When you’re first starting out, or even if you’ve been at it for a while, deciding what forms of payment to accept can be overwhelming.
Here, we’ll discuss your options and I’ll provide a few tips for making accepting payments from your clients as easy as possible!
Assuming you provide in-person sessions, you can easily accept cash from your clients. I do, however, recommend putting that cash straight into your bank account and recording it accurately on whatever system you use to record payments so that you have a proper record of it.
It’s generally not a good idea to spend the cash you receive from clients without depositing it in your bank account, because then you don’t have a record of having received it through your bank.
Accepting payment through check is another viable option, provided your clients checks don’t bounce! If you accept checks, I recommend having a policy that you charge a fee for NSF checks.
As with cash, I recommend depositing them in your bank account as soon as possible so you don’t lose or misplace them.
E-transfer is an easy (and usually free!) way to accept payments from clients in Canada. It’s a great form of payment to use because there aren’t usually any fees associated, it’s easy, and the money lands in your bank account almost immediately.
Debit or Credit Card
Many people choose to use debit or credit cards, and the big question here is what system to use.
Moneris is popular, especially if you want to be able to run debit cards in addition to credit cards, but comes with a higher fee per transaction.
Not all companies that accept credit cards also accept debit cards. So you’ll have to decide whether accepting debit cards is important to you and your clients, and choose accordingly.
If you’re only looking to be able to process credit cards (and not debit) and you like the idea of being able to run the card through (instead of manually inputting the number), I’d recommend Square, which you can use with a free “reader” and a downloadable app on your smart phone. Running cards through automatically usually comes with a lower fee per transaction than inputting the card number manually or storing the card on file.
That said, systems like Square, Wave, and Stripe allow you to store the clients card info on file (with their permission of course!) and charge the clients card on their behalf. This can make things really seamless in your practice and cut down on administrative work.
Tips for Making Payment Seamless
The trickiest part about payment (once you’ve decided on the forms of payment you will accept), is making sure you get paid!
Lots of therapists I know, myself included, require payment prior to, or at the beginning of the session. This mostly eliminates forgetting about payment at the end of the session, or clients who are well-intentioned about sending you an e-transfer once they get home, but forget.
A great back-up method to ensure you receive payment on time, is to request permission to keep your clients credit card information on file. They can pay however they want, as long as payment is received before the start of the session, and if you haven’t received it, then you receive permission from them to charge the card on file on their behalf.
For more support in your private practice, please reach out to book your free 20-minute Business Mentorship Consult!