American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise

In an effort to give you the tools and information you need to have a healthy business, ACE regularly investigates new business practices and technologies on the market. One emerging technology, mobile credit card payment processors, has already become a staple for health and fitness professionals in a variety of settings.

These small devices allow business owners to accept credit-card payments from clients anytime and anywhere using a mobile phone or tablet. After swiping a credit card through the device, clients sign the screen with their finger and then choose whether to receive their receipt via text or email.

ACE recently partnered with Square, a leader in mobile credit card payment technology, to provide an additional benefit for ACE-certified professionals. “This is the kind of partnership that will help ACE-certified Personal Trainers and Health Coaches grow their businesses through technology,” said Ted Vickey, ACE senior consultant on emerging technology and innovation. “Trainers and coaches will now be able to easily accept credit-card payments for their products and services using a device they already carry with them—their cell phone.”  

To learn more about the technology, Vickey chatted with Square spokeswoman Faryl Ury.

TV: Can you tell me a little about Square and how it works?

FU: Square began with a simple idea—that everyone should be able to accept credit cards. Square is a pocket-sized credit card terminal that connects to the mobile device you already own, including iPhone, iPad, Android and Window devices.

Pricing is simple and transparent. The Square reader and Square Register app are free, with transaction pricing starting at 2.75% with no monthly service charges, no activation fees and no cancellation fees. We also provide tools, including analytics and digital loyalty programs, to help trainers and coaches grow their businesses.

TV: How difficult is setting up Square, or any other type of mobile credit card payment processor?

FU: There are so many more important things that trainers and coaches need to worry about—their daily schedule, creating effective programs and providing exceptional customer service. The last thing they need is the stress of setting up Square or accepting credit-card payments. Square is simple to get up and running. With some basic information and a bank account, trainers and coaches can set up accounts and be ready to accept credit card payments in minutes.

TV: How can ACE professionals use this technology to expand their businesses?

Square offers simple and affordable tools that personal trainers and health coaches can use to start, run and grow their businesses. Trainers and coaches are often mobile themselves, being at the gym, in a studio, in a park or the home of a client. With Square, they can be anywhere and accept payments for their services. The device is free, the software is free, and it most likely works on the mobile device they already own.

TV: Why should professionals offer credit-card payments?

FU: By accepting credit-card payments, trainers and coaches can focus on what they know best—being a well-qualified, certified professional. Clients don’t need to worry about bringing cash to a workout, only their credit card. People these days expect to be able to pay with a credit card, and the easier the payment, the better the overall experience. Accepting credit cards can also allow a trainer or coach to sell a client a package deal, such as a 10-session training package.

TV: Is this technology safe? Are client and credit card data protected?

FU: Client credit card information is encrypted at the moment of swipe. Data is stored on the Square servers, not on the reader or mobile device. Trainers and coaches no longer need to worry about credit card security; Square does it all for them.

TV: Any final thoughts on the partnership between ACE and Square?

FU: At Square, we are a lot like ACE-certified Personal Trainers and Health Coaches. We want our customers to succeed in their business goals, just like a trainer or coach wants their clients to succeed in their fitness and health. If we can deliver what we promise—an affordable payment process with simple-to-use technology—then our clients will continue to use Square.

ACE-certified professionals can sign up with Square and receive free processing on up to $5,000 in credit card transactions for the first 180 days.*

 *  Limited time offer valid only for new Square customers and is not transferable. Waived processing fees are reimbursed to your account on each deposit.