Almost every business that charges for events or appointments needs to offer a facility for their customers to book online nowadays, without having to make a phone call or visit a physical office to make the booking.
It’s what people expect and even the businesses which maybe avoided this in the past are being dragged into the 21st century with the Covid-19 lockdowns forcing people to book things online that they may have done in person before.
Online booking systems are nothing new and there are many services around that are dedicated to providing your business with a quick and easy way to take bookings from customers. There is usually one issue with these services, they take a fairly hefty cut of the profit by either enforcing a reasonably large flat fee per booking, or they take a significant percentage.
In some industries people are accustomed to the extra ‘booking fee charge’ that is added on the price of a ticket, especially for concerts and festivals etc. But where does this come from and why is it required? Does it really cost this extra amount to process a booking?
The quick answer is no. Booking systems are built to scale up to deal with large amounts of bookings, and the cost to process the financial transaction is usually much less than the mysterious ‘booking fee’. There is a cost involved to process a financial transaction on the internet and then transfer funds into your bank account, but what some booking system providers charge as a booking fee is many times more than this cost. The reality is that they are charging an extra fee simply to process your booking when there is no extra work required on their part.
They will justify this by saying it’s a charge to help pay for the initial set up and development of their system which required large investment, but unless they are constantly enhancing and improving their systems and incurring their own cost to do that (which they won’t be), its like us saying that we will develop a website for you at a specific cost, but then we want an additional payment for each person that visits your website!
There is an alternative to this madness - a robust, comprehensive booking system developed for your business that has no booking fees or hidden charges to you, just whatever the cost is to develop the system and the payment processing fee.
At Problue Solutions we build a wide variety of ecommerce websites including booking systems that can facilitate event and appointment booking with restrictions on slots, blocking out slots on calendars, and full back-office management of bookings – without adding on an additional fee to each booking!
We can set up a Stripe merchant account for you and connect it to your bank account where the only charges are for the actual credit/debit card transaction – no monthly fees, no hidden fees – just 1.4% + 20p per transaction. Alternatively, you can use PayPal to accept payments.
If you are thinking about having a booking system developed for your business and would like to know more, please get in touch.