5 Best Credit Card Processors For Salons & Spas in 2024

Being able to accept payments securely and efficiently is critical to the success of your salon business. From booking appointments to billing clients, there are a lot of different things you need to think about as a business owner.

Luckily, there are many tools on the market that help business owners just like you set up the admin side of their business. In this article, we’ll go over how to properly accept credit card payments as a salon owner and the best credit card processors currently available.

What is Salon Credit Card Processing?

Salon credit card processing refers to the electronic payment system that allows beauty and wellness businesses to accept credit and debit card payments from their clients. This system usually involves software and hardware, such as a physical credit card reader.

Credit card processing for salons has become popular in the past few years, as it’s a secure and efficient way for clients to pay for salon-related services. It’s also an easy way for salon owners to collect digital payments and sync their income with an expense-tracking system.

Some credit card processors, like GlossGenius, also have advanced features such as rebooking and deposits to help you avoid no-show clients. So making sure you find the right payment processing solution is critical for the overall financial health of your business.

How to Process Card Payments in a Salon

Every salon or spa owner must know how to accept payments from clients. But the process of starting can feel overwhelming at first. The good news is that there are a lot of different tools currently on the market that make it easy to accept and collect payments.

Here are the steps for how to process card payments in a salon:

  1. Choose a payment processor: Before you start accepting payments, you need to set up a payment processor so you can stay organized with your finances. Most clients want to pay with a card instead of cash, so it’s important to find a tool with easy checkout options.
  2. Get a physical card machine with NFC technology: Having a physical card reader that syncs with your payment processor is how you’ll accept credit and debit cards in person. However, you want to find a card reader with NFC technology so you can enable “tap to pay” options like Google Pay or Apple Pay.
  3. Have a way to deposit funds into your bank account: A platform like GlossGenius will allow you to get paid on the same business day without any fees. But not all payment processors have this feature, so do your research.
  4. Make sure you have fraud and no-show protection: Before you start accepting payments, make sure your payment processor is secure and PCI compliant. You also want to make sure you have a system in place to collect deposits to eliminate no-show clients. Again, a platform like GlossGenius has these features built-in.

As you can see, there are a few things you need to consider when processing credit card payments at your salon. If you pick the right salon software, you won’t have to worry about all the nuances of accepting payments. With that, let’s get into the best credit card processors for salons and spas in 2024.

5 Best Salon & Spa Credit Card Processors in 2024

Here are our top picks for the best salon credit card processing software:

  1. GlossGenius
  2. Square
  3. Stripe
  4. StyleSeat
  5. Vagaro

Okay, let’s dive deeper into each one.

1. GlossGenius

GlossGenius payment processing
  • Best for: Beauty and wellness professionals
  • Pricing: $24/month, 2.6% flat transaction fee (lowest on the list)

Female-founded in 2017, GlossGenius is an all-in-one salon software designed for beauty and wellness professionals. GlossGenius has quickly become the standard for modern salon businesses looking to book more clients, accept payments, and get paid.

With many payment processors charging different fees for swipes, dips, and key-ins, GlossGenius charges a flat fee of 2.6% per transaction – the lowest fee out of any salon software on the market.

Besides just payment processing, GlossGenius can also help you with:

  • Appointment scheduling
  • Contactless payments
  • Email and text reminders
  • A website builder and mobile app for online bookings
  • Rebooking and client review features
  • Client and inventory management

GlossGenius Card Reader

GlossGenius also offers custom designed card readers, helping you create a seamless salon checkout experience – while complementing your brand aesthetics with and beautiful designs. These card readers integrate seamlessly with GlossGenius' all-in-one booking and payment system, offering a professional, polished look.

They accept various payment types with a flat fee and no hidden charges, are EMV-compliant for security, and integrate with salon management tools for bookings, payments, and analytics, streamlining salon operations and aiding in growth and efficiency.

Overall, GlossGenius is a strong choice for service providers looking to streamline the admin and operations side of their businesses. If you want to see the power of GlossGenius for yourself, be sure to start a free trial!

2. Square

Square payments
  • Best for: Medium to large-sized local businesses
  • Pricing: Free option available, 2.6% + 10 cents per transaction

Founded in 2009, Square is a popular merchant services aggregator and payment processing platform designed to help small businesses accept payments. It’s used by many local businesses, such as cafes, salons, restaurants, and more.

