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3 ways credit card processing can benefit your dental practice

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Expanding your payment options can be good for business

As a dentist, there’s a lot you have to manage. From scheduling when you’ll see your patients to filing paperwork to coordinating staff and fulfilling your obligations as a dentist, there’s a lot to keep track of. You don’t have time to wonder how you’ll get paid for the treatments and services you’re providing. If you’re looking for a way to offer another payment method option at your practice, accepting credit cards might be the right choice. It’s fast, secure and convenient for your patients. This article will talk about three ways credit card processing can benefit your dental practice.

Three ways credit card processing can benefit your dental practice

While accepting credit cards at your dental office might seem confusing, it’s a pretty simple process that can have big benefits. Whether you’re using your own merchant account or working with a payment processing partner, there are three significant ways accepting credit cards can help your business.

The flexibility of mobile payments

Many customers utilize credit cards for almost everything in today’s digital world. That allows your dentistry practice an opportunity to meet your customers where they are. Utilizing mobile payments at your practice can transform how your staff works and how you interact with your customers. With mobile payments, you’ll use a mobile device like a tablet or smartphone to accept credit card payments, turning the device into a virtual terminal. That means your patients can pay you right from their dental chair. There are a ton of benefits to accepting mobile payments, including:

  • Faster payments – Mobile payments take less time than traditional payment methods to process. That's because customers almost always have their smartphones on them, so it's a fast and convenient way for them to pay. Plus, getting started as a business is quick and easy.
  • Cashless – Customers can pay without counting out cash and you don’t have to count change back to your customers. Mobile payments can limit the number of bank deposits you and your staff have to make, saving you time and effort. Plus, less cash is better for businesses, too.
  • More robust security – Technology has made it safer and easier to use mobile payments. That’s because mobile payments are as secure as credit cards, if not safer. Your payment processor will utilize methods that follow PCI-DSS compliance to protect your customers and your business.
  • An integrated payment solution – Mobile payments give your office the flexibility to see real-time reporting and send paperless receipts. There’s even integration into your practice management software, accounting system and invoicing system.
  • Reasonable price – Accepting mobile payments is typically no more expensive than other payment processing options that include credit card processing costs. Talk to your credit card processor to discuss their pricing model to see about low-cost mobile payment options and card processing fees and how they match your processing needs.

So how do you get started accepting mobile payments? You’ll need a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet, a card reader and a mobile app. Then, you’ll be able to take payments right from wherever you are.

Recurring billing

You are probably familiar with recurring payments, as you may make a regular rent payment to your landlord for your dental office. But recurring billing can be an effective way to bill your patients, especially if you have patients who come to the office frequently or need to set up a payment plan. Instead of asking for their credit card each time and performing a new credit card transaction each time a payment is due, they’ll sign up for recurring billing. If they are interested and agree to recurring payments, you’ll use your online payment gateway to set the frequency and amount of each payment.

Customers can expect safe and secure payments with your payment gateway, even recurring payments. While your customers may be familiar with recurring billing utilizing the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system, you can set up regular payments with their credit card. That means less hassle every time they come to see you.

Credit card terminal

A credit card terminal is a standalone device that helps you accept credit and debit card payments from your patients. It is simpler than a complete point of sale (POS) system. A credit card terminal essentially receives all of the customer’s credit card information before handing it off for authentication. While you may already be using a credit card terminal (perhaps with a complete POS system), it’s important to ensure that this terminal can accept EMV chip cards. Often, merchant service providers lease this equipment out to their merchants.

What’s an EMV chip card? EMV is a technology that stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa. This technology is now on all cards, including other card network cards like American Express and Discover. These chip cards use EMV chip technology, a security feature that makes it more difficult for thieves to steal credit card information. EMV chip-enabled card readers allow customers to insert their credit or debit cards for more secure transactions.

EMV chips contain secure algorithms that generate new authentication codes for every transaction. These codes are then sent to the issuing bank, which confirms the transaction before processing, helping prevent credit card fraud. This makes accepting credit cards even safer at your business, and EMV is the gold standard for credit card payments.

There are some unique considerations compared to other business types when it comes to dental credit card processing. That’s because you deal with sensitive personal health information as a healthcare professional. You’ll need to ensure that your processing solution is HIPAA compliant. So as you’re researching potential processors, it’s a good idea to confirm that they meet all HIPAA compliance requirements. If they don’t know, speak with someone at the company directly who can provide you with that answer. If they don’t follow HIPAA guidelines or don’t fully understand them, it’s probably best to skip them in favor of another processor that knows all of the compliance requirements.

As you can see, there are a few different ways you can implement credit card processing in your dental practice. By incorporating these, you can be more efficient, which helps streamline your patients’ experience at your dental office. By doing that, you can simplify your decisions and focus on serving your patients’ smiles.

Ready to work with a payment processor who can help you accept credit card payments?

Heartland is the point of sale, payments and payroll solution of choice for entrepreneurs that need human-centered technology to sell more, keep customers coming back and spend less time in the back office. Nearly 1,000,000 businesses trust us to guide them through market changes and technology challenges, so they can stay competitive and focus on building remarkable businesses instead of managing the daily grind. Learn more at heartland.us.