merchant services There are many more fees in existence, and we are
seeing new and creatively worded ones crop up every
Rat e gu ar an t ees. Don?t fall for teaser rates that rise after a short window of time.
Pr icin g gu ar an t ees. This includes the authorization fees per transaction, and any
Every processor or bank in the nation must comply by
other monthly fees outside of the rate they are
the rules set forth by the payment card industry.
Remember this when it?s time to make a change to your
merchant services provider! Data-security and
Set -u p or applicat ion f ees. There should be zero.
compliance requirements will be fairly uniform. The
factors that distinguish one processor from another will
M on t h ly m in im u m s. Again, these should not exist.
be its employees, the company?s transparency level, the
services it offers, and its access to technology.
Ven dor r epu t at ion . Do they have a reputable vendor to help you with PCI compliance? Can you do it online?
Finding a vendor who understands the needs and -
operations of a healthcare practice will offer a better
HIPAA pr ot ect ion . Do they know or at least understand what information is HIPAA
experience with that company than those who do not
have this expertise. This includes the salespeople, -
customer service representatives, managers and
Cu st om er ser vice con t act . Most salespeople in merchant services either only work in sales (not
technical support teams.
service), or they will be gone within 18 months, Here are a few points to get answered, preferably in
and you will be left to rely on service
writing, when you are exploring merchant services
representatives whom you have never met or
heard of previously for help. -
Ref er en ces. Do they have any healthcare
Con t r act len gt h . A normal contract lasts for
references to provide that can vouch for their
three years, which is OK if they don?t have any
ETFs. Be sure to ask if the contract will
automatically renew; and if so, what kind of
The ultimate goal of choosing a credit card processor is
notice you need to provide to opt-out of that
to be satisfied that they understand and meet your
needs and do so at the right price. Think of the
Ear ly t er m in at ion f ee or pen alt y. Red flag! You
relationship as more of a partnership than a way to get
shouldn?t have to pay the processor to leave
the cheapest rate.
No, your rates and fees shouldn?t be exorbitant; but
Fu n din g t im e. It should be either next-day or
good, reliable service has value.
the following day, never longer. -
On lin e r epor t in g capabilit ies an d cost .
Do your research up-front so that you can be confident
Processors should provide this free of charge. -
you?re choosing a vendor who will serve as an integral
Fee debit sch edu le. You want monthly debits
part of your practice?s operations and help increase your
of your fees, not daily, and you shouldn?t be
revenue while keeping costs to a minimum.
surcharged for it.
Perspectives on what's shaping the business of health care for independent practices.