Before we cover the options, consider your needs. Perhaps you work your flair in a salon, but what if you’re visiting clients? What if you sell styling products? How do you manage commissions? Can card sales be linked to accounting? Key questions:
Do you want to itemise transactions into services and products?
If you offer your own styling products, it’s easier to use an app-based card reader.
Zettle, SumUp Air and Square come with a POS app with product library so you can itemise products on receipts and manage stock better. You can even list your services in the app even though they are not physical products.
Traditional card terminals only deal with transaction amounts entered manually, unless linked to an external POS system.
Are you receiving or paying a commission from your sales?
If you get commission from products sold in a salon, the salon’s card machine should process those transactions. The payments will go to the salon’s bank account, and it is the owner’s responsibility to pass commissions onto you.
If you are renting a chair, room or booth in a salon and, instead of paying a fixed amount, you are paying the salon a commission from your transactions, there are two ways to go. Either you have your own card machine, in which case you receive payments in your bank account, then pass on commissions to the salon.
Or you use the salon’s card machine and rely on the owner to keep the commission and give the rest to you. Card machines can only be linked to one business and bank account, not multiple.
What reporting functions do you need?
If you need to export sales to Excel, most of the below solutions can do that for free. Integrating with Xero and other accounting software can cost extra.
Can you commit to a long-term contract and do you anticipate a steady card turnover?
Worldpay, Takepayments and Handepay have lock-ins of 1-3 years. These contracts give you the best rates with a history of existing card turnover and steady income.
If sales are less predictable and you can’t tell how much freelance work there’ll be, SumUp, Zettle or Square have very competitive fees while also allowing you to accept a wide range of cards without a contract.