7 Steps To Help EHR Software Providers Grow Their Userbase and Revenue

Electronic health records, or EHR software, are a staple in modern healthcare organizations. Their ability to maintain accurate and easily accessible patient records across facilities has helped physicians provide better care to their patients. 

More than 96% of hospitals use some form of EHR system to maintain records, which is good because it shows clear demand for the software. 

But in such a saturated market, selling your EHR software and expanding your user base can be difficult. 

If you want to increase the user base and boost the revenue of your EHR software, you need the right tips for marketing. Here’s a step-by-step strategy you can use to boost sales for your EHR tools:

TL;DR

  • Electronic health records, or EHR, is a software used to maintain patient records across multiple facilities. The majority of hospitals already use EHR software, making the market saturated. However, the right strategy and tips can help expand an EHR software’s user base.
  • Understanding the market, providing advanced features, and collaborating with other ventures in the healthcare technology market help boost EHR software sales.
  • Integrating the EHR software with payment processing tools like Stax Connect also helps create an all-in-one platform that simplifies workflow management at hospitals and other medical practices.
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Understand Your Market

If you want high ROI for your sales efforts, you need to sell to your target market. Broadly, you can market EHR software to:

  • Hospitals
  • Private practices
  • Specialty clinics
  • Nursing homes
  • Mental health facilities
  • Government medical bodies
  • Labs and diagnostic centers
  • Pharmacies

While all these healthcare ventures use EHR, the features and capacity of your software may be better suited for a particular target group. 

For example, if your EHR software has a dedicated feature to maintain image records, you can sell to healthcare facilities that rely on visual progress to monitor the patients’ progress. These include dermatologists, plastic surgeons, oncologists, and dentists. 

You also need to know what the current EHR systems lack to identify market gaps. Perhaps, there are very few EHR tools that accommodate multiple specialties in a single system. Or, clinicians might want software that doesn’t have a steep learning curve. 

Using this information in your product development will help you create software that addresses customer requirements and has a high demand.

Enhance EHR Software Features

The global EHR market is projected to be valued at $47.25 billion by 2027. With several new and established players in this growing market, you need to introduce novel features to distinguish your product from competitors and improve functionality.

One such in-demand feature in healthcare technology is artificial intelligence (AI). The use of AI, ML, and big data can help improve data management accuracy, speed up medical data entry, and simplify routine practices for medical staff. 

Artificial intelligence can be used in EHR for e-prescribing treatment plans, personalizing patient care, and analyzing health information. Combine it with big data analysis, and you can evaluate and automate treatment suggestions, create customizable medical plans, and enable clinical decision support — all within your EHR.

Another area to focus on is to enhance the usability. EHR software is accessed by a lot of people with varying degrees of expertise. While the receptionist or data entry professional generally manages electronic medical records, sometimes the nurses or doctors themselves may want to use it.

In such situations, having EHR software with intuitive features and a quick learning curve helps. Creating a user-friendly EHR tool will make it accessible to people with little to no technical knowledge.

Compliance with healthcare regulations

Regardless of the features you introduce, all EHR software should be in compliance with industry regulations. Since EHR holds healthcare data, you must take steps to make it HIPAA compliant. 

You can ensure this by taking care of the following factors:

  • Physical safety: Devices that host EHR should be accessible only by the required professionals.
  • Authorization: Only professionals who need to access patient information should have EHR passwords and credentials.
  • Technical security: Security software, such as firewalls and malware detectors, should be in place on devices hosting EHR.
  • Interoperability: EHR data, such as medical history, lab results, and diagnoses, must be shared only through secure channels.

Market Your Product

Physicians, hospital managers, and healthcare providers are present both online and offline. If you want to maximize your reach to the target audience, you need to employ both digital and traditional marketing methods.

Consider digital marketing 

There are several digital channels through which you can market your EHR software. If you have a dedicated website or social media presence, you can build an online customer base for your product through the following tactics:

  • SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your website rank better on search engine result pages, boosting organic traffic to your website.
  • Content marketing: Content marketing uses blogs, videos, and infographics to inform your audience about the product and boost sales.
  • Social media marketing: Through SMM, you can use short videos, reels, posts, and even paid ads to attract and convert leads from social media platforms.

Use traditional marketing approaches

Even with the growing popularity of telehealth, modern medicine still has a largely offline presence. Traditional marketing methods help you target those medical organizations that prefer practicing offline.

  • Attend tradeshows: Healthcare tradeshows are an excellent place to interact with medical professionals and introduce them to your product in person.
  • Direct mailing: You can also market your product by sending brochures and business cards directly to the mailing addresses of healthcare businesses.

Showcase case studies and testimonials from satisfied users

Regardless of the type of advertising, customers have a higher trust in consumer reviews. More than 92% of B2B buyers are likely to purchase a product after reading a trusted review about it.

If your product already has a few users, you can create case studies and collect testimonials to display online. This will create good word-of-mouth, boosting sales and improving the brand image of your EHR software.

Partner and Collaborate

The healthcare technology market comprises a network of healthcare professionals and organizations. Leveraging this network to market your EHR solution will help you increase revenue through referrals and recommendations.

One way to tap this network is by collaborating with healthcare organizations and influencers. You can either offer free trials of your software or coupons and discount codes in exchange for recommending your product. 

Large organizations also rely on multiple technical solutions, such as revenue cycle management (RCM) software and payroll tools. You can partner with such brands to integrate your EHR software within their solution, which helps streamline the entire workflow into a single platform.

Additionally, you can attend conferences, tradeshows, and networking events to connect with brand representatives from around the globe and explore international opportunities.

Price Your Product

The price of your EHR software is one of the first factors customers consider when making purchasing decisions. That’s why, choosing the right cost and pricing model is essential to improve EHR sales. 

EHR software can be priced in two ways. You can either choose a one-time fee model where customers purchase lifetime access to the product for a large, one-time payment. Or, you can choose a subscription-based model where customers pay every month to access product features. 

Both models have their own pros and cons. Subscription-based models generate a small but recurring revenue every month. On the other hand, the one-time fee model generates a large amount of revenue during the time of sale. 

The right pricing model for your EHR product depends on your customer persona. For example, a small-scale private practice may not be able to afford a one-time fee for certified EHR software. Such buyers may choose your product if you offer an affordable alternative—the subscription model.

Regardless of the model you choose, it’s crucial to keep the prices in accordance with the market value. Pricing your product too low may not generate sustainable profits in the long run. But if you price it too high, customers may not want to purchase it.

The best solution is to adopt a value-based pricing model. Set a price or create multiple pricing tiers based on the features you offer and the benefits it brings to the clients. 

Offer Payment Processing

In addition to using EHR software, hospitals, and clinics also use some kind of medical billing tools to collect payments from patients. However, using separate software for billing creates hassles as they need to maintain patient data in two different solutions. 

Offering an integrated payment processing tool creates an all-in-one EHR solution for your clients. Users can keep track of billing history, pending payments, and reimbursements through the same software used to track patient records. 

