How to find a payment-processing partner that will help you make money

Editor’s intro
Controlling payment processing can be complex, but it is vital to realize how this aspect can either grow your practice or harm it. Read Samantha Ettus’ tips on how the right payment-processing partner can help make you money.

Samantha Ettus discusses how controlling payment-processing is crucial to your business

It’s a common misconception that you have to choose between saving money and investing in your business. There is an area where you can achieve both: payment processing.

Chances are, a majority of revenue you earn is through credit card transactions, with an increasing number of your patients even requesting to use Google or Apple Pay.

Traditionally, the payment-processing industry has relied upon a double whammy. First, some companies produce confusing invoices designed to mask that you are overpaying. Others offer poor customer service that doesn’t compare to what you were promised. From being PCI compliant to making sure you don’t get swindled on price, there are a myriad of things to look out for when choosing a payment provider.

Here are six ways to select the right one:

  1. Time is money

You know this, but are you living it? Here is what I mean: If your credit card machine breaks, your office manager needs to contact customer service. This could put her on hold for hours, pulling her off of other projects. Whatever the circumstance, it is costing you money. You are unable to accept your customers’ credit cards until the problem is fixed, you are losing valuable employee time trying to fix it, and that employee has to spend additional time following up on unpaid invoices. A lose-lose situation. You need a payment partner whom you can reach and who will troubleshoot with you right away.

  1. Technology has advanced significantly

As an orthodontist, can you get away with using outdated tools? No! Staying up-to-date is essential for growth. The same goes for your payments. Making sure that your point-of-sale system incorporates the latest technology serves the following two purposes:

    1. It demonstrates to your patients that you are modern, giving them confidence in your practice.
    2. It shows that you are keeping up with industry changes that your competitors are likely already taking advantage of — for example, the ability to accept Apple Pay or access to speedier transaction processing.
  1. Transparent pricing is available

It shouldn’t be easier for you to read in a foreign language than it is for you to read your merchant services statement. Your statement should be clear and simple. It should not be laden with hidden fees and shady charges. Expect transparency — the only pricing model you deserve.

  1. Trust your rep

This industry has a history of using car salesman-like tactics to rope you into lengthy contracts and poorly priced deals. You want to work with a company and a rep who are reliable, who care about your practice and your time, and who are not charging you for the wrong products to benefit their own bottom line. You also want the kind of provider who gives you the best rate the first time, not as a reaction to someone else walking into your office with a better offer. You want one cost-effective rate from the beginning. If someone offers to match your best offer, they aren’t offering you their best offer in the first place. The industry has evolved away from contracts, so don’t get caught in one. Your payments’ provider should have to earn your trust again and again every month.

  1. There are compliance regulations you need to adhere to

Hidden among your fees might be one that is costly and very simple to avoid —  payment card Industry (PCI) compliance. It’s common for payment-processing reps to intentionally keep you in the dark about noncompliance fees because the reps profit from what you don’t know. Being PCI compliant may seem complicated, but there are payment-processing firms that help you file and fill out the paperwork annually so that you are not at risk. Choose one that provides this service.

  1. Consumers are increasingly socially conscious

Consumers today are increasingly aware of companies that are dedicated to a social mission, and they are more likely to support those businesses. With this in mind, choose vendors and partners that are committed to ethical business practices or are built to support a social mission. You can contribute to the larger business environment by selecting a payments’ partner that has a clear goal of diversity and inclusion.

You may not have realized that your payments setup can either grow your practice or cripple it. You can control this crucial piece of your practice by choosing the right partner for your payments.


Editor’s call to action
Besides controlling payment processing, there are many other ways to effectively manage office expenses. Read “Maximizing practice profits”.

Samantha Ettus is the founder & CEO of Park Place Payments, aimed at helping small- to-medium-sized businesses use payments to grow their businesses. Ettus holds a BA and an MBA from Harvard, is a best-selling author, and has dedicated her career to championing women in the workforce.

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