Google Calendar has just launched a new feature that allows professionals and freelancers the ability to take paid appointment bookings. This functionality is likely to be useful for SMEs and entrepreneurs or those in the service industry who work in paid blocks, such as tutors and therapists.
The update is seen as an improvement on the tool’s appointment scheduling functionality. It also highlights the company's focus on increasing processes and productivity for its business users, having last month scrapped passwords for business accounts in favour of passkeys.
Paid Appointments Will Cut The Risk Of No-Shows
In a blog post, the Google Workspace team explained that it had partnered with Stripe for the new feature. To start accepting payments, service providers can connect their existing Stripe account to Calendar or open up a new one from inside the tool.
From there, users can update their appointment schedule by ticking the ‘require payment when booking’ box. Below this is the option to set a price and currency. Users will be able to set and manage their own cancellation and refund policies, which will appear on the booking form, but Google won’t assist on that side of things.
The customer booking an appointment will visit the booking page, select a preferred time and then enter their credit card details to reserve the slot. The primary benefits of this feature aim to reduce the number of customers who book an appointment but don't turn up, as well as streamlining payment management – both costly situations for any business.
Google also confirmed it won’t be charging any platform fees, and nor will it store or process any payment information.
When are Calendar Bookings Rolling Out?
A rollout can be expected across the next few days, for users subscribed to Business Standard, Business plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Standard, Education Plus, the Teaching and Learning Upgrade edition, Nonprofits and Workspace Individuals.
Calendly, the schedule management app, has had a similar paid feature for over a year now. However, for those using Google Calendar exclusively, this update is likely to be a welcome one.
Calendar Features Celebrate A New Working Era
The paid appointment booking tool joins another new Google Calendar feature, which allows users to show their working location – either at home or in the office – throughout the day. Recently introduced, this functionality has proved useful for hybrid workers and is a signifier of the monumental shift to flexible working.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, a surge in American entrepreneurship was seen with over 5 million new business applications received in 2022 – the second largest figure on record. With tech companies continuing to develop tools that acknowledge this new working landscape, they’re also seemingly expediting it and making life easier for SMEs and entrepreneurs in the process.