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An overview of online payments

Send your patients payment links and enable advanced payments via online booking.

Emily avatar
Written by Emily
Updated over a week ago

You can easily let your patients pay online—either in advance, for their online bookings, or you can email them invoices with payment links after their appointments!

There are six parts to this guide:

Set up online payments

Head to Settings, and then Integrations:

Scroll down to Stripe Payments and press the Connect with Stripe button:

If you already have a Stripe account, you can sign in (there will be a spot for you to do so on the next page). If you don't, you'll need to create one. Just fill out all the details on the Stripe page, which will look something like this:

Before finishing, you'll need to be sure that you authorise access to the account:

Linking your Stripe account with your Cliniko account will not automatically enable online payments. You'll need to configure some additional settings!

Once you've authorised Stripe access, you'll be brought back to your integration settings, and it'll look something like this:

You may see an alert that suggests adding online payment links to your invoice email templates—this will show up if you don't have online payment placeholders set up. Head over here to learn how to do that!

You'll see some other options, as well:

These include: automatically email receipt, payment type, show QR code on invoices, default deposit amount, and show "Powered by Stripe" badge. Below, we'll walk you through what those mean!

  • Automatically email receipt: if Cliniko invoice, Cliniko receipt, or Stripe receipt is selected it means that when the patient pays online, they will automatically receive a receipt upon payment. We have some more information on how to set this up here!

  • Payment type: any payments taken online will be recorded (in Cliniko) as the payment type you select here. This can be something that already exists (such as "Credit card"). Or you can create a new payment type called "Online payments", or whatever makes sense to you. Just remember: every online payment will be lumped into this category. So if you want an easy way to get an "at-a-glance" view of online payments, it might be worthwhile to create a brand new payment type for the occasion!

  • Show QR code on invoices: if this is enabled, an online payment QR code will be shown on invoices when they're printed or emailed. Patients can scan this QR code with their mobile device and be brought to an online payment link so that they can pay.

  • Default deposit amount: the amount that you would require as a deposit for each appointment type, but that can be changed within each appointment type's settings. More information about this setting can be found here.

  • Show "Powered by Stripe" badge: if enabled, this will display a small badge that says "Powered by Stripe" on the patient-facing payment page. We have more information about it here.

In order for the integration to work properly, your appointment types will need to have related billable items set up. Learn how to do this here!

Specify which appointment types take online booking payments

Connecting to Stripe won't automatically mean that your patients can pay when they book online—you'll need to configure a few more settings. These settings will all be managed within individual appointment types.

To get started, head into Settings, and then Appointment types. You'll see your main list of all appointment types, as in the example below:

Select one that you know you want to offer online booking payments for. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and make sure that the box under Show in online bookings is checked. Assuming it is, you'll see another field called Online payments:

If this is your first time integrating Stripe with Cliniko, each appointment type will be defaulted to "Disabled".

If you select the menu under Online payments, you'll see four options:

The definitions of those options are as follows:

  • Disabled: online payments will not be offered for this appointment type in the online booking process.

  • Allow payment during booking: online payments will be allowed, but not required. Patients can book this appointment type without paying before booking the appointment.

  • Require deposit during booking: you can require a deposit (not the full amount) at the time of booking. The remainder of the payment can be taken at the time of the appointment.

  • Require payment during booking: patients will have to pay in full before they can book the appointment.

If you require that the full payment is made before the patient completes the booking, be sure to select "Require payment during booking"! If that option is not selected, a patient would be able to get through the entire booking process without paying.

After you select whether payment type will be allowed or required, make sure to hit Update appointment type. And that's it! Now you've enabled payments in the online booking process. Let's take a look at another way of taking online payments!

Send invoices to patients so that they can pay online

When you send invoices with payment links to your patients, there will be a few ways to do so. First things first, the invoice will have to be created. Once that's done, you'll be able to find the invoice on the Invoices page, and under Actions, there will be an option to Send:

When you press Send, a window will pop up that will give you some options of either emailing the invoice, sending an SMS link, or sharing the link (this will also include the QR code). Below is a quick video demo of what this will look like:

We'll go through each of these options:

  • If you email the invoice, it will include a PDF of the invoice as an attachment, and the body of the email will include whatever you've set up in the template (which should include the online payment placeholder!).

