Looking for other options to process credit cards. We have been approached by several companies about changing to a different service. After checking several out, their fees are a lot lower but now I understand TSYS is the only one that integrates with OrthoTrac. Does anyone have some suggestions?
Good day Julie (bvos1109),
I'm adding Matt Czarick (mczar) from E-Services to this thread to see if he has any suggestions to offer. Other Orthotrac clients are also, of course, welcome to make their own suggestions.
Phil Carter / Orthotrac Escalation
I can tell you that when it comes to credit card "rates" and quotes you get, they tend to not be very accurate, especially when it comes to orthodontic offices. Typically the rate you are quoted is only for card present (swiped), non-reward cards, which for most orthodontic practices is not the majority of their transactions. If you are like most offices, you have a large number of customers set up on recurring Auto-Payments where you only have the card number stored and are not swiping the card each month. Unfortunately, Visa and MC sees any card that is not swiped as a higher risk (fraud) transaction and therefore they charge a higher rate. Now, with that being said, if you have been with Tsys (TransFirst) for more than a year you can ask them to do a rate review with you. If you are now charging more than you were in the past you may qualify for a reduced rate. It certainly doesn't hurt to ask.
If you really want to reduce your processing fees consider using our ACH feature if you are not already doing so. This is where you are drafting money directly from a customers checking account. Typically, it costs half as much to do this versus processing a credit card. While it is a little harder to convince a responsible party to allow you to do this, we have several offices that process over 500 ACH payments an month saving them upwards of $700 a month over what those same transactions would have costs if they were credit cards.
We have been with your company for several years. These are things I wish we would be informed about. I will contact Transfirst to see what can be done. Also we don't like to process a lot of ACH payments because it takes 7-10 business day to clear the bank. Patients get upset if we don't post it right away since they have a confirmation number. We used to post it right away then you have problems when the amount doesn't go through. The Doctor has spoken with our bank and they looked at out statements and they said they can lower our percentage. But I will contact Transfirst next week and see what they say.
I'm with Julie on the ACH. We tried it for over a year and it ended up being a royal pain. TransFirst would deposit the money in our account prior to the transaction clearing the patient's bank account. Then if it didn't clear TransFirst would then pull the money out of our account. Patients were frustrated with the turnaround time on ACH transactions and being charged late fees because the transaction took several days to process even when they initiated the payment a day or two before their due date. It was also very frustrating having to log-in to Transaction Central every day (sometimes mulitiple times in a day) to find out the exact status of any given transaction. Because they don't clear in order entered we had to create an Excel Spreadsheet to track everything.
You can go with Square, Apple pay and those others but you must manually enter every transaction into OrthoTrac because it's not integrated with OrthoTrac like Transfirst is. So you must either pay the higher card processing fee or pay an employee to manually post all the transactions into OrthoTrac.
On the upside, when I get annoying calls from various companies trying to get us to switch our credit card processing to theirs I literally say, "Sorry but ours is integrated with proprietary practice management software and as such I can't take advantage of whatever offer your calling about so please remove us from your calling list" and I then hang up.
Also, omitting the CVN number causes you to be charged more for the transaction too. The lowest fee will be a non-rewards card that is swiped, CVN number entered prior to processing, and settling all card transactions at the end of each day.
ACH is really nothing more than an electronic deposit of a check. Just like when you physically take a check to the bank, it may be 3-4 days before you find out if that check was returned for non-sufficient funds and then those funds are taken back out of your account. Unfortunately, the US banking system does not have a system to verify if funds are immediately available, like the credit card industry does. Even those "Check Verification" systems are not actually checking to see if funds are available, they are simply checking against a "bad check" database to see if the account has been flagged as frequent writer of bad checks.
We have several offices that process close to 1000 ACH transactions a month. While, yes there is a risk of having a returned check, it is fairly low in the Orthodontic market. Your ACH fees are also about a third of what a credit card transaction is, so it really comes down to each office making a business decision as to whether the much lower costs outweighs to occasional hassle. I personally am of the belief that it is better to allow your patients as many ways to pay as possible (cash, check, credit card, ach, CareCredit etc.), but every office is different.
Having worked at a bank before working in an ortho office, I always encourage patients to use ACH. Our office processes around 50 ACH transactions each month with no complications.
Hope everyone is having a great summer! Sorry I haven't responded earlier. I know this has been an issue for us also.
I asked our Financial Staff about ACH and this was their reply:
"I have looked into this numerous times. ACH is a nightmare with Transfirst, I have to log in several times a month and reverse the payments that have failed for insufficient funds from checking accounts,( Even though ACH fees are lower rates than credit cards.) it is not worth it. We push for CC more than ACH for autopay."
Maybe a 'fix' is needed.
Thanks for all the improvements and questions! Keep them coming!
That is the main reason we quit using ACH in our office. The doctor's wife reconciles the daysheets against all deposits made into the practice accounts. It was a nightmare between things "posting" in OrthoTrac prior to the transaction actually processing, we hated how TransFirst listed transactions, and having to constantly keep track of what the most current TransFirst password was between me and the doctor's wife. We found that we had more NSF's with ACH transactions than we do with autopayments set up with debit cards. If a debit card doesn't clear I know immediately and can send a text message to the patient. When patients ask if they can just set up an ACH we explain it's a much simpler and quicker process for us to process with their debit card or they can set up a "Bill Pay" through their bank.
I do explain that when they do a "Bill Pay" through their bank that it's not an electronic transaction but the bank takes the money from their account and mails a check to us and they need to keep that in mind when setting it up. One parent realized that it was routinely taking a week for the check from her bank to reach us.
Has anyone used Apple Pay, Google Wallet, or PayPal as an effective way to process online payments? We are getting more and more requests for Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and PayPal options from patients. I think some of may be because more and more retailers are offering these as options in addition to Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. Many of these requests are coming from our twenty-somethings who are paying for their own orthodontic treatment.
If you are using any of these options are you using them as an online option? If so, how did you integrate it?