I own a dog running and dog walking business in San Diego called Run That Mutt.
If you’ve started your own dog sitting business, you may be wondering what the best option is for collecting credit card payments.
If you are serious about your pet business, you should collect payments through a credit card system because it will save you money and time.
Why should my dog walking business accept credit cards?
Your dog walking company should accept credit card payments because it’s convenient for customers, convenient for you, and it will save you valuable time and money.
More than likely your dog walking business is already accepting online credit card payments through PayPal.
Why isn’t PayPal the best option for a dog walking business?
Although PayPal has its place (easy to set up, easy to use), it is not the best option for a dog walking business. Instead, I recommend you switch to a credit card processing company. I’ve been using PayPal for years, and it’s time for my own business to make the switch.
PayPal has high fees
The main problem with PayPal is its high fees. There are no set-up or membership costs to use a standard PayPal account, however the fees deducted per transaction are high.
For each payment your dog walking business receives through PayPal, a 2.9 percent fee, plus 30 cents will instantly be deducted from that payment.
For example, if a customer pays you $120, PayPal will take 2.9 percent of that ($3.48) plus another 30 cents, leaving you with $116.22. That’s not enough to break the bank, but it does add up over the month and over the year.
I end up losing about $50 per month to PayPal in fees. I could add a 3% charge for anyone who chooses to pay through PayPal, but that’s not being fair to my customers.
The more money you collect through PayPal, the more you will pay in fees. So the more your business grows, the more sense it makes to switch to a better option. If you expect to collect more than $500 per month in credit card payments, it’s time to switch over to a processing company.
PayPal can block your access to your own money
PayPal has the ability to freeze accounts due to petty misunderstandings or disputes. Because PayPal is such a large company, it is nearly impossible to speak to a real person over the phone and resolve these issues. Josh and I have a friend who had his PayPal account frozen for months, meaning he had no access to the $3,000 in his account at the time. Why risk this?
What credit card processing company should I use for my dog walking business?
The credit card processing company my dog walking business will use is called BNG Holdings. It is just as easy to use as PayPal, but it gives you more options.
Why should a dog walking businesses use a credit card processing company?
We want to get paid on time!
Every dog walker has a customer who “forgets” to pay on time. I’m sure you’re stuck waiting on at least one check every month or waiting for someone to sign into PayPal. Why not automate those payments?
Set up automatic payments for your dog walking business
With BNG Holdings, you can set up automatic payments so the payment is deducted from the customer’s account on time, every time. For some customers, that amount might be the same every month and for others you would manually enter in the amount due.
We all have these types of automatic payments. My health insurance and gym membership fees are automatically deducted from my checking account each month, for example.
You have the option of setting up recurring payments
With a credit card processing company, you will be able to set up monthly (or weekly) recurring payments for your dog walking customers. If someone hires you for the same number of walks every week or every month, then you know her bill will typically be the same each time. You could even decide to require payments up front, before the service takes place.
You don’t have to set up recurring or automatic payments. It’s just nice to have the option.
If you and your customers are used to a “pay now” type button embedded into your web site, you can still use that option through BNG Holdings. You will still have the ability to allow your customers to pay by clicking the button at their convenience, entering in the amount due, and so on.
It would look something like this:
It’s not convenient for most people to pay with checks
Can you really blame someone for not getting a check to you on time? You need to make it easy for your customers to pay you! Tracking down a checkbook, writing a check and mailing a check is not easy. Most people prefer automatic payments.
Initial setup is easy
Getting set up with the credit card processing company will not be much different than setting up a PayPal account. Don’t be afraid to make the switch because you think it will be a big hassle.
Likewise, the customer’s experience won’t change a whole lot. I’m sure you’ve paid for products or services online without using PayPal. Chances are, you typically don’t pay much attention to whether or not PayPal is an option.
You will save money on fees (compared to PayPal)
For most businesses, the credit card processing company’s fees will be a lot less than they would be through PayPal.
For businesses similar to mine, BNG Holdings charges a flat monthly fee (roughly $35), plus a few pennies per transaction. I’ve been losing more than $35 per month in PayPal fees for years, so switching over will automatically save my business money.
It saves the dog walker time!
What is your time worth? I charge $28 per hour to walk a dog. Do I really want to spend hours per month working on invoices? Definitely not.
Once you have everything set up through the credit card processing company, you can save and automate as much as you would like. You won’t have to re-enter the same information more than once. Anything that eliminates stress is a plus!
Best of all, you will have more time to focus on providing the best service.
Customers want to earn rewards with their credit cards
Lots of people prefer to pay through credit/debit cards in order to earn benefits such as mileage points. They don’t have that option when they pay by check or through a PayPal account.
Should I keep PayPal as an option for my dog walking business?
If your dog walking customers are already paying you through PayPal, you could keep it as an option in addition to the credit card processing company. Lots of companies do offer both options for the customer’s convenience. Eventually, you could decide to drop PayPal.
More about BNG Holdings
BNG understands dog walking and pet sitting businesses, and I have met the CEO (I could give you his direct cell number). He and the president of the company are very reachable, patient guys, eager to answer any questions we dog walkers might have.
BNG provides processing services all over the country, and it is one of the fastest growing merchant services companies in the upper Midwest, according to its web site.
To get started with BNG, contact the company at 701.526.3539 and tell them That Mutt sent you!
What it comes down to is you are a serious business owner, and you should use the service that makes the best sense for your business. Maybe the best option is PayPal, but more than likely your pet sitting business could benefit from switching to a credit card processing company.
I wish you continued success with your dog walking or pet sitting business!