Many salon businesses use Square for their payment processor because, just like with GlossGenius, they can also use it as an appointment scheduler that syncs with a calendar. Square also has various hardware options, including terminals and card readers, that allow salons and spas to accept payments via credit or debit cards.

In terms of pricing, Square is free to use. But it does have slightly higher processing fees compared to GlossGenus. Square charges 2.6% + 10 cents per transaction, which is quite standard for POS (point of sales) systems.

But besides just being a payment processor, Square also has some features such as:

  • Appointment scheduling
  • Inventory Tracking
  • Various marketing tools

Overall, Square is a great choice for salons and spas looking for a user-friendly platform that doesn’t break the bank. But, it is important to note that Square is designed to be a general credit card processor. If you do want features designed specifically for salons and spas only, it might be worth looking into an alternative.

3. Stripe

Stripe terminal
  • Best for: Online payment gateway
  • Pricing: Free, 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction

Stripe is one of the most popular online payment gateways on the market right now. It does lean more on the tech side, so if you’re not that tech-savvy or don’t plan on letting clients pay you through a website, this POS system may not be the best choice for you.

Stripe is free to use, but there is a 2.9% + 30-cent transaction fee. This is higher than both GlossGenius and Square, but we added it to this list because Stripe is widely used by many small businesses. Just like GlossGenius, Stripe offers a wide range of payment options, including credit and debit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and more.

These payment options give your clients the flexibility to pay how they see best fit – helping improve your overall client experience. But, while Stripe is a great payment gateway and has a simple and intuitive interface, it may not be the best solution for salons looking for an all-in-one platform. If you need more than just payment processing features, such as appointment scheduling, email and text reminders for clients, and marketing tools, it might be worth looking into an alternative.

4. StyleSeat

StyleSeat payments
  • Best for: Discovering local stylists
  • Pricing: Free, 2.75% per transaction

Founded in 2011, StyleSeat is a salon software platform designed for beauty and wellness professionals, including nail and hair salons. Just like GlossGenius, StyleSeat offers features such as appointment scheduling, client management, and a payment processing system.

Just like Square, StyleSeat has a free option that you can use to get started. But it does have a slightly higher transaction fee of 2.75% per transaction. What does make StyleSeat compelling is its feature for instant deposits, which can be beneficial for salons that need to manage cash flow effectively.

If you’re looking for a platform that is more than just a salon POS system, StyleSeat is probably a better choice when compared to Stripe or Square. But if you want extra marketing features for your salon business, like a website builder, email and SMS marketing, and a mobile app, it might be worth looking into an alternative.

5. Vagaro

Vagaro payment processing
  • Best for: Medium-sized salons
  • Pricing: $25/month, 2.75% per transaction

Last but not least, we have Vagaro – a marketplace and software for salons, spas, and fitness professionals. Out of all the tools on this list, Vagaro is the closest to GlossGenius, but it does come with a slightly higher price tag for similar features.

Vagaro starts at $25/month and charges a flat rate of 2.75% per transaction, making it the most expensive salon payment processor on our list. Because of this reason, if all you need is a payment processor, you probably want to look for an alternative.

If you need a comprehensive salon platform, then this can be a potential option. Vagaro has a wide range of features that can help entrepreneurs manage and run their businesses. But, 

If you’re looking to get access to a community of other beauty and wellness professionals running their own businesses, GlossGenius might be a better choice in the long run.

What is the best POS System for a Salon?

If you’re looking for a simple way to accept payments as a salon or spa business owner, Stripe can be a good option to get started with. But, if you’re looking for a comprehensive salon software to run your entire business with, from online booking to accepting payments in person, GlossGenius may be a better choice.

GlossGenius offers multiple ways to accept payments, from credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and more. You also get the lowest fees out of any other payment solution for salon and spa businesses.

But, when choosing a POS system for your salon, you also want it to have features outside of just a payment processor. This is especially true if you want to give your clients the option to pay you through your website or mobile app before they even meet you in person.

This can help you reduce cancellations and no-show clients because you’ll be able to collect deposits online before an appointment begins. On top of that, you also want a payment solution that allows you to manage a record of all your previous clients and transactions. This will allow you to know who your loyal clients are and offer them rebooking options right on the spot.

If you’re looking for a platform that has all of these features built-in, with salon and spa owners in mind, GlossGenius is a platform you should seriously consider. If you’re ready to take your salon business to the next level, be sure to start a free trial!

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