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6 Reasons Why Your Private Practice Should Be Going Cashless

Whether you’re paying for a take-out latte or doing your grocery shop online, cashless payments have become the norm.

But when it comes to going cashless in your own private practice it can often feel like one of those jobs that you should do but just don’t get round to.

To motivate you to make the leap this article explains what cashless payments are and more importantly why going cashless should be one of your top priorities.

What are cashless payments?

For the purposes of this article we’re going to focus on cashless/electronic payments from walk-ins and self-pay (non insured) clients. If the majority of your clients are insured it’s likely that you will already receive payment electronically from your client’s insurer via BACS (or similar) and so this article may be of less interest to you.

If you do take payments from self-pay clients, there are typically four ways you can do it:

Now that we’ve covered what cashless payments are. Here are six solid reasons for going cashless:

1. Delight new clients & keep existing ones – make their life easy!

When was the last time you had cash in your pocket or purse? I know we’ve not completely done away with cash but I’m pretty sure it’s been 6 months since I paid for anything with cash. 

The world has changed, and if you haven’t yet embraced cashless payment now is the time to do it 🙂

If you’re not allowing your clients to pay electronically via one of the channels outlined above you’re likely losing customers.

The only segment where cash is now king is for low value transactions (< £10) and even that is being eroded. Typically most single treatments are >£40 (based on anonymised data in WriteUpp) and most invoices for a course of treatment are >£100. No one wants to have to remember to take a trip to the ATM before their treatment.

As you’ll read below there are plenty of reasons why you and your business can benefit from not accepting cash but this one is all about your clients. You need to make sure their treatment experience (which includes paying) is as frictionless as possible.

2. No more cashing up, trips to the bank or fees

When you accept cash or cheques there are real costs and hidden “time & hassle” costs:

3. Integration with your practice management system

This is a HUGE timesaver and it’s not as tricky as you might think. Here are a few of the options:

4. Turnover is Vanity, Profit is Sanity, but Cash Flow is King!

We all know that cash flow is king and it’s never been more true than during the recent period of uncertainty. Switching to cashless payment will have a positive impact on your finances for these reasons:

5. Give your clients the freedom to pay from anywhere they want to (including your practice)

Say goodbye to the days when your clients could only pay at your reception desk. Cashless payments open up a whole new world of options for your clients to pay when and where they want to. 

But offering electronic payments doesn’t mean you have to give up in-person payments completely. This is about choice, flexibility and efficiency.

6. Lower transmission risks 

Going cashless will reduce unnecessary client contact and the possibility of infectious disease (not just COVID) transmission via cash.

Considerations when going cashless

What are your options when it comes to service providers?

If you’ve decided to take the leap and go cashless but are having a hard time figuring out which types of payment and which providers are right for you, then take a look at this overview to help you make sense of your options.

What types of cashless payments are right for me? 

Type of Payment  Pros Cons
In Person, card-based payments

Using a traditional Card reader provided by companies like WorldPay & PaymentSense

– Stand alone and easy to set up
– Quickly start taking card payment
– Expensive
– No ability to take payments online
– Seldom integrated with cloud-based private practice software
– Requires manual reconciliation between the device and your practice management system
In Person, card-based payments
Using new, lightweight terminal providers that can connect to mobiles and tablets like Square, SumUp, iZettle

– Cheap to buy
– Low fees
– Very easy to use
– Seldom integrated with cloud-based practice management software
– If no integration exists, it requires manual reconciliation between the device and your practice management system
Online Payments
Using services like Square, Stripe or PayPal that are integrated into the software that you use to run your practice

– No hardware required
– Low fees
– Very easy to use
– Likely to be fully integrated with your practice management software
– Easy reconciliation between the device and your practice management system
– Easy to set up 
– Some clients prefer to pay-in-person rather than online
– Lacks the immediacy of in person payments and may result in slower payment by your clients  

What service provider should I choose?

IMPORTANT: Most (if not all) of the online options, with the possible exception of PayPal require some level of integration.

Provider Payment Option More Information about Fees
Square In Person  https://squareup.com/

Planned integration with WriteUpp
Square Online https://squareup.com/

Planned integration with WriteUpp
WorldPay In Person  https://fisglobal.com/en-gb/merchant-solutions-worldpay/small-business/card-machines
PaymentSense In Person  https://www.paymentsense.com/uk/card-machines/ 
Stripe  In Person (US and Canada only) https://stripe.com/en-gb-de/terminal 
Stripe Online https://stripe.com/en-gb-de/payments 

Current integration with WriteUpp
Zettle (by PayPal) In Person  Card terminals only: https://shop.izettle.com/gb/card-terminals Full systems: https://shop.izettle.com/gb/till-systems 
PayPal Online  https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/merchant-fees 
SumUp In Person https://sumup.co.uk/card-readers/ 
SumUp Online https://sumup.co.uk/payment-links/ 
Shopify In Person  https://www.shopify.com/pos 
Opayo (formerly SagePay) Online  https://www.opayo.co.uk/our-payment-solutions/online-payments 
Opayo (formerly SagePay) In Person  https://www.opayo.co.uk/our-payment-solutions/face-to-face-payments 
PayPoint Online https://serviceprovider.paypoint.com/solutions/digital-payments 

Conclusion

If you’re interested in taking your practice online and streamlining the way you take payments you can get a free 30 day trial of WriteUpp by clicking here

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