How to Run a Cashless Salon

In the past few years, businesses across the world have begun to rely more on cashless payments and many people in the beauty industry are learning how to run a cashless salon.

In the past, the majority of customers paid using cash, but this number has continued to decrease and now contactless and card payments are the norm. Given the convenience of cashless payments and the safety and security offered by contactless methods, this is a trend that’s here to stay.

What You Will Learn

We’ll go over some of the benefits of using cashless payment methods, as well as the easiest ways to include these options in your own salon business.

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  1. Why Go Cashless in Your Salon?
  2. Pros & Cons of Going Cashless
  3. How to Accept Cashless Payments?
  4. How to Accept Cashless Tips?
  5. Conclusion

Why Go Cashless in Your Salon?


There are a number of advantages to accepting cashless payments, including saving you and your stylists a lot of time and money. Modern payment processing systems take a lot of the human error and guesswork out of counting change and balancing tills at the end of the day.

In addition, the recent covid 19 pandemic has made everyone aware of the increased safety involved in contactless and cashless payments, not to mention the convenience factor.

If your hair salons business model doesn’t already involve at least some options for contactless or cashless transactions, this could be the perfect time to start thinking about it.

Pros & Cons of Going Cashless


Of course, there are a lot of advantages to cashless payment, but it’s important for you to consider all of the effects that it could have on your business and your client base.

Some of the biggest advantages are:

Convenience for Customers

Research shows that more than 80% of payments are now made by card, with credit card and other forms of cashless payments becoming increasingly popular.

Not only is it easier than remembering to always carry cash, but payment options that don’t require cash also allow for faster transactions. Staff can provide easier and faster customer service.


By keeping no or minimal cash on hand, you’ll reduce the risk of theft or losses. Each transaction is also kept secure because you don’t need to process cheques or ask a client to run to the atm to pay for a service.

Saves Time

Did we mention that it’s fast? Well, it’s faster for staff, as well as clients. With cashless payment for services, you don’t need to balance your tills at the end of the day, run to the ATM for change or take a deposit to the bank at closing time.

Less Mistakes

Cashless or contactless payments make it harder to miscalculate when accepting payments for services, avoiding all the problems and human error that can happen when you need to count money for change. Everything is recorded automatically.

People Will Often Spend More

Consumers tend to feel a bit more free to spend on services and make spontaneous purchases when they use debit, a credit card or a contact-free app. This makes it much easier to sell products and upsell services.

Covid 19 Safety

As a result of the pandemic, business owners have had to take steps to protect their employees and customers. New regulations recommend contactless payments whenever possible for transactions, in order to minimize the spread of germs and viruses.

Pros and cons of going cashless
Pros & cons of going cashless

A couple disadvantages that you’ll need to keep in mind before making the switch to contactless payments at your own business are:

Losing Customers Preferring Cash

Even in the digital age, some clients may prefer paying with cash instead of using a card or a mobile device app. If you have a more traditional or older clientele at your salon, this is something that you’ll need to consider.

Losing Tips

Customers might not know how to tip during cashless transactions. Also, tips will be subject to taxes and any transaction fees that your business might have to pay.

Many stylists rely on tipping as part of their overall income, so it’s important to include a way for clients to tip during a cashless transaction.Consider adding a tipping option with pre-set tip percentages to your card machine or mobile payment processing device.

Less Control Over Your Finances

Since a sale via contactless transactions means that you’re not handling any of the cash yourself, money will show up in your account later.

Also, each payment to your business will go directly to your bank account, so you’ll need to visit your financial institution to withdraw it when needed.

No Payments if Your System Crashes

If your service provider has a problem and you get disconnected from their network or your POS system crashes, customers will have no way to pay for services.

Need to Invest in Additional Equipment

There are many benefits to taking cashless payment in your salon, but you’ll need the right equipment to get started. Do some research and find a service provider, then see how much money the POS system or payment machines will cost.

How to Accept Cashless Payments?


The best cashless payment solutions for your salon business or shop will be convenient to use and have low fees. Ideally, they will work with salon POS system or salon software to make things like inventory tracking and customer transactions easy to view.

There are a variety of apps and financial service providers that are designed to help businesses with accepting credit cards or other cashless transactions.

How to accept cashless payments

You also have your choice of equipment, including:

Card Reader for Your Phone

These are cheap and simple payment readers that use a mobile device and a SIM card. Their features don’t include receipt printing.

Card Terminal

These payment machines have more functions for processing a transaction and often include a tip button. They can print receipts for clients and are more expensive than a card reader. You can either buy one outright or pay a rental fee.

Digital Wallets

These are a break from traditional machines and process a transaction payment for clients using NFC technology. Apps like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay use these.

Customer Loyalty Apps

When you’re looking for alternatives to taking cash, your company also has the option of partnering with a loyalty payment app.

Businesses can use a point system, subscriptions with discounts for customer accounts, and other incentives to make a transaction without cash easy and keep clients returning to salons for that coveted repeat appointment.

Paying While Booking Online

This can be the ultimate in client any stylist convenience and goes a long way towards reducing late arrivals and no-shows. Customers can book appointments at salons or with a specific stylist, then pay the shop right on the website.

Here’s one of my favorite pro tips: a business owner can save a lot of time and money by setting this up along with hair salon software. This payment feature works along with several others, including inventory and appointment tracking, to give to all the tools to grow your business.

Presell Packages

You can post these on your salon company website. A customer pays once online by selecting a package from the menu. One package sale usually includes multiple visits or services.

Digital Wallet in Your Salon

Another great option that lets you avoid plastic cards altogether. A customer sets up an account in your salon and uses that to pay for services.

Curbside/Self Check In

Another contact-free option that’s often used at grocery and retail stores, too. Clients provide their credit card or payment data and are only charged after the service or when they check in at your salon business.

Buy Now Pay Later

This is a great option for higher priced items or multiple services,such as hair straightening, extensions etc. It’s becoming more common with the likes of Klarna and the specific salon industry players like Afterpay and Salon Pay.

How to Accept Cashless Tips?


Salon tipping is a big part of hairstylist business. Tips have an effect on employee morale and company loyalty, as well as being a big part of a stylists’ income. As a result, eliminating cash transactions in your salon can be a bit challenging.

Here are some tipping solutions that don’t require cash.

Consider adding tips while:

  • Booking Online: Post a button or an option on your website’s booking page.

  • When Checking Out of the Service: This is a great time to remind clients to tip stylists.

  • In a Follow Up Email with a Satisfaction Survey: These emails are a good idea, regardless. But, you can also use them to point out an opportunity to add a tip via a cashless option such as credit cards or a salon account.

  • Include Tips into Card Payments in Salon: If your terminal supports it, this is a convenient option. Remember, though: tips charged this way will usually be subject to a small transaction fee.

  • Special Tipping Apps: Getting a specialist app such as Venmo or CashApp will help clients tip without contact and avoid the ATM.

  • Tipping Devices: Customers can swipe their cards and add a tip amount right after their appointment.



Making the switch to cashless or contactless payments can be a big challenge for any business owner, especially if you’ve relied on traditional banking methods and the ATM in the past. It can also be a bit of an adjustment for your staff and your clients, at least at first.

That said, going cashless has many benefits for business owners, especially in the beauty industry. Aside from avoiding those annoying ATM and bank runs at the end of the shift, you’ll also save a lot of time and money- no more “human error” and counting change.

If you’re wondering how to run a cashless salon yourself, my suggestion is to just start- try including more cashless options at first and make the transition when you (and your clients) are ready.


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