When choosing a payment processing tool, you also need to consider security measures such as encryption, restricted accessibility, and compliance, which are essential in processing medical payments.

Stax Connect is an excellent platform you can use to integrate payment processing in your EHR solution. It uses a single API for all functions and supports custom integrations for all types of software requirements.

The platform is also PCI compliant, making it a great choice for healthcare-related payment processing. With reporting capabilities, user roles and permissions, and seamless payment support, Stax Connect can help your users securely process payments within the EHR software.

Train Users and Support Them

Along with the functionality and competitive pricing, extensive user support is also essential in marketing your EHR software. If your product has a steep learning curve or elaborate features, provide adequate resources to train new users.

These resources include video tutorials, mock templates, and written guides. You can make these resources easily accessible to your clients by either hosting them on your website or creating a separate knowledge base that your users have exclusive access to. 

However, even with training, users might still have queries and issues when using the product. Providing them with live chat or call support helps solve these queries in real-time, improving the overall customer experience.

Expand Your EHR Software User Base

Marketing your EHR software is easy with the right strategy. By identifying the target audience, introducing advanced features, and integrating the right tools like Stax Connect, you can expand your EHR software customer base and boost revenue.

However, the healthcare technology market is constantly evolving. Keeping your product up-to-date with continuous improvement and adaptation helps your product stand out in the EHR software market in the long run.

FAQs about EHR Software

Q: What is EHR software?

Electronic health record (EHR) software is a system that helps maintain and access a patient’s medical history, health records, prescriptions, and other medical information in a digital format. 

Q: What is the most popular EHR system?

There are several EHR vendors that provide popular EHR systems. Some widely used systems in the US are Cerner, Epic, eClinicalWorks, and Athenahealth. 

Q: What is the difference between an EMR and an EHR?

An electronic medical record (EMR) is software that only contains the patient chart of one healthcare practice. An EHR is software that has the medical history and patient records that can be accessed across multiple practices.

Compared to an EMR system, EHR systems also have more functionality. They help get an overview of a patient’s reports, insights into their treatment, and real-time updates on their lab reports and test results. An EMR software simply helps healthcare workers maintain patient records in their respective facilities.

Q: What is an example of EHR?

The software used at your dentist’s office is a good example of an EHR. The receptionist can access your previous records through the software to set appointment reminders. The doctor can use it to check previous scans and dental records to determine the course of treatment. And you, the patient, can access all the records through the connected iOS app to keep track of your dental history. 

Q: Do hospitals have EMR or EHR?

Hospitals can use EMR, EHR, or both. Some small hospitals and private practitioners use only EMR as a limited number of people need access to the records. However, larger hospitals and care facilities use EHR so all the required professionals can access patient records, irrespective of their location.

Credit Card Processing for Small Business: 9 Tips for Accepting Payments Securely and Cost-Effectively

Just starting out with your small business? Finding great credit card processing rates may seem impossible, but there’s hope. By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to secure credit card processing rates that make big businesses jealous.

TL;DR

  • Not all credit card processing companies are created equal. To ensure that you’re able to take payments in a cost-effective way, be sure to carefully compare their fee structures, contract terms, and available features. Look for transparency in pricing, no hidden fees, and options that suit your specific business needs.
  • Make it a point to choose the right pricing models. Prefer interchange-plus pricing over tiered models for transparency and control over costs; avoid leasing terminals by purchasing affordable ones outright.
  • It’s best to avoid long-term contracts. Opt for flexible, month-to-month contracts without hidden fees for credit card processing to avoid being locked into unfavorable terms.

Here are Stax’ Top Credit Card Processing Tips.

In today’s world, knowing how credit card transactions work is super important for any business owner, given that card transactions make up the bulk of all payment transactions. No matter if you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for a while, making your credit card system work better can really help your business grow—by saving you money, making your systems more efficient, or improving your customer experience.

Avoid Non-Mandatory Contracts

No one likes to be stuck in a contract, from cell phone contracts to credit card processing contracts. It’s common in the credit card processing industry to lock clients into multi-year contracts filled with hidden fees. Contracts are not mandatory, especially contracts with cancellation fees. Most processors will actually waive that fee if you tell them no, so don’t be afraid to speak up. If you can, find a company that doesn’t offer contracts—or offers rolling month-to-month contracts.

If you do opt for a contract, you should read the terms very carefully, looking for hidden fees, rate changes and other specifications that may end up costing you money. 

It’s also worth asking ahead of time what the renegotiation process would look like. It’s not unusual for companies of any type to raise rates quite a bit when starting a new contract, and it’s best to be prepared for what to expect. 

Be sure you know if there is a date you need to provide an opt-out by if you end up switching processors, as well. Some contracts will automatically renew (potentially at higher rates) if you pass a certain date without providing notice that you’re ending usage of the processor.

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Find Affordable Terminals and Avoid Leases

Credit cards and EMV terminals are cheaper than you think. A good terminal can cost around $250 these days, so don’t try and lease one if you have the money to buy one upfront. If your processing company offers to include one in a contract, always make sure to read the fine print to see how much they’re charging you for it. It’s usually better to buy one yourself and get a cheaper rate.

Avoid Tiered Pricing

If you’ve had a business before, then you’re probably used to tiered pricing. It’s expensive and unneeded with its lack of transparency, so stay away from it at all costs. 

Instead, go for interchange pricing. Interchange results in lower costs and doesn’t include any surcharges. Paying interchange rates instead of tiered rates is a common practice among big businesses and it’s the best option for you as it gives you the most control over costs of all the pricing types.

Always Know Where Your Money Goes

Before you start looking for a good credit card processing rate, you need to do your research. Learn where your money goes by looking up interchange and assessment fees. Interchange, as we mentioned earlier, is the best way to go when choosing a pricing option. They are a fixed credit card processing expense, and they’re the same for all processors. Here are the Mastercard and Visa interchange fees, for example.

Assessments are also a series of rates and fees charged by Visa and MasterCard, and they are the same across the board.

Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean processing companies can treat you like one. Credit card processing rates are the same for all businesses, big or small, so don’t let them make you feel insignificant as a small business starting out. The bigger you think, the smaller your rates.

Secure your transactions

Ensuring your customers’ transactions are secure isn’t just in the customers’ best interests. It’s in yours too.

Secure transactions ensure you can maintain a trustworthy reputation with past and future customers, as well as reducing the financial losses that come from the fines and legal fees associated with compromising customer data. 

One of the most famous data breaches happened to Target in 2013. They were required to pay an $18M settlement, but losses are estimated to top $200M. A large part of that was simply lost customer revenue. Their earnings dropped 46% afterwards because people were afraid to shop there. It was a potent example for everyone of just how important your company’s reputation for security is with your customers. 

Optimize your credit card processing speeds

Slow transactions are, at best, an annoyance to customers, and at worst, result in lost sales, especially online. In order to improve processing speeds, you should make sure your POS equipment is up-to-date and that your internet connection is both stable and fast. Part of this includes performing regular maintenance on your hardware- and software, and ensuring that your settings are configured for reduced friction. 

