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Case Study

theCut

TheCut is a technology solution built for barbers and barber shops. Their app helps barbers get discovered by new clients, book appointments, and run their business.

Summary

  • TheCut was looking for a new payments provider that their barbers could trust.
  • They started by integrating Square In-App Payments SDK and quickly got up and running with a beautiful payment form, customized to look native to their app.
  • In-app payments have grown by 400% since they migrated their payments to Square.
  • Next, they’re excited about integrating Reader SDK so barbers can offer card-present payments through theCut — powered by Square.

Building technology for the barber shop

Co-founders Kush Patel and Obi Omile, Jr. got the idea for theCut while talking about getting a haircut after playing basketball. “‘I hope there aren’t a million people in line,’” Patel recalls telling Omile. “We would always spend two, three hours at the barbershop. It’s an unknown.”

Patel and Omile realized that, while the barbershop is a cornerstone for community building and confidence boosting, there were some serious pain points for both barbers and clients. “For many barbers, we learned that there really was no business – they were just cutting hair. We set out to help barbers build a business around the service that they provide,” Patel shared.

Managing appointments was the biggest pain point they observed, so theCut started with scheduling software specifically designed for barbers’ needs. Meanwhile, their app also made it easier for clients to find and get appointments with great local barbers.

Digital payments for a cash-based industry

But payments posed a challenge for theCut. The barbershop industry is dominated by cash: many barbers are underbanked, and there is a lot of distrust of digital payments on both sides of the barber’s chair. Even so, Patel was determined to enable barbers to accept credit cards through the app. “For us, the barbers are the key. If we give them a tool that helps them grow, then they’ll ask their clients to use it,” he explained.

When they first built in-app payments into theCut using another processor, though, adoption was low. They found that while barbers loved theCut, many of them didn’t yet trust them to handle payments. In fact, they found that many barbers would use theCut to make appointments, and switch over to Square to take the card payment. They saw an opportunity to take advantage of Square’s brand trust among their audience, while also making the process more seamless by using Square In-App Payments SDK.

“For us, the barbers are the key. If we give them a tool that helps them grow, then they’ll ask their clients to use it.”

—Kush Patel / Co-founder of TheCut

Patel said it took him just 30 minutes to get the mobile form implemented and customized the way he wanted. “To build a form that has that animation and handles all of the different cards would be really difficult to do. We got that for free and it looks great,” he said. “We were also able to customize it so that it really feels like it’s native to our app.”

As a result, payments made through theCut app grew by 400% within six months of their migration to Square. Their barbers are thrilled with the partnership with Square, a brand they know and trust. Patel noted that theCut used to receive a lot of negative feedback from barbers when they had their previous processor in place, due to delayed deposits. With Square, barbers receive their funds in their bank account the next business day—which eliminated the old question “where’s my money?”

Next up, Patel and Obi are looking to integrate Square Reader SDK to take payments with Square hardware in theCut app. By enabling card-present payments right in the app, the payment experience will be even more seamless for barbers and clients using a physical card to pay.