Simplify Your In-Person Payments with Stripe Terminal

October 1, 2019, Kyla Steeves
Adding payment with Stripe Terminal.

Are you a big fan of Stripe? We are too, and we’ve got some good news — Stripe Terminal is available for operators in the United States. Now, you can extend your online bookings and payments to your point of sale (POS).  

Already, Checkfront fully integrates with Stripe, a trusted and SCA compliant payment gateway. You can take partial or full payments online, store credit card details on a safe server, and charge a guest for additional booking items without asking for their card again.

Wouldn’t it be nice to do the same for in-person checkouts? With Stripe Terminal, you can.

Why swipe with Stripe Terminal

As a set of SDKs, APIs, and pre-certified card readers, Stripe Terminal works seamlessly with your Checkfront web application and existing Stripe integration. By connecting all three, you no longer have to source both an online and POS solution for mobile or desktop. But there are other benefits: 

1. Enhances the walk-in experience

Website bookings have been getting most of the attention lately. While it’s a growing channel, starting to make up the majority of sales, walk-in and phone bookings still play a part. 

So far in 2019, offline accounts for 39.78% of total bookings, following closely behind online at 49.20%. More specifically, 56.75% of same-day bookings are offline, ahead of online at 39.54%. These two channels are neck and neck.

Bookings by distribution channel, walk-in, over the phone, OTA, and website bookings.
Based on our anonymized booking data.

Some guests prefer self-booking on your website, while others like visiting your store. Rather than focus on one or the other, it’s best to adopt an omnichannel approach. Luckily, Stripe Terminal ensures your offline bookings don’t get left behind. 

The card reader accepts swipe, chip, and contactless payments — including Apple Pay and Google Pay. With end to end encryption, your guests always make a safe transaction. Best of all, the splash screen is customizable so that your brand shines through during payment. 

Put everything together, and you have a frictionless, secure, and unforgettable booking experience for walk-ins — just like online. 

2. Reduces your check-in time

Let’s walk through a scenario. Your guest pays a 25% deposit at the time of booking online. Now ready for check-in, they owe the remaining balance, but also want to purchase some merchandise. Here’s how your team might ring up the sale:

  1. Rebill against the same card using the stored token — if you already use Stripe
  2. Accept cash, cheque, or gift cards, and record the payment under the POS classification and sub-type
  3. Manually enter a new card in Checkfront, which might also require supplying a new address
  4. Run the transaction through another payment gateway that has physical hardware, and classify it as POS-[other] payment

Minutes matter at the front desk; extra steps tend to pile up and lead to lines out the door. The last thing you want is to get behind schedule and make your guests wait. 

Stripe Terminal provides a simple, timesaving option. For the payment flow, you only have to:

Payment steps with Stripe Terminal.
  1. Bring up the invoice in Checkfront
  2. Click on Add Payment
  3. Enter the amount
  4. Select the card reader from the drop-down menu (yes, you can label them)
  5. Hit Process
  6. Let your guest proceed with paying

3. Streamlines reporting and reconciliation

Stripe Terminal completes and unifies your payment stack. All in one place, you can view your sales and guests across channels. There’s no having to switch and export between platforms.

This creates consistent reporting — making it easy to gain insight into your business. Whether you want to track cash flow, discover a trend in payment preferences or figure out the number of discounts applied, you can see all of the data at once. 

Most importantly, Stripe Terminal automates your end of day processes. Instead of manually entering and reconciling transaction information, your POS payments flow smoothly into your Checkfront and Stripe reports. Needless to say, this also reduces human error in bookkeeping.

4. Saves money on payment processing

While the card reader, Verifone P400, costs $399 upfront, you can save in the long run with Stripe Terminal. As you know already, Stripe doesn’t come with monthly fees, and that applies to Stripe Terminal as well. 

Stripe Terminal card reader.
Verifone P400

Stripe is also competitive and transparent about charges. On average, the cost of processing payments for US-based businesses is between 2.87% and 4.35% per transaction. For a card-present rate, Stripe Terminal sits at 2.7% + 5¢, compared to keyed or online at 2.9% + 30¢.

So it pays to keep POS in the Stripe family. 

Plus, the rate stays the same for most debit and credit cards. That means you can accept any payment method your guest prefers. Of course, there are additional fees for international cards and currency conversion. 

Get started with Stripe Terminal and Checkfront

For now, Stripe Terminal is only available to US operators, but more countries will be coming soon. If you’re eager to get it up and running, just follow a few simple steps: 

Stripe Terminal setup in Checkfront.
  1. Sign up for Stripe Terminal and Checkfront — if you haven’t done so already
  2. Order the Verifone P400 through Fleet Management, and keep an Ethernet cable on hand — wifi is in beta
  3. Enable Stripe Terminal in Checkfront, assuming you already have the Stripe integration. Check out these detailed instructions for set up
  4. Test out Stripe Terminal using the same link above
  5. Start collecting card payments for in-person checkouts and walk-in bookings

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