For instance, you should reduce the amount of prompts that an employee or customer might have to click through in order to actually proceed with payment. 

Use Address Verification Services (AVS)

AVS is a fraud prevention measure for online and card-not-present transactions. It’ll compare the billing address provided in the transaction to the billing address on file with the card issuer. The service can determine if the addresses are a perfect match, partial match, or not a match at all. 

AVS does not prevent all types of fraud, but it’s a good way to detect suspicious transactions. Generally, you’ll implement AVS directly through your credit card processor, and you’ll need to monitor its effectiveness over time to improve the system.

Train Your Staff To Handle Data Securely

For in-person transactions, it’s crucial your staff is able to take payments in an efficient and trustworthy manner. Customers need to feel that their data is secure and that transactions don’t take any longer than necessary. Furthermore, your staff is likely the weakest point in your security due to the factor of human error – among other things. Providing your staff with education on how to handle customer data can help prevent data breaches that even a well-intended employee might cause.

There are a few key areas to provide training on:

  • Recognizing what potential risks may look like (such as common phishing tactics).
  • The physical measures required to keep customer data protected, such as locking devices or safely stowing and securing any actual paperwork with customer data.
  • Require employees to create strong passwords for any systems they access (this includes implementing two-factor authentication wherever possible).

Leverage Your Data

Your credit card processing solution will ultimately gather a lot of unique data on customer behavior and preferences. Analyzing this data in the reports your processor provides can help tailor marketing efforts and improve overall business strategies. The data gathered by a credit card processor is particularly handy in identifying trends and patterns – and therefore forecasting what business will likely look like during a certain time period. 

At this point, most businesses do use systems other than the credit card processor as their central operating system (think an ERP or eCommerce site host). Because of that it’s crucial to ensure that any credit card processor you choose can integrate their data with your preferred central system. Otherwise, you’ll be unable to compare data in real time – and all data comparisons will result in a headache of manual effort.

Many of our tips apply to how Stax works, with no contracts, surcharges, and optimized terminals that pair perfectly with our subscription pricing plans.

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FAQs about Credit Card Processing For Small Business

Q: What is credit card processing for small business?

Credit card processing for small businesses involves enabling these businesses to accept payments through credit cards. This process requires a merchant account, which is a special type of bank account that allows businesses to receive payments in multiple forms, including credit and debit cards.

Q: What are credit card processing fees for small businesses?

Credit card processing fees for small businesses are various charges that businesses incur to accept credit card payments. These fees are typically a combination of percentage-based and flat fees and can vary based on the credit card processor, the type of card used (credit or debit), and whether the card is present during the transaction. 

The main types of fees include interchange fees (paid to the card-issuing bank), assessment fees (paid to the credit card network like Visa or MasterCard), and the payment processor’s markup.

Q: How do I accept a credit card payment for a small business?

To accept credit card payments for a small business, you first need to set up a merchant account with a bank or an independent payment processor. After this, you choose the appropriate hardware and software for processing transactions. This could be a traditional credit card terminal, a point-of-sale (POS) system, or a mobile card reader that works with smartphones or tablets. You also need to ensure you have a payment gateway if you’re accepting online payments.

Q: What’s the cheapest way to take card payments?

The cheapest way to take card payments often depends on the volume and nature of your transactions. That said, comparing different providers and negotiating for better rates can also help you in finding the most affordable solution.

It’s also important to choose a payment processor that offers a merchant-friendly pricing structure. As mentioned earlier, tiered pricing is NOT the best option because it often lacks transparency and can be more expensive in the long run. In tiered pricing, transactions are categorized into different tiers (qualified, mid-qualified, non-qualified) based on various criteria, and each tier has its own fee. This model can be confusing and unpredictable, making it hard for businesses to forecast expenses. 

Instead, opt for a transparent and cost-effective pricing method such as interchange-plus or subscription. 

Q: How can I start taking credit cards for my business?

First, choose a credit card processing service that aligns with your business needs. Once approved, you will need to acquire the necessary hardware (like credit card terminals or mobile card readers) and software for processing transactions. If you’re planning to accept online payments, setting up a payment gateway is essential. Finally, ensure your system is compliant with industry security standards (PCI DSS) to protect your customers’ card information.  

Demystifying Credit Card Interchange Fees: What You Need to Know [2024 Rates and Updates]

When you research payment solution providers, you’ll start hearing the term “interchange” used when talking about payments. Interchange is the fee that credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard charge businesses to accept their cards.

The interchange fee depends on a number of factors and isn’t always easy to understand. In this article, we will break down credit card interchange fees so you will know exactly how much you’re spending when running your business.

In this post:

  • What are interchange fees?
  • How much does interchange cost?
    • Visa interchange fees
    • Mastercard interchange fees
    • Discover interchange fees
    • American Express interchange (OptBlue)
  • What is the total cost of accepting credit cards?
    • Set rate processing
    • Subscription rate processing

TL;DR

  • Interchange fees are not collected by your payment processor or bank; they go directly to the card-issuing banks.
  • Interchange fees vary significantly depending on the card issuer, the issuing bank, type of transaction and/or merchant type. Memorizing all of the nuances is impossible, but understanding the interchange rate range most common for your business is a good best practice.
  • While interchange fees are unavoidable, there are strategies to help minimize their impact, including choosing a cost-effective payment processor, implementing surcharging, and more.

What Are Interchange Fees?

Interchange is the fee credit card companies charge businesses to accept their cards. Essentially, the merchant pays the card brand for the convenience of accepting this payment method since that is the way your customers want to pay.

Interchange fees help cover the risks associated with accepting electronic payments while ensuring your company has access to guaranteed payment when a customer makes a purchase. Interchange fees are simply a cost of doing business.

Understanding the concept of interchange fees is crucial for businesses looking to optimize their payment processing costs. These fees are set by the payment networks and are typically expressed as a percentage of the transaction value or as a fixed amount per transaction. The exact fee structure varies depending on factors like card type, transaction type, industry, and location.

It’s important to note that interchange fees are not collected by your payment processor or bank; they go directly to the card-issuing banks. Your payment processor, however, plays a role in facilitating the transaction and deducts its own processing fee from the overall charge.

Debit card transactions generally have lower interchange fees compared to credit card transactions. This is because debit cards are linked directly to the customer’s bank account, and the risk of non-payment or default is lower. By actively encouraging customers to use debit cards, businesses can effectively reduce the interchange fees associated with card payments.

While interchange fees may seem like an added expense, it’s crucial to recognize the value they bring to your business. Accepting credit and debit cards allows you to cater to a wider customer base, improve customer satisfaction, and enhance the overall shopping experience. By offering convenient payment options, you can attract more customers and increase sales.

To ensure the interchange fees you pay are reasonable and competitive, it’s essential to regularly review and negotiate your fee structure with your payment processor. Stay informed about any updates or changes in interchange fee schedules to ensure you’re paying the most optimal rates for your business.

