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Bodywork Buddy Blog

Bodywork Buddy: business management software for the solo therapist that keeps you organized and makes tax time a breeze.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Accepting Credit Cards to Increase Your Massage Business

Are you accepting credit cards in your massage practice yet?  If not, you should be.

There are many benefits to accepting credit cards.  It’s a known fact that people will spend more when they can use credit cards.  There are also several other advantages for your massage business.

I’ve heard many therapists express concern over the fees associated with processing credit cards.  The pros far outweigh the cons, in my opinion.  The processing fees are simply a cost of doing business.  You’re offering your clients a convenience.  Don’t look at the fees as money you’re losing, because you’ll likely reap many other benefits of accepting credit cards - including making more money. 

Consider the gains:

      Improved professional appearance. Accepting credit cards legitimizes you as a professional and helps to build trust.

      Convenience to your clients. It’s important to make it as easy as possible for clients to pay you. They will love the flexibility of being able to pay with credit cards.

      Lower risk (checks can take days to clear - or NOT clear - and the risk is on you.   Credit cards get accepted or declined immediately).

      Higher sales.  Not only will clients get massages more often and likely tip more, but also buy gift certificates, packages, and products.  Credit cards increase impulse purchases.

Also keep in mind that many clients use debit cards for everything.  Just because someone is using a card doesn’t mean they are using credit or spending money they don’t actually have.  (In case this is a concern for some therapists.)

According to Visa, over the past 10 years, people's use of electronic payments like credit cards and debit cards has increased by 400%.

A lot of credit card programs offer cash-back or other incentives for every dollar that a consumer charges to their card.  People who are enrolled in rewards programs will go out of their way to pay by credit card in order to accumulate rewards.

It’s easier than ever to accept credit cards.  With companies like Square and Intuit, you can get setup for free and be ready to swipe cards within a couple of days with nothing more than a smartphone or tablet.

Do you have a concern about accepting credit cards that I didn’t address here?  Leave a comment and we can discuss your concerns in another blog post.

Do you already accept credit cards?  What are other benefits that you’ve noticed in your own massage business?

Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling.
She continues to operate her own private massage practice of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.


  1. In November of 2011, I started using Square to accept credit cards in my business. I am so glad that I chose to move out of my comfort zone of being a cash only business, because my business has definitely expanded. Square also makes it quick, easy and painless to accept credit cards.

    1. I heart Square, too! Thanks for sharing your experience, Illuminaspa.

  2. I'd like to point out that there are a lot more features for Square when you use the Square Register app on the ipad! Along with different tipping options (clients can choose a percentage OR a flat dollar amt), you can have a "library" of your services so you just have to pick one - say, 60 minute massage or a 3 pack of 60 minutes. That way the receipts are detailed without having to type in a description every time!
    I've found clients to be less leery of the service through the ipad vs a phone, and the screen is larger for signing. I've also got an awesome stylus for the ipad that makes signing so much easier!

    1. oooh, great info, Ginger! I also have a stylus, definitely recommend it!
      I haven't had much of a chance to explore the app on the iPad. I will have to check it out - thanks!

    2. Oh - and you can easily go to a tab to see your ENTIRE payment history. Not sure if you can do that from a phone. I used to have to go to the website to see that info.

    3. Have you tried the Card Case App? I don't have many clients who use it, but one who loves it! She just takes out her phone and opens the app - then I can see her "tab" on my phone and charge her without needing to swipe her card. Very cool.

    4. I have it downloaded and I think I'm registered with it, but I haven't used it yet. I don't have a large percentage of clients with smartphones that also pay each time with a card.

  3. I also love the fact that it gets deposited straight into my bank account. The small fee I pay is nothing compared to the annoyance and time it takes to make a trip to the bank to deposit cash! So very worth it.

    1. Agreed! Reminds me of an article I just read about respecting our time. Sometimes, it's worth the money for the time we save!