Zero Fee Credit Card Processing For Nail Salons

Customers that visit your nail salon will expect you to accept credit cards as a form of payment for your services. As the charges for nail services are usually quite low (less than $50 in a lot of cases), there will be some customers that will prefer to pay for your services in cash. The bottom line here is that you need to be as flexible as possible and offer all major forms of payment

Paying with a credit card is great for the customer, but not so good for you as the nail salon owner. Customers benefit from the flexibility, but you have to pay the credit card processing fees – which can be as high as 4% in some cases. Okay, this may only be 80 cents on a $20 service, but over the course of a month, a busy nail salon might do $25,000 or more in credit card processing. If the processing fee averages 3%, that’s $750 a month, or $9,000 a year going out the window!

What Can you do about Credit Card Processing Fees?

At the end of the day, if you choose to accept credit cards, someone has to pay the processing fees. It is either you as the nail salon owner or your customers. In the past, if you wanted no fee credit card processing, then the only way to achieve this was to make the customer pay a surcharge.

There are two problems with this. The first is that surcharging for the use of credit cards is illegal in a number of states such as New York, California and Texas to name but a few. The other problem is that a “surcharge” sounds like an extra fee to the customer (which it is) and this could drive them away from your nail salon.

The credit card companies are very strict about surcharging. You have to have an agreement with them to add a surcharge if it is legal to do so in your state. Such agreements are not easy to obtain, and each service major credit card company has different surcharge guidelines and requirements for your nail salon to qualify.

You can only add surcharges to credit card transactions and not to debit card transactions. There are also a number of compliance requirements that you will have to adhere to if you want to add surcharges to credit card payments.

Cash Discount Programs as an Alternative to Surcharging

An alternative and better method of achieving zero fee credit card processing is to introduce a cash discount program. This is different than surcharging as it is legal in all 50 states and the credit card processing device supplied by the company offering the cash discount program calculates the “service fee” automatically.

Customers also more readily accept a cash discount program. It is presented as a discount for paying cash (which it is), rather than a surcharge for paying by credit card. Consumers love to have incentives to save money, and this is exactly what they get when you offer them a cash discount.  

With the cash discount program, the processing company provides signage for you to prominently display in your nail salon. It will tell your customers that they will save money if they are paying with cash. You must place this signage in a place where all of your customers can see it.

Nearly all of the thousands of businesses who have been surveyed after implementing a cash discount program have reported that the introduction of the program (along with the benefit to the business of no-fee credit card processing) has not had a significant impact on their business. Customers do not mind paying a few cents more for using their credit cards for nail services when they have the choice of avoiding this fee by paying cash.

Is a Cash Discount Program Right for your Nail Salon?

Nail salons across the country have already successfully implemented a cash discount program. 98% of the time, the customers never even bring it up. They know that businesses have to pay to accept credit cards, and they don’t mind paying an extra 80 cents of a $20 purchase for example to have the convenience of paying by credit card. In many cases, this is less than it would cost them to withdraw cash from the ATM.

Will cash discounting work for your nail salon? There’s only one way to find out – by giving it a try. At Trinity Business Services, we have made it very easy to try the program out risk-free. Everything is month-to-month, and there are no long-term contracts to sign, so you can cancel the program anytime.

All we ask is that you try it out for 30-60 days and see if what we are saying is true. We are confident that once you realize significant monthly savings with little to no impact on your customer base, you will never want to go back to paying processing fees. But if the program doesn’t work out for you for any reason, we will gladly switch you back to traditional pricing and still guarantee that you will save money over what you are paying now. Sound fair?

To learn more, give us a call at 651-202-8636 or send us an email to We look forward to serving you!