Additionally, optimizing your payment processing infrastructure and implementing measures to minimize chargebacks can have a significant impact on reducing interchange fees. By investing in secure payment gateways, fraud detection systems, and robust transaction processing protocols, you can lower the risk of chargebacks and avoid unnecessary fees.

Remember, while interchange fees are an inherent part of accepting card payments, implementing smart strategies and staying proactive can help you minimize their impact on your business. One such strategy includes implementing credit card surcharging to offset the cost of interchange fees. By understanding the fee structure, promoting debit card usage, and optimizing your payment processing operations, you can effectively manage and reduce interchange fees, ultimately improving your bottom line.

Interchange fees are an essential consideration for businesses that accept card payments. These fees are a cost that businesses incur to facilitate the convenience and security of card transactions. While it’s true that businesses pay interchange fees, it’s important to understand that they are a necessary part of the payment ecosystem.

Interchange fees enable payment networks and card-issuing banks to cover the costs associated with maintaining the infrastructure, managing fraud risk, and providing the benefits and rewards programs associated with credit and debit cards.

As a business owner, it’s crucial to factor in these interchange fees when evaluating the overall costs of accepting card payments. By understanding the dynamics of interchange fees and implementing strategies to optimize their impact, businesses can effectively manage their expenses and find a balance that allows them to provide convenient payment options to customers while minimizing the amount they pay in interchange fees.

How Much Does Interchange Cost?

Interchange fees vary widely across card brands, credit card networks, card types, and how you process cards. Credit cards that offer points or rewards cards typically come with higher interchange fees, as do corporate cards.

Generally, debit card transactions are much less expensive than credit card payments for you to process and come with a lower interchange rate than credit cards. Card-present transactions also incur lower rates compared to card-not-present transactions. However, an exemption to this is debit cards issued by a bank with less than $10 billion in assets, also referred to as “exempt”, often a local bank or credit union—these have some of the highest interchange rates of all.

While you have control over whether a cardholder’s card is swiped or keyed in at the point of sale, you can’t control what kind of card they use. That’s why interchange varies so widely. For a $100 transaction, a swiped Mastercard debit card will cost you around 27¢. However, for the same transaction, using a Visa corporate commercial credit card will cost you around $2.60. It’s easy to see how over the course of the year, these fees can stack up.

Below, we’ll give a sampling of interchange rates for the most popular card brands. Please note there are many other categories not covered in this table, including variations by card type, business type, whether the bank is regulated or exempt, and more.

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Visa Interchange Fees

As mentioned earlier, interchange fees will depend on several variables. Before reading on, let’s also clarify the terminology you’ll see below. 

Beyond the card type (debit, or the various kinds of credit cards), you’ll also see “exempt” or “regulated” which indicate different fees for debit cards. The Durbin Amendment established these two ratings to differentiate the card-issuing banks based on their assets. 

For card issuing banks with assets in excess of $10 billion, these are regulated; card-issuing banks with less than $10 billion in assets are non-regulated and fall under the “exempt” category. The difference in these fees does vary significantly and is something the merchant has no control over or visibility into when the customer presents their card to pay.

Below is a list of common interchange for various scenarios, for the full list of interchange fees by Visa card type, refer to the guide linked below:

Transaction Type Card Type or Bank Classification/Interchange Fee
CPS/Retail, Debit – Card Present Exempt: 0.80% + $0.15

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.21

CPS/Card Not Present, Debit Exempt: 1.65% + $0.15

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.21

CPS-Restaurant, Debit – Card Present Exempt: 1.19% + $0.10

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.21

CPS/e-Commerce Basic, Debit Exempt: 1.65% + $0.15

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.21

CPS/Retail, Prepaid Exempt: 1.15% + $0.15

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.21

Retail, Credit, Performance Threshold III Visa Signature: 1.65% + $0.10

Visa Signature Preferred: 2.10% + $0.10

Traditional Rewards: 1.51% + $0.10

Small Merchant Product 2, Credit  Visa Signature: 1.43% + $0.10

Visa Signature Preferred: 1.88% + $0.10

Traditional Rewards: 1.43% + $0.10

See full Visa interchange rates.

Mastercard Interchange Fees

You’ll see below that MasterCard and Visa do not use the same criteria to delineate the type of transaction or card types, nor does their official guidance use the same verbiage. However, you’ll find the average interchange fee range of percentage plus the flat fee per transaction is similar to other popular card issuers.

Transaction type Program Name (Card Type)/Interchange Fee
Restaurant World (USD): 1.85% + $0.10

World High Value (USD) 2.00% + $0.10

Small Ticket (Transaction Amount <$5), Card Present Core (USD): 1.65% + $0.02

World (USD): 1.90% +$0.02

World High Value (USD): 2.30% + $0.02

Small Ticket (Transaction Amount <$5), Card Not Present Core (USD): 1.95% + $0.02

World (USD): 2.20% +$0.02

World High Value (USD): 2.60% + $0.02

Regulated POS Debit, purchases and purchases with cash back Debit Rate (USD): 0.05% + $0.21

Prepaid Rate (USD): 0.05% + $0.21

Payment Transactions, Debit and Prepaid Cards Exempt Debit (USD): 0.19% + $0.53

Exempt Prepaid (USD): 0.19% + $0.53

PIN Debit Payment Transaction Rate (USD): 0.19% + $0.53
PIN Regulated POS Debit Rate (USD): 0.05% + $0.21

See full Mastercard interchange rates.

Discover Interchange Fees

Discover does not publish its full interchange rates online, so below is an estimate provided by a third-party provider. Please note that for debit cards, the fees will vary depending on whether the bank is regulated or exempt and for credit cards it will vary depending on whether the card is swiped or hand-keyed.

Card Type Interchange Fee 
Discover Debit, card present Exempt: 1.10% + $0.16

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.22

Discover Debit, card not present Exempt: 1.75% + $0.20

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.22

Discover Consumer credit card Swiped: 1.56% + $0.10

Keyed: 1.87% + $0.10

Discover Rewards Swiped: 1.71% + $0.10

Keyed: 1.97% + $0.10

To access full Discover interchange rates, you need to use a verification code provided by your acquirer.

American Express Interchange Fees

American Express works differently from the other brands in that the card type does not impact the processing rate. Instead, your industry or merchant category code (MCC) will play a larger role in deciding how much you pay in credit card processing fees.

For smaller businesses, you’ll probably be accepting American Express through their program called OptBlue. Through OptBlue, your payment technology provider will determine how much you pay for AmEx and bundle it in with the ability to accept more popular card types. This way, you can accept AmEx customers (who historically have higher ticket prices) without breaking the bank.

You can read more about the OptBlue program at Merchant Maverick.

How Do Credit Card Interchange Fees Work?

As you can see, interchange fees vary from one credit card network to the next. These fees are set by Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express every April and October. As for how these fees are split, a percentage of the interchange rates goes to the card issuers aka card-issuing banks—e.g., Capital One, Chase, or Bank of America. The rest of the fees go to the credit card brand. This is important to point out because it shows that interchange fees are not charged by your payment processing company (and thus, they’re non-negotiable).

