Payment Processing for Dental Clinics

You’ve started your new dental practice. You need to worry about finding a location, ordering equipment, hiring staff – and then you have to figure out how to get paid. You need to worry about working with multiple payment methods – including accepting credit cards.

Or you may have been in practice for decades, and you’ve always just relied on the bank to point you in the right direction when it comes to payment processing. You don’t have time to worry about credit cards, and you don’t want to take the time to learn all the ins and outs of a very confusing industry. You want service and you want your money. Simple.

Nowadays, the payment landscape is changing. It’s not just a simple counter top where you punch in a number and the customer enters their card. There are Android devices that collect customer information, there are integrated systems that connect to your management software, there is ecommerce, there is GPay, Apple Pay, MPay, WeChat Pay and Alipay. There is VISA, Mastercard, Amex, Discover, Union Pay – the list goes on. How do you know whether you are getting a good rate? How do you navigate all the changes and figure out who to work with? How do you trust any of these crooked payment companies to give you the real deal (and by the way, the payment industry is one of the most corrupt industries in Canada)?

One of the reasons why KIS Payments exists is because our founder ran into all the same questions you may have, on a daily basis. So, he decided to write a book to help Canadian Companies, Service Providers, Practitioners and Professionals understand, at least enough, about payment processing to make an informed decision. We wanted to make sure the information was Clear.

Now, if you have already lost interest, stopped reading at least 2 paragraphs ago, I don’t blame you. I mean, credit card processors are just a necessary evil. What’s the difference?

Let’s take a look at 3 things you may not know about payment processing and how it relates back to your practice:

  1. Banks don’t have your best interests at heart (shocking, I know)
  2. Integrated payments (through a Management Software) will cost more
  3. There are all types of pricing models, Cost Plus Pricing is the best

If you visit your bank, you will typically get told to call a 1-800 number for one of their “preferred” providers. You have a lot on your plate and lot of things you still need to do, the easiest thing is to just call the 1-800 number they give you. But, is it the best thing for your business?

Time may not be an issue for you, perhaps you have lots of time to figure out which is the best option for you in credit card payments, but then again, it can be really confusing. How do you compare one provider with another when they all tell you different things? How do you figure out what is a good rate or a good price? How do you know what is the best equipment to use?

Well, just like I wouldn’t go to a Chiropractor to get help with my teeth, you don’t want to just rely on the bank for the answers. Banks don’t provide payment services, they have invested in companies that do. So, you may have been referred by a bank, but it’s a secondary entity that actually does the payment processing.

If you want to find out the real deal, talk to a Payment Expert, one that you can trust.

What about integrated payments, payments that are attached to your management software, such as Dentrix Dental Management Software? The issue with integrated payments is that you are limited to only one payment provider (in Canada Dentrix only works with one platform). That means, that in order to get their service for payments, you are being forced to pay whatever they decide. What is the alternative?

In the most recent installation we did for Lakeside Dental Clinic in Nanaimo, we were able to offer a Stand Alone system that allowed them to save over $2,000 per month in fees. The difference? They need to punch in the amount on the terminal before the customer pays. It means one extra step, but can make a big difference to your bottom line.

Now if you are going to spend time shopping around and talking to other Payment Providers, one of the best things you can do is make sure they quote you on a Cost Plus Basis. This means that you will be charged the cost of Interchange from VISA/MC plus a small service fee. Other forms of charges include flat rate and tiered pricing, which have a tendency to cost you much more in the end. But, the other question you need to ask isn’t just what are they charging for credit card fees, but what EXTRA fees are they charging you. If they are not upfront about those, you may want to shop elsewhere because lots of companies will quote a low rate, but then charge a bunch of extra fees on the back end – as the was the case with our customer mentioned above.

At the end of day, make sure you are working with a company with a good reputation in the industry, read reviews. You can visit a site like Merchant Maverick who is a watchdog for the Payment Processing Industry in Canada and the US. Then arm yourselves with the information on pricing and under the difference between integrated payments and stand alone payments. Lastly, make sure the company explains what your service options are, because even a cheap rate won’t help your business if you can’t get your terminals to work.

You have enough to worry about building your practice, and payments should be helping you build, not dragging you down.

For more information, or to get a complimentary quote from KIS Payments, you can visit wwww.KISPayments.com.