Will a cashless business system be the key to saving time and managing stress in your busy private practice?
You’re booked solid again with back-to-back clients. Yet, instead of squeezing in the few minutes allotted between appointments to do administrative duties, such as collecting private payments or co-payments from your next patient, you’re actually able to sit back and regroup. Better yet, you’ll use this time to do something for yourself, like take a much-needed bathroom break or practice self-care by doing some short meditations. If you’re running a busy counseling practice, this scenario may seem impossible, but it truly isn’t. Turning your practice into a cashless business may be the key to staying afloat while running a thriving operation.
What is a cashless business, and is it a good option for your private practice?
The definition is almost too simple. A cashless business is one that does not accept cash as a form of payment. Money is transferred between an individual and a cashless business digitally. For a private practice, this would mean all of your client payments take place via the practice software, and no cash gets collected. It would also almost completely diminish the need for sending invoices and recognizing billing issues since you complete the transaction on the spot.
Ten years ago, if a person wanted to pay for something, he pulled cash, a credit card, or even a checkbook out of his wallet. Today, the mere swipe of an individual’s fingerprint on a smartphone or tap of a watch is enough to make a purchase. With technology and financial lifestyles changing so rapidly, businesses are racing behind, trying to keep up with the most current forms of payment, so they don’t lose any business along the way.
And a satisfied clientele who are allowed to pay via their preferred methods is just one of the many reasons private practices are considering turning their operation into a cashless business.
Top reasons why a private practice considers becoming cashless business
1. Satisfied clients
As mentioned previously, providing a streamlined payment system makes for a happy consumer. Also, for some of your overly anxious clients, financial transactions can be too stressful. Allowing for a cashless payment makes the payment portion of stress-free and easy.
2. Better security
Keeping cash on hand is an immediate safety concern. Whether by a fellow therapist, group office administrator, client, or a random person unaffiliated with the practice, the possibility for theft virtually disappears. While no one wants to believe their clients or peers would steal from them, the reality is that it does happen.
Similarly, bookkeeping becomes digitized, which means there is also less opportunity for manual errors that relate to other business issues.
3. It saves time
Even if you’re only spending two-to-three minutes collecting a fee and writing a receipt, cash takes even more time out of your day in the backend. You need to manage your books, count the till regularly, and likely, trek to the bank a few days a week to make deposits. And we’re not even addressing the hassle that takes place when you’re sending invoices and collecting payments in the mail. A cashless system runs smoother and quicker.
While this may come off as a simple concern, it’s important to note that cash is dirty. “Studies show that a solid majority of U.S. bills are contaminated by cocaine,” says Time Magazine. Also, that’s not the only substance on cash. Time reports, “Paper money can reportedly carry more germs than a household toilet. And bills are a hospitable environment for gross microbes: viruses and bacteria can live on most surfaces for about 48 hours, but paper money can reportedly transport a live flu virus for up to 17 days.” Do you want to make change for your next client now with this information?
What are the negatives of turning your practice into a cashless business?
There’s one important reason why a cashless business may not work in a private practice setting. For some clients, confidentiality is extremely important. Someone may not want anyone, including, or especially, their innermost circle knowing that they are in counseling. An individual who shares a credit card with a spouse, but isn’t ready to tell them they’re seeking treatment, may choose to seek services elsewhere.
Another issue that may arise in a cashless system is if clients were to provide a stolen card or later dispute charges. Cash creates an immediate payment where no further monetary negotiations need to take place. However, similar to how practices run now, if there is a disputed charge, or you determine the card is fraudulent, you can still send an invoice in the mail in the attempt to collect the money owed to your practice.
At SimplePractice, we set up systems to help you run a smart and up-to-date practice. If you’re already running a cashless business—or want to offer more seamless options to your clients—our credit card management system will work for you. Collect credit card information in person or online via the client portal, store the information and charge for your services with one click of a button. Are you ready to try us free for 30 days?
Does your practice use cash or do you run a cashless business? Share your experience with our community.