Payment processors typically charge a markup on top of the interchange, which is essentially how they make money. So while you technically can’t negotiate your way to lower interchange fees, you can still save on overall payment processing costs by working with the right provider.

How Much Do You Pay?

At the end of the day, how much you’re paying for credit card processing relies on your payment solutions provider. Many payment processors like Stripe, Square, PayPal, and bank merchant services offer flat-rate processing. Some others, including Stax, offer subscription-style processing that gives you access to the lowest rates of interchange.

Avoiding Higher Interchange Fees

In the modern digital age, electronic payments have become the norm, with credit and debit cards being widely used for transactions. However, along with the convenience of card payments, businesses face the challenge of interchange fees, which can significantly impact their bottom line.

Choose the Right Payment Processor

The choice of payment processor plays a crucial role in managing interchange fees. Different processors offer various pricing models, so it’s essential to compare options and negotiate competitive rates. Look for processors that provide transparent pricing structures and offer interchange plus pricing, where the interchange fee is passed through directly without any markup. This approach can help you avoid unnecessary additional charges and optimize your fee structure.

Optimize Card Acceptance

Understanding the types of cards you accept and their associated interchange fees is key to minimizing costs. Payment networks classify cards into different categories, and fees vary depending on factors like card type (credit or debit), payment method (chip and PIN, contactless), and industry-specific cards (corporate, rewards). By optimizing your card acceptance policies, you can encourage customers to use lower-cost payment methods and reduce interchange fees.

Encourage Debit Card Usage

Debit cards generally carry lower interchange fees compared to credit cards. Actively promoting debit card usage among your customers can help lower your overall interchange fee expenses. Consider offering incentives, such as discounts or rewards, for customers who choose to pay with their debit cards. This not only benefits your customers but also reduces your payment processing costs.

Streamline Processing and Reduce Chargebacks

Efficient transaction processing and minimizing chargebacks can have a positive impact on interchange fees. Implementing secure payment gateways and fraud detection systems can help reduce the risk of chargebacks, which can result in costly fees. Furthermore, optimizing your payment infrastructure to streamline processing and minimize errors can help prevent unnecessary charges and improve overall cost efficiency.

Regularly Review and Update Your Fee Structure

Interchange fees are subject to change, as payment networks periodically update their fee schedules. It is crucial to stay informed about these changes and periodically review your fee structure to ensure you’re paying the most competitive rates available. This review process may involve renegotiating with your payment processor or exploring alternative options in the market to find the best fit for your business.

Consider Surcharge Programs

Depending on your region and applicable regulations, you may have the option to implement surcharge programs, where you pass on the interchange fees to customers directly. While this strategy requires careful consideration and compliance with legal requirements, it can be an effective way to offset interchange fees (especially for a small business) and transfer the cost to the end-user.

Interchange fees are charges imposed by payment networks, such as Visa and Mastercard, for processing card transactions. While these fees are unavoidable, there are several smart strategies that businesses can employ to minimize their impact. In this article, we will explore practical tips to help businesses navigate and reduce interchange fees effectively.

Here’s how these different rates work:

Tiered Pricing

A common pricing model in the payment processing realm is called tiered pricing. This method bundles the interchange rate with the processor’s markup and then puts your transactions into three tiers: qualified, mid-qualified, and non-qualified.

Card payments that are in the “qualified” tier incur lower rates while “non-qualified” transactions cost more to process.

Here’s where things get dicey: how transactions are categorized is completely at the discretion of the processor. What some payment processing companies consider as “qualified” may not be the same for others. There’s no transparency with tiered pricing fees, making it difficult to figure out whether or not you’re overpaying.

Set Rate Processing aka Flat Fee Processing

With set rate processing, you have a non-negotiable flat fee per credit card transaction, regardless of card or industry type. For instance, Stripe charges 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction. So whether you’re accepting a debit card with a 0.05% + 22¢ interchange rate or a corporate card with a 2.50% + 10¢ interchange rate, you pay the same rate.

While this may seem simpler at first, the reality is that you could be overpaying for credit card processing with these systems. In the example above, Visa would receive the .05% + 22¢, while Stripe would be making a whopping 2.5% + 8¢ on your transaction. That’s why we introduced simple subscription-based pricing.

Interchange Fees And How To Understand Them | Payment Processing

Flat Subscription Rate Processing

Subscription-based processors have a similar concept to other subscription services you’re used to, such as warehouse stores like Costco. You pay a low fee to get access to warehouse pricing on goods, where you then can buy as much as you want with no cap on savings. Stax’ subscription pricing starts at just $99 per month. Regardless if your sale is $50 or $5,000, you pay the flat cost of processing without a percent markup.

Every business is different, which is why we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. Based on the types of cards your customers are using and your average transactions, we’ll be able to show you exactly which type of plan makes sense for your business.

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FAQs about Interchange Fees

Q: What are interchange fees?

Interchange fees are charges imposed by payment networks, such as Visa and Mastercard, to businesses for processing credit and debit card transactions. These fees are set by the payment networks and go to the card-issuing banks to cover various costs, including infrastructure maintenance, fraud protection, and rewards programs.

Q: Do I pay interchange fees directly?

No, interchange fees are not paid directly by businesses to the payment networks. Instead, they are deducted by your payment processor or acquiring bank and passed on to the card-issuing banks.

Q: How can I reduce interchange fees?

While interchange fees are unavoidable, there are strategies to help minimize their impact. These include negotiating competitive rates with your payment processor, optimizing card acceptance policies to encourage lower-cost payment methods, promoting debit card usage, streamlining processing to minimize errors, and staying updated on fee structures to ensure you are paying the most competitive rates available.

Q: Are interchange fees the same for all types of cards?

No, interchange fees vary depending on factors such as card type (credit or debit), payment method (chip and PIN, contactless), and industry-specific cards (corporate, rewards). Debit card transactions generally have lower interchange fees compared to credit card transactions.

Q: Can I pass interchange fees on to my customers?

The ability to pass interchange fees on to customers depends on regional regulations and legal requirements. In most states, businesses may have the option to implement surcharge programs where interchange fees are directly passed on to customers. However, it’s important to research and comply with applicable laws before considering this option. CardX by Stax is the leader in automated surcharging compliance and can help your business implement passing on these fees properly.

Q: How often do interchange fees change?

Interchange fees are subject to periodic updates by payment networks. They can change annually or even more frequently. Staying informed about these changes and periodically reviewing your fee structure is essential to ensure you are paying the most competitive rates available.

Q: Is it possible to avoid an interchange fee?

It is not possible to completely avoid interchange fees when accepting card payments. Interchange fees are an inherent part of the payment ecosystem and are charged by the payment networks and card-issuing banks to cover various costs associated with processing transactions, maintaining infrastructure, managing fraud risk, and providing cardholder benefits. Your business cannot avoid paying interchange fees, but you can employ strategies to minimize the impact and optimize your payment processing costs.