  • If you send as an SMS, the patient will receive the online payment link to the mobile number they have on file. (Please note that sending a payment link as an SMS will require that you purchase SMS credits.)

  • If you share the link, you can either copy the payment link and share it however you see fit (maybe a separate email, or a personalised text message). You can also copy the QR code and send it to the patient, as well.

The other way to send invoices is directly from the invoice page itself! If you go into the invoice, you'll see an option to Send at the top:

Selecting that will give you the exact same options that were listed above—email, send an SMS, or share the link.

What does the patient see?

When patients navigate to the payments page, things will look a little different depending on whether they got there through an online payment link or by booking online.

Online payment link

If patients navigate to the online payment page, by default, they'll will be able to see the business name, the total balance for the invoice, and a variety of payment options.

You have the ability to tailor the online payment page to your preferences. Head to your Stripe account settings to further personalize the logo and other text/visual elements.

We may offer additional payment types in the future but at this time, patients can pay with Google Pay, Apple Pay, or credit card.

Stripe also offers patients a way to make payments easier, using their Link system. With Link, they can save their payment information for future invoices and check out in one-click.

Keep in mind Link can be turned off in your Stripe settings. Once payment is successful, patients will see a confirmation page on Cliniko:

Patients will then receive an email receipt (depending on your integration settings).

Online booking

When it comes time to booking and pay via online bookings, the patient is going to go through the same regular online booking process as always. They won’t see anything different until the final step—the payment!

Once the patient selects their appointment and fills out their personal details, they'll have to input their payment details (they will see either the total amount, or the required deposit, depending on what you've set up):

Once all is said and done, they'll see the following (assuming their booking is successful):

If a patient has paid for their online booking in advance, they cannot cancel their own appointment using the cancellation link.

How does an online payment look in my account?

Great question! So, an online payment is going to look pretty similar to a "regular" payment. There are a few key differences, though.

Firstly, an invoice will automatically be created—and paid (in part, or in full). The little "money" symbol on the appointment will let you know:

If it's a black symbol, it means the invoice has been paid in full. If it's red, it means a deposit has been taken, but the full amount is still owing.

If you open the appointment, you'll see this, as well (this is an example of an invoice paid in full):

If you take a look at the invoice, you'll see how and when it was paid. For online bookings, this typically will be before the appointment date:

If you view the payment, you'll note a new field at the bottom: 'Online payments'. This indicates the patient's payment, as well as the Stripe fee, the net payment amount, and the date it was paid.

WAIT! What's this about a fee?

If you’re using online payments, Stripe will charge a fee for each transaction. The total amount will differ based on a couple of things: where in the world you're located and what type of card the patient pays with (domestic or international). 

Why the fee, though?

Stripe is an incredibly powerful payment processor, and they're one of the best around. In fact, we use them to process your Cliniko subscription payments, and we're charged fees, too! Stripe has amazing support, they're used world-wide, and they're also just super easy to use.

Like any company, they need to make money—and transaction fees are their way of doing it. It's a small price to pay for safe, secure transactions that are processed in real time!

Please note that we do not make any money from Stripe, nor are we affiliated with them. We simply think that they are the best for the job, and that's why we have chosen to use them as the secure payment processor for online payments.

How do refunds work?

Right now, all refunds need to be processed through Stripe—they can't be processed through Cliniko yet.

If you need to refund a payment, you'll be able to open it up in Stripe via the 'View in Stripe' link:

That will open the payment in Stripe for you:

Click anywhere on that payment—or click the three dots (...) to the right, and it will open up another new page, and you'll see the option to refund in the corner:

Press that, and you'll be prompted to select the amount and reason:

Press the Refund button, and you'll see that the payment now has a 'Refunded' note next to it in Stripe:

Stripe also has resources for issuing refunds on their support site.

Because this refund won’t be reflected in Cliniko just yet, you’ll need to manually record it within your Cliniko account.

As always, if you have any questions about online payments, our support team is here to help. Happy booking! 🤗 

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