This is a tough one to be honest. There are so many different factors that go into determining a practices credit card rate and quite honestly the credit card industry seems to make it hard to compare apples to apples. Some companies will charge you a lower discount rate, but then a higher per transaction fee (or vice versa). Others might charge you a "monthly statement fee" anywhere from $10 - $50 a month or an "equipment leasing fee" and try to get you locked into a long term contract. So when comparing different offers make sure you are taking all that into account and don't just look at the "rate" they offer you.
If you have not already done so, figure out what your true cost of credit card processing is today. Take a look at the three busiest months over the last 12 months and simply divide the total amount of credit card charges by the total fees you were charged. Depending on the types of cards your specific customers use and the percentage of cards that are swiped (keyed transaction are much higher) you should be somewhere in the 2-4% range. Any credit card company you are talking to should offer to do an analysis. If they do not, you really should avoid doing business with them. They may ask you for your most recent statements from your current processor so they can get an idea of what type of cards are used in your office. Unfortunately, the rewards cards (free airline tickets, Amazon gift card, golf clubs, etc) are charged a higher rate than non-rewards cards and so are cards that are not swiped. Somebody is paying for those free trips and it is not Visa or MasterCard.
I know this doesn’t completely answer your question, but other than getting rate quotes from a few different credit card processors there is not much you can do to get lower rates. At the end of the day this is a banking function and the rates are based on risk, so things like demographics, credit card volume (the more the better), credit rating all play into the rates you will get.
There are a few things I like about TransFirst. 1) They do not require a long term contract. I am pretty sure they only require a 30 day cancellation notice. 2) They are fully integrated with Softdent so all the credit card processing is done directly from the patient’s ledger. This prevents a payment from being taken on a terminal but not entered into the ledger etc.
I would like to know if anyone with OrthoTrac and Transfirst has the dip card reader yet? If so, when and how did you get it?
Thank you for getting back to me so long ago. I am finally getting around to looking into Transfirst. I had two meetings set up Brad Fowlkes during my lunch hour and both times he was 15 minutes late for our set time. It seems as if he is not concerned with my questions and just wants me to sign a contract. Are you aware of anyone else within Transfirst I can talk to? Thanks, Leah
I can find someone for you. I will pass this information along to our contact at TransFirst.
Leah, I just wanted to check back with you. Did you get your questions answered?
I just had an alleged Visa merchant call and say we aren't showing up as processing as a healthcare provider and that there's advantages fees wise to running the business credit card wise as a healthcare provider rather than a regular vendor. Is there a way Transfirst can switch us all to healthcare or was this whole call bogus?
Tara, I'm tagging mdowling on this post as well to gain some assistance and insight into why someone would claim there are rate differences. I'm not aware that there are any.