 

What is Electronic Invoicing and How Does it Work?

A key part that any business undertakes is sending out invoices. From SaaS services to healthcare, virtually every business has to send invoices to get paid.

In the past, your invoice process was probably entirely paper-based. It might have involved printing out physical invoices, mailing them off to a client, and waiting for them to confirm, pay, or send proof of payment. That doesn’t have to be the case anymore.

Over the last several years, electronic invoicing (or e-invoicing) has taken the invoice management game to the next level, streamlining workflows and simplifying the entire process. In fact, research shows that the global e-invoicing market was worth $8.74 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $29.68 billion by 2027.

While there’s a growing trend shifting towards e-invoices, industry data shows that on average, accounts payable (AP) departments received over a third of their invoices on paper, despite a paper invoice error costing $53.50 to fix. Clearly, there’s still a way to go.

Want to learn more about all things e-invoicing? In this article, we’ll explain what electronic invoicing is (and isn’t), its benefits, and how you can successfully implement an e-invoicing solution.

TL;DR

  • Electronic invoicing (or e-invoicing/digital invoicing) is the process of billing your customer digitally or through the Internet, generally through structured data formats like XML or EDI. 
  • There are several reasons you might consider switching to e-invoicing, including lower costs, improved productivity, and fewer bottlenecks. That said, it’s important to ensure stakeholder buy-in and proper security.
  • To successfully implement e-invoicing, create a comprehensive strategy introducing the switch to e-invoicing, inform your customers well in advance, and focus on the benefits they’ll receive to drive adoption rates.

E-Invoicing and How It Works

Electronic invoicing goes by a few other names, including e-invoicing and digital invoicing. It’s the process of billing your customer digitally or through the Internet, instead of in-person or by mail.

However, the digitization of paper invoices is not the same thing as e-invoicing. If you take a photo of a paper invoice or use an app to convert it into a PDF invoice, that isn’t e-invoicing. If it wasn’t issued electronically and didn’t include structured data a machine can read or extract, it’s not an e-invoice.

E-invoicing has been around for decades, since the days of XML formats and electronic data interchange (EDI) for document processing and material procurement. Now, digital invoices are often prepared with billing software solutions, allowing customers to access their invoice data via their email or in an online environment. Most invoicing systems also let customers make payments through the portal.

Of course, like paper invoices, you need to include the same information on your e-invoice, including the customer and seller info, goods or services purchased, amount due, payment date, and invoice number.

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E-Invoicing Benefits

There are several reasons why you might switch to e-invoicing, including:

Overall convenience and improved productivity. Companies can avoid many hours of manual processing, using templates to quickly generate their invoice to send electronically and securely—wherever they are.

Automated and touchless invoice processing. Larger companies that regularly send recurring invoices can benefit from the automation functionality of e-invoicing, freeing up more time for their accounts payable department.

Early payments. Minimize the risk of late payments with paper invoices and improve your cash flow with quicker, streamlined payments updated in real-time.

Fewer bottlenecks. Manually adjusting errors on paper invoices costs time and money. With invoicing software, you can reduce the risk of human error and instantly make changes, all reflected instantaneously in your invoicing portal—i.e., your single source of truth.

Potential E-Invoicing Drawbacks

While the benefits of e-invoicing are quite clear, there are a few possible challenges you should keep in mind before you make the switch.

Ensuring stakeholder buy-in. Change can definitely be difficult, even if it’s for the best. If you have customers who are used to traditional invoicing, switching to electronic invoicing may take time and cause short-term frustration. If you’re struggling with getting everyone on board, check out our tips later in this blog to help overcome this challenge!

Ensuring proper security. Invoicing naturally means dealing with potentially sensitive data, so it’s important to not cut corners when it comes to e-invoicing! Make sure that your documents can be encrypted and securely stored in the cloud, and that the payment processing provider you work with offers the latest security standards, like PCI compliance.

How to Get Started with Electronic Invoice Processing

It can be hard to choose the right e-invoicing software for your business, but it’s important to take into consideration the needs of your department or company. Some general questions you should ask are:

  • What kind of functionalities and integrations do you need? How specialized should they be? Do their services comply with (inter)national standards for electronic data exchange, like EDIFACT or PEPPOL? 
  • Do you only need invoicing or accounting features, or also additional features such as project management?
  • How robust can the e-invoicing solution be, given your budget?
  • How scalable is the product? Will it be able to match your growth and needs over the upcoming years?

By taking the time to answer these questions, you’ll be able to choose the perfect invoice service provider for your needs.

How to Implement Electronic Invoicing Successfully

Once you’ve chosen a digital invoice provider, you’re only halfway there. After all, if your clients don’t make the switch with you, you’re back to square one. To make the transition process easy and seamlessly onboard your clients, here are some tips to take into consideration.

Create a comprehensive strategy introducing the switch to e-invoicing. If you’ve decided to go digital, it’s important to bring your clients alongside your thinking. This means you shouldn’t just send one update email and call it a day, but provide multiple opportunities for your customers to understand why you’re making the transition.

If you’re in healthcare and primarily bill individuals, you might consider creating an email, letter, and a short video with FAQs. If you’re in financial services and mostly invoice accounts payable departments, you could organize a webinar where they can speak to a representative about your new ERP system.

Whatever option you go with, make sure your messaging is consistent and straightforward.

Inform your customers well in advance of any changes. Old habits die hard, and expecting your clients to make a switch within a week is not only unrealistic but also poor customer service. For example, if you’re an accounting firm working with larger corporate clients, they may need to go through lengthy internal approval processes. By giving your clients enough time, you’ll avoid running the risk of them switching to a competitor providing paper invoices.

Focus on the benefits your clients will receive. Don’t only talk about why e-invoicing is a smart choice for your company. Instead, explain what’s in it for your customers.

  • How much time will they be able to save?
  • Will they need to contact customer service less frequently?
  • Will their data be more secure?

By answering these questions, you’ll be able to drive your e-invoicing adoption rates.

Provide incentives to your customers. Since you’ll be saving on costs once you switch to e-invoicing, consider allocating some of that budget to offering discounts. For example, you might offer a small discount on the next three invoices if customers switch to e-invoicing ahead of the final deadline. Alternatively, you could make a donation to a charity of the customer’s choosing on their behalf.

Avoid a “one size fits all” approach. While all your customers should be well-informed on your digital transformation towards e-invoicing, it might make sense to create a dedicated approach for high-value customers. Let’s say you’re a legal firm, and a small handful of clients account for over 70% of your revenue. If so, you could consider offering a 1-on-1 meeting with them to personally walk them through why you’re making the switch. This could be the manager of the accounts payable department or the CEO if it’s a smaller company.

Another option could be offering custom programs, where you accommodate certain requests your clients have, such as training sessions or deadline extensions. By recognizing the importance of your high-value clients, you’ll be more likely to keep them on board.

