How to set up deposits for online bookings

As a general rule, we recommend taking online deposits for each of your services. This also makes it cheaper on the day for the client which can make them more inclined to buy your retail products.

Your customers can pay for their appointments when they book through Timely. We have a range of payment gateways to choose from so that your customers can pay for their appointments at the time of booking. For a list of all of our support gateways check here.

This process involves the following:

  1. Connect a payment gateway.
  2. Add custom text to the payment page.
  3. Set your default online payment terms.
  4. Adjust your online payment terms for individual classes or services.


Connect and setup a payment gateway

We connect to a number of different payment gateways. You can choose which payment gateway you would like to use from our Supported Gateways.

Each provider will have its own fee structure, so make sure to check them all out to see which best fits your business.
  1. Go to Setup > Add ons > Payment gateways
  2. Click the Activate button.
  3. Select your payment gateway and set up your gateway as per these instructions here.

Note that payment gateways can work a little differently from each other. When PayPal is connected, the customer will be redirected to a new booking page that is hosted by PayPal. For this reason, it's not possible to add custom text to their payment page.

Learn more: Check out our How to connect a payment gateway to your account.


Add custom text to the payment page

Some payment gateways will require you to show specific information about your business on the payment page, like your business address or registered company name. You can add these and/or any further instructions you'd like to give customers.
  1. Head to Setup > Add ons from the main menu and click Configure next to the payment gateway.
  2. Next to the Custom text on the payment page option, click Turn on:
  3. Enter the information and message you would like to display on that payment page:
  4. Click Save to apply your changes.


Set your default online booking payment terms

You can set a default online payment policy that will automatically be applied to your services and classes online. You also have the option to set individual payment terms for individual services or classes. Check out Step 4 (below) for more information.
  1. Go to Setup, then click Online Payments. 
  2. Go to the Online payment terms section: 
  3. Click the Accept online payments drop-down and choose your preferred deposit option: 
  4. By default your deposits will be treated as a customer credit. If you would prefer to treat deposits as a sale untick this box.

    Treating deposits as a credit is strongly recommended 
  5. You'll then have some additional options:
    1. Enter the deposit value (the percentage or the fixed amount): 
    2. Determine if you would like to Provider a "Pay later" option for customers (see below)
    3. If you want customers to be able to pay the remainder of the balance online, check the box next to Can pay remaining amount online.
  6. Click Save to apply.
  7. Note: When a customer is booking more than one service through the online booking process while deposits are in place, the deposit is payable  per service rather than for the overall price of the booking.  E.g. If a 10% deposit is in place, the total amount of the deposit the customer will need to pay is 10% per service.


Adjust the online payment terms for individual services

If you have individual services or classes that require a different online payment policy, then you can adjust their individual settings.
This is perfect if you want to request a deposit for only some services, or if you require full payment for higher value services.
  1. Head to Setup > Services.
  2. Click Edit next to the service you want to adjust.
  3. Scroll down to the Online payments section: 

  4. Check the Use a different payment policy for this service radio button: 
  5. Choose the relevant option from the drop-down list. If you chose 'deposit', then you will be required to enter the amount or percentage

  6. Click the Save button to apply.

Using the Pay later option

When you set the default policy for online payments, you can choose if you'd like customers to be able to Pay later. You can only apply this setting for all services, not for each service individually, so if you would like to add/remove the pay later option, then you will need to update your default terms as well.

If you only require deposits on some services, but would like to disable the Pay later option, then you can temporarily update your default terms under Setup > Online payments> Online payment terms. This allows you to uncheck the box next to Provide a "Pay later" option and click Save:  

You can then pop back in and switch this back to Do not accept online payments, this updates your default settings but keeps your Pay later settings for any individual services.

What the customer sees

Once the gateway and terms are set up, customers will be redirected to the gateway to pay for their appointment when they click Confirm on the last step of the online booking process. 

Timely will reserve the booking on your calendar for up to 60 minutes while the payment is completed. If the payment is not successful then the slot will be released.

Here is an example where the eWay gateway is being used. Your customer can click Pay later or Pay now at this point: 

If a customer decides to use the Pay later option, this will create an appointment and invoice which they are are able to download.

Frequently asked questions

Q. What happens to services with “Varies” or “Do not show” pricing?
A. Online payments will not be offered for bookings that include a service with “Varies” or “Do not show” pricing which means they will be processed as usual.

Q. Can I ask my customers for deposits?
A.  Yes, you can set up deposits in addition to full payments. Read this help article to find out how.

Q. Can I add a credit card surcharge for card payments/merchant fees?
A. It's not possible to add an automatic surcharge to your online payments or invoices. You can manually add and calculate a surcharge by creating a "Surcharge" product and adding this to the invoice instead. We recommend including the surcharge in your pricing if you accept online payments.

Please note if you are in the UK you are no longer allow to pass card fees to your customers 

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