COVID-19 Merchant Story: How the Whole Pet Vet Switched to Mobile Card Machines in Two Days

COVID-19 Merchant Story: How the Whole Pet Vet Switched to Mobile Card Machines in Two Days

To say that COVID-19 has altered the small biz landscape would be a huge understatement.  Just about every business had to either shut down temporarily or modify their operations to adapt to shelter-at-home orders and social distancing. 

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The Whole Pet Vet Hospital and Wellness Center in Los Gatos, CA, is one example of a business that had to drastically change how it operated amidst COVID-19. The Whole Pet Vet team had to revamp their client intake process, communications, and payment procedures to follow the new health guidelines and keep their employees and customers safe. 

We recently caught up with Martin Donohoe who helps run The Whole Pet Vet, and asked him to share his and the team’s experience.

Check out what he has to say below!

About The Whole Pet Vet

The Whole Pet Vet is an independently owned veterinary hospital in Northern California. The business, which has been running and growing for the past 11 years, provides holistic veterinary care. In addition to traditional treatments and surgical services for various pets, The Whole Pet Vet also offers non-invasive treatments including acupuncture, herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, and chiropractic care.

How They Adapted The Business for COVID-19


As an animal hospital, The Whole Pet Vet was deemed an essential business, and was allowed to stay open. However, the team had to make major changes in their protocols to stay compliant with the latest guidelines from the government. 

According to Donohoe, the biggest change that the business had to make was to offer curbside services. 

“The first and most impactful protocol was shifting to a curbside service, so that clients are not coming into the building,” he explains. 

Donohoe says that this was particularly challenging because curbside services weren’t something they had to consider before. 

“We have never had to even think about this. Every now and then [prior to COVID-19], we may go facilitate a curbside approach to bringing an animal in. But generally, the owners come in to fill out paperwork and we’ll process that in the clinic.”

Before the pandemic hit, The Whole Pet Vet operated in a way that a traditional clinic would. Clients would wait in the lobby, wait for the doctor to see them and their pets, then pay at the reception area before leaving. 

All that had to change with a curbside setup, where people had to wait in the car while their pets were treated. 

“We were running out there to the client, getting their credit cards and running back in to process the payment, and then run back out. We knew the process would not be a scalable approach by any means,” recalls Donohoe. 

Staying On Top Of Payment Processing

Donohoe knew that the team couldn’t carry on with running in and out of the building to process payments, so he got in touch with Payment Depot to find a better way. 

“I contacted Payment Depot and told them that we needed a mobile solution. The first thing they did was set me up with an account with Swipe Simple and they sent me the processing units that I could use for my phone.”

“I was very impressed because they understood the sense of urgency. They overnighted the equipment and they had me set up on the Swipe Simple account,” he explained.

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According to him, the mobile credit card machines enabled the team to build more efficiency into the curbside process. Having clients wait in their cars still wasn’t ideal, but at least they could process payments outside of the clinic. 

“We put that in place really quickly, and we were up and running in two days.”

Experiencing Payment Depot Customer Service

As for his experience with Payment Depot and how we helped The Whole Pet Vet go mobile with payments, Donohoe says that everything “was a fantastic experience.” 

He praised Payment Depot’s customer service team and mentioned how they made the whole process quick and easy.

“I was very impressed because they understood the sense of urgency. They overnighted the equipment and they had me set up on the Swipe Simple account,” he explained.

“Everything was just ‘check this box,’ then boom — we were up and running very quickly.”

Lesson Learned from COVID-19: The Value of Agility and Adaptability

When asked about the biggest takeaways from the pandemic, Donohoe emphasized the importance of being nimble and flexible. 

“In our 11 years, we’ve never had to put in place these types of protocols. We not only had to shift physically how our business operates but also sort of transactionally. We made a big change within days. It wasn’t like we had a couple of weeks to string this out.”

He continued, “it was a constant reminder that you better be flexible and nimble in terms of how you’re going to conduct business. Your customers still have their expectations, and you need to figure out how to adapt and keep that level of customer service amidst the changes in your business.”

Payment Depot Can Help You Adapt

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Need to upgrade your payment processes? Whether you’re switching to mobile card machines, implementing curbside processors, or simply need to level up your in-store technology, Payment Depot can help.

We offer equipment solutions for every business and can get you up and running in no time!

Get in touch with Payment Depot today to learn how we can save you money and provide the best payment tech for your business. 

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