The Future of E-Invoicing

If you think you can get away with using traditional invoices for the foreseeable future, think again. E-invoicing is projected to have an annual growth rate of 25% between 2022 and 2029, reaching a market value of over $6 billion by 2029. Plus, more places are requiring it through a top-down approach. 

In 2014, the European Union, for example, put up an e-invoicing mandate that required all public sector bodies to accept e-invoices, so it’s not unlikely that the U.S. will follow suit to some extent down the road, with mobile-friendly alternatives becoming increasingly important. While it’ll definitely take some time to pick up in the U.S. and certain regions in the world, those who adhere to e-invoicing compliance will undoubtedly have a competitive advantage that will fuel their growth in the long run.

Wrapping Up

Adopting digital invoices can streamline your workflow, increase productivity, and save costs—all while providing an improved customer experience and staying ahead of the digital curve. With a little bit of time and effort, you can successfully implement electronic invoicing and keep your customers throughout the transition period.

Stax has an all-in-one payment platform that makes billing and invoicing simpler. We offer scalable e-invoicing solutions for each business, always with transparent pricing.

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FAQs about Electronic Invoicing

Q: What is electronic invoicing?

Electronic invoicing, also known as e-invoicing, refers to the process of billing your customer digitally, generally through structured data formats like XML or EDI.

Q: What distinguishes e-invoicing from digitization of paper invoices?

E-invoicing shouldn’t be confused with the digitization of paper invoices. If a paper invoice is scanned or converted into a PDF and issued, this does not constitute e-invoicing. To classify as e-invoicing, a bill must be issued electronically and must include structured data that a machine can interpret and extract.

Q: What are the advantages of e-Invoicing?

The advantages of e-invoicing include enhanced productivity, time-saving by avoiding manual processing, efficient and touchless invoice processing, and faster payments. E-Invoicing also reduces the risk of human errors and ensures all alterations are instantly reflected in the invoicing portal.

Q: What challenges might businesses face when implementing e-invoicing?

Switching to electronic invoicing can pose potential challenges like ensuring stakeholder buy-in and ensuring proper security. Stakeholders who are accustomed to traditional invoicing methods may resist the transition to digital invoicing. Furthermore, securing sensitive data involved in invoicing transactions is vital.

Q: How can a business implement e-invoicing successfully?

For successful e-invoicing implementation, businesses should create a comprehensive strategy to introduce the switch to e-invoicing. It’s also important to provide customers with ample notice of changes, highlight the benefits they stand to gain from the transition, and offer incentives to encourage adoption.

Q: What is the future of e-Invoicing?

E-invoicing is projected to have an annual growth rate of 25% between 2022 and 2029, reaching a market value of over $6 billion by 2029. More jurisdictions are starting to require it, indicating that its adoption will give businesses a competitive edge in the long run.

Q: What factors should be considered when selecting e-invoicing software?

Whilst choosing an e-Invoicing software, businesses should consider the needs of their department or company, the functionalities and integrations required, compliance with national and international standards for electronic data exchange, the software’s ability to match the growth and needs of the company, and the budget allocated for the solution.

Q: What information should be included in a digital invoice?

Like paper invoices, digital invoices should include customer and seller info, goods or services purchased, the amount due, the payment due date, and the invoice number.

Q: How does e-invoicing contribute to improved cash flow?

E-invoicing minimizes the risk of late payments associated with paper invoices and improves a company’s cash flow through faster, real-time updated payments.

Q: Does Stax offer an e-invoicing solution?

Yes, Stax offers an all-in-one payment platform that includes scalable e-invoicing solutions for each business, with transparent pricing.


 

How to Sell Veterinary Practice Payment Solutions

The veterinarian services industry in the US has experienced rapid growth over the last few years. Fueled by the growing pet insurance sector and increasing pet ownership, its market size currently stands at $61 billion.

As a veterinary software provider, one of the most valuable add-ons you can offer your clients today is an integrated payment processing solution. For one, there is a growing demand among consumers for quick and secure payment options that go beyond credit cards.

Plus, manual account reconciliation is a huge waste of time and energy. Having an integrated payment processing solution, on the other hand, boosts efficiency and reduces the chances of human error that often accompany manual data entry. But those aren’t the only benefits.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into how veterinary software providers can sell their payment solutions to their users (i.e. vet clinics) and why this can be greatly beneficial for them.

Let’s get started.

TL;DR

  • Integrated payment processing solutions offer several benefits for vet clinics including improved customer experience, better security, fewer errors, smoother sales cycles, and easier cross-selling.
  • To sell your payment services effectively, make sure to put the word out about your new offerings, train your sales team well, set up incentive schemes, have a robust strategy in place, and time it right. 
  • Make it easy for vet clinics to adopt your payment solution by offering the features that make the most sense for them. These include recurring billing, cards on file, paperless receipts, simplified bank reconciliation, security and compliance, and an intuitive interface.

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Why Encourage Users to Adopt Your Payment Processing Services

It’s easy to see that monetizing payments can create an additional revenue stream for SaaS businesses. And by enabling vet clinics to process payments through their platform, practice management software providers can actually increase their product usage and reduce churn.

But that’s not all. On their own merits, the right payment processing solutions can offer a host of benefits for veterinary practices.

1. Better customer experience

It’s a stressful time for pet owners when their pets have to undergo surgery or other in-clinic procedures. The least you can do to ease their experience is to offer a number of convenient payment options including credit and debit cards, online payments, digital wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay, ACH transfers, eChecks, and recurring billing.

Mobile payments including text-to-pay options are particularly well-suited for farm calls, exam rooms, and curbside checkouts. Plus, contactless payments provide a safer environment for customers to make payments and give them peace of mind.

A good payment processing solution can streamline checkout and improve the customer experience. It can also give your users a solid edge over their competitors.

2. Improved security

Data breaches are commonplace in today’s digital world and can be a cause of serious financial losses for vet clinics or their clients. No wonder businesses these days are greatly concerned about their security and that of their customers. 

Payment processing solutions that offer security features like tokenization, end-to-end encryption, and PCI DSS compliance keep customers’ data secure and protect them from any possible breaches.

3. Fewer errors

Manual cash counting, data entry, or reconciliation can allow errors to creep in, especially on a busy day. However, an integrated payment processing solution ensures the accurate recording of transactions, regardless of their volumes.

4. Smoother sales cycles

An integrated payment solution improves liquidity for vet clinics by eliminating complicated payment procedures. There is no need to enter payment details repeatedly, thereby minimizing the chances of errors and associated payment rejections or chargebacks.

Customers can make payments using their saved payment details with a single click and checkout with ease. Also, splitting up payments into manageable sums not only offers greater convenience for customers but also ensures that vet clinics have a consistent cash flow.

5. Easier cross-selling

An integrated payment solution improves the chances of cross-selling for vet practices and opens up avenues for new business opportunities.

For many families, pet care is just as crucial as healthcare. With an integrated payment solution, vet clinics can offer pet wellness payment plans to their customers which ensures their pets have access to proper care while keeping the costs predictable. This can play a major role in boosting retention rates and building strong customer relationships.

