4 points to consider when implementing credit card payments into your dental practice
Credit card processing – a win-win
Every good implant dentist and every happy patient will tell you that implant dentistry offers incredible value, but it remains true that high-quality treatment is an expensive business that relatively few can afford outright.
While many dental practices won’t want to extend a credit facility to patients, there is an easy but sometimes overlooked way of payments being made in instalments – via a credit card. In essence, you get paid in full while the credit card company tackles the monthly payments, any interest accrued and possible debt chasing.
So, offering a credit card payment facility has the potential to be a winner for both your business and your patients without a sting in the tail. However, there are many credit card providers out there with myriad terms and condition (and some of those are a little hidden), so you need to do your homework before choosing a company to partner with.
Processing fees need to be considered, alongside the length of any contract the provider may want you to sign. Then there’s the potential for any mark-ups and the cost of any equipment you might need to process the payments – to name just a couple more expenditure possibilities.
Let’s look at each of these in turn:
- Processing fees – also known as interchange fees, this is the direct charge a credit card provider collects for each transaction
- Mark-ups – this is a percentage payment on top of the processing fee, which means the more you get patients to pay by credit card the more the provider makes. Brought to its lowest common denominator, the best provider for your business is one that does not take a percentage mark-up
- Equipment cost – many providers will expect you either to lease or buy the equipment needed to process the payments; either way the supplier will make a profit. However, some companies will be able to offer you the equipment needed at cost or free of charge for the duration that you use their facilities, which, of course, is what you are going to want to look for
- Contract duration – you don’t want to get tied into a long contract that contains clauses allowing the provider to change the fees at any time to any level, or one that has a large penalty charge if you want to end the term early, so watch out for those kinds of things. You can find providers that don’t lock you into a contract; that’s a company that is committed to your business and not just their bottom line, so they’re a boon in more way than one!
Finding the right credit card provider for your practice may seem like a daunting task but if you keep the four points mentioned above in mind, you are in a good position to start your search armed with information to ask the most salient questions.