Urgent Care Marketing – Merchant Services Tips

Do you ever wonder why your clinic gets tons of unwelcome calls each day asking about your credit card processing rates?  Everybody tells you that they can offer you the lowest rates and save you hundreds each month on your monthly statement.  Once you land yourself with the right provider you will eliminate the question in the back of your mind as to whether this slick talking sales rep can actually help you out. Use these five helpful tips to make sure that you are with an honest merchant service provider.

1.    Never Sign a Long Term Agreement

A lot of sales reps and banks like to lock you in to a 1-3 year agreement and charge you outrageous fees for cancelling your account.  The most typical cancellation fee is around $300.00 but we have seen some banks charge a percentage of their processing volume resulting in cancellation fees of over $30,000!   The bottom line is that there is no reason to enter into any sort of contract in which if you cancel that they will charge you a penalty.  A merchant service provider should have to continue to keep you happy and earn your business each and every month without holding your hand to the fire.

2.    Do not lease your equipment

Merchants leasing credit card terminals was very popular in the 90’s but we still see some business owners getting burned by the lease today.  It’s never a wise business decision to rent a terminal that costs $175.00 for $30.00 per month for 5 years!  There are plenty of options these days when it comes to taking cards from your patients.  The most popular with the healthcare industry is through your computer using a virtual terminal.

3.    Do your homework before switching

Be sure to check out the reputation of your merchant service provider.  The internet is filled with honest assessments of businesses that can help you avoid future headaches.

4.    Get the quickest funding available

Are quick are you receiving your deposits?  You should be receiving deposits for all four card types the next business day.  Most business accepting American Express are waiting 3-5 days to receive their American Express funds.  Make sure your processor has the American Express One Point program.  With One Point, you get your funds faster, eliminate an extra statement fee from American Express and have an easier time reconciling with all of your card activity on one month end statement.   Healthcare practices like yourself have it good at 2.55% for American Express when compared to retail shops paying 2.89% and restaurants paying 3.55%!

5.    Understand what you are paying each month

The best merchant service provider for your business will teach you how to read those statements you receive each month.  To most people reading those statements is equivalent to reading and comprehending a foreign language.  It is not that difficult once you have been properly educated.  When a sales guy asks you about your rates you can tell him exactly what pricing structure you are on and what your rates are.
The two most common pricing structures for credit card pricing are interchange (cost) plus pricing and tiered pricing.  MasterCard, Visa & Discover have over 600 different card types that your patients are using with each one of them having a different interchange or cost associated.  Interchange plus pricing takes the cost of the card and marks it up by a percentage and a transaction fee.  Tiered pricing pushes the card types you accept into four different rate buckets (Qual debit, Qual credit, Mid and Non).   Do you know which pricing structure your business is on?  What is your effective rates each month?

Urgent Care 2.0 is not a merchant services company, but we partner with the best!  If you would like to compare your current rates and see what we can save you just give us a call or send us an email through our Contact form below.  Be sure to mention that you are interested in learning how to save money on credit card processing.