be less likely to tip if they couldn’t do so with cash.

If you are concerned about your staff losing out on their tips, see if you have a function on your card reader that would allow clients to add one at their discretion. However, this will then usually be passed onto the stylist via the PAYE system, which could result in it being taxed.

If you still want to accept tips by cash, make sure you can do this as sanitary as possible – keep a closed pot or jar for the money, and ensure both client and staff member washes their hands after handling it.

Do Clients Know About Your New Payment Policy?

If you are changing the ways in which you are accepting payments from clients, make sure they know about this in advance of their appointment.

It’s a good idea to send out an email or text with all of the health and safety procedures you know have in place, including the reporting of any Covid-19 symptoms and the social distancing policy you have. Make sure you let clients know at this point whether you will be accepting card payments only.

Are There Any Laws or Regulations on Card Payments?

Remember, you cannot charge customers any extra for paying by card.

If your financial service provider charges you a fee for card payments, you will need to absorb this cost. If you are used to clients paying by cash, this could have a real impact on your profit – especially when you are also having to invest in PPE and other new salon hygiene procedures.

If you aren’t happy with the transaction fees you are paying, you could shop around to see if you can get a better deal for switching to another service provider.

You could also consider increasing your prices to help cover this cost if absolutely necessary – but it must apply to all clients, regardless of what payment method they use.

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Is Your Card Machine Portable?

With social distancing likely to be here to stay for a while, you will want to ensure clients can pay as safely as possible. If you have a fixed card machine, you might start finding it difficult to accept payments around perspex screens and within the optimum 2 metre social distance.

A portable card machine might be a better option post-lockdown, such as one that connects to your wi-fi. These offer the ability to allow your client to pay at their station, helping reduce potential cross-contamination across the salon.

Other POS software programs available can also allow you to book in your client’s next appointment from your smartphone or tablet, so you don’t have to worry about too many people congregating around the reception desk.

What About Contactless Payments?

Most of us are now being asked to pay contactlessly to reduce the number of surfaces we touch throughout the day.

First of all, make sure your card reader is set up to receive contactless payments.

Secondly, remember that many of your client’s cards will probably have a maximum amount they can pay via contactless – which probably won’t be enough to cover more expensive treatments such as a colour service. While there are some services, such as ApplePay, which do not have transaction limits, ask your clients if they are set up to pay contactlessly before their appointment. If not, make sure the card reader is cleaned before and after it is used.

If you need any supplies for your salon, shop online today with Salons Direct to have them delivered quickly and safely to your door.

More advice from the Salons Direct blog…

Are You Prepared to Deal With Post-Lockdown Hair Clients | A Guide to Using PPE In Your Salon | How to Reopen Your Salon or Barber Shop Post-Lockdown