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What Are the Best Ways to Sell Your Payment Services to Vet Practices?

To grow your revenue stream, you must try to direct as many of your user payments through your platform as possible. This will help you create a strong bottom line. Below are some of the best ways to accomplish this. 

1. Communicate

For starters, make sure you put the word out about your new service offerings effectively. If you don’t tell your users, they’ll never know.

Advertise your payment offerings on the most visible areas of your website and use other channels of promotion such as your social media accounts, blog, and even paid ads. This will not just help to educate your users about your payment offerings, but also upsell to them down the line. 

2. Train your staff

The human touch never disappoints and shouldn’t be kept far from the action. Your sales team has a major role to play when it comes to encouraging users to start using your integrated payment system. See to it that they have:

  • The right amount of technical knowledge and skills
  • Ample resources and support to help them
  • Talking points about the most important features like security and convenience
  • Ability to subtly probe the user and understand their needs
  • Ability to anticipate questions from the user
  • Understanding of the competition and ability to position your services distinctly

3. Set up a rewards system

Make sure your salespeople are highly motivated to upsell your payment services proactively. This may require you to mobilize them through a well-established rewards and incentives scheme. 

Make your sales targets more transparent, simple, and realistic so that they feel confident enough to have a go at them. Also, consider setting up a dashboard for your team that enables them to track their monthly or quarterly progress.

4. Establish a strategy

Have a well-thought-out strategy in place if you’re planning to upsell payments to your existing clients. Think about which clients may benefit the most from this service—perhaps those of a certain size, using a certain feature, or a certain credit card processing volume.

Then target only those customers with your communications rather than resorting to mass marketing. Personalize your pitches based on their usage patterns or past data to increase conversions.

5. Timing is key

Be mindful of the user journey and try to assess at which points they may require a payment solution. For example, once a vet clinic has set up its clients on their practice management system and it’s time to bill them, you could introduce your new payment offerings to them. Likewise, offer your new clients rewards or discount coupons for first-time purchases through the platform.

6. Showcase testimonials 

On your website, display user testimonials from people that are already using your payment platform. Let others know of their positive experiences with your integrated payment services to encourage more users to enlist.

Also, create case studies about your past customers’ problems and how your solution helped resolve them. Having social proof is always a great idea to generate confidence among potential buyers by spreading positive word of mouth.

How to Make It Easier for Vet Clinics to Adopt Your Payment Processing Services

To encourage more and more users to adopt your integrated payment offerings, see to it that your solution offers the functions that are most essential for veterinary clinics. 

1. Recurring payment schedules

For pet parents who have purchased wellness plans or need to refill prescriptions periodically, recurring billing automates the process and greatly simplifies payments. Recurring billing also enables pet owners to pay for expensive services like surgeries in smaller installments which enhances the customer experience as well.

2. Cards on file

For repeat customers, storing card info securely on file allows vet clinics to simplify the checkout process. With this, customers don’t need to enter payment info every time they visit. They can simply charge the card with a single click. Saving cards on file also allows them to make payments over the phone and send over a remote signature for verification.

3. Paperless receipts

With integrated payment processing, vet practices can store receipts electronically. These can even be searched by patient name, date, ID, or any other field. This allows your users to go paperless and get more efficient with their record-keeping.

4. Simplified reconciliation

With integrated payments, users can forget all about manually adding up batch reports or analyzing discrepancies at the end of the month. A good veterinary payment processing software should be able to make reconciliation a breeze by producing real-time reports.

5. Security and compliance

An effective payment solution for vet clinics is one that is adequately shielded against data breaches and fraud. It should also comply with regulatory frameworks like PCI DSS, so customers can rest easy knowing their payment data is safe.

6. Intuitive interface

A software product with an intuitive look and feel can make your users’ lives easy. Make sure you’re offering an excellent design and a streamlined workflow. Most importantly, the software should be easy enough for people to use with minimal training.

Final Words

As such, ISVs simply can’t afford to ignore the growing needs of the veterinary industry. The good news is that vet software providers looking to upsell payments to their users can do so easily with Stax Connect. Build a complete payments ecosystem from scratch in as little as 30 days by leveraging our relationship with the world’s leading sponsor bank.

Besides providing all the essential features discussed above, Stax Connect will also streamline risk management for you and our pre-built enrollment platform will ensure that end users can start taking payments within just 20 minutes of getting started. We also support a variety of payment methods including cards, ACH payments, invoicing, recurring billing, text-to-pay, and split payments.

Contact us to learn how you can start monetizing payments today.

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How to Get a Credit Card Machine for Small Business

Are you looking to accept credit or debit card payments for your business? While the process may appear difficult, small business credit card processing is easier than it sounds.

Credit card usage has been on the rise, and this trend isn’t showing signs of slowing down. As of 2020, 79% of American consumers had at least one credit card or charge card, and experts are expecting that number to continue to grow.

Needless to say, small business owners that don’t accept credit cards are leaving a lot of money on the table. If you want to keep up with modern consumers, you need to ensure that you have the systems in place to accommodate their payment needs.

Doing that starts with evaluating different credit card processing services and selecting the right solution for your business.

Credit Card Payments and Your Business

One of the first steps to getting started with credit card processing for businesses is determining your specific needs. Ironing out your requirements will make it easy to evaluate credit card processing companies and figure out the best option for your business.

To that end, below are some helpful questions that can surface your business needs.

What Types of Credit Card Brands Do You Want to Accept?

Understanding what debit card and credit card brands to accept is very important for your business and customers. Credit cards contain their own unique set of rates and interchange fees which can be costly. As a business owner, you pay for the convenience of accepting a chosen payment method in order to accommodate the interests of your customers. Visa and Mastercard are standard, but then you also have American Express and Discover.

It’s important to note that each of these card networks have varying processing fees and policies, so be sure to consider them when deciding on the credit card types to accept.

How Will You Accept Payments?

List the methods you’ll use to accept card payments. Are you accepting in-person payments or online? Will you be accepting mobile payments or contactless payments like Apple Pay? Do you plan to take credit card payment info over the phone? What about online payments?

The answers to these questions will enable you to figure out what hardware and software you need to effectively set up and take credit card payments. For example, if you’re a large retail business that focuses on in-store transactions, then having a robust pos system that integrates with your credit card processor and credit card machines is a must.

If you’re selling online, see to it that your payment processor integrates with your e-commerce shopping cart.

There are many credit card processing solutions you can choose from. Depending on the industry, some payment types will serve as a default with additional options to expand payment collection methods from customers. Customers can make payments on your website or through a POS terminal next to the cash register.

You can process payments on your smartphone with a mobile card reader or you can type payments into a virtual terminal. Payment preferences are continuously changing so it’s important to know how customers want to pay as well as how your business wants to charge.

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How Much Sales Volume Do You Expect to Be Credit Card Transactions?

The number and amount you process are major factors that credit card processing companies consider when setting your rates. As such, you should understand your transaction volume before hunting for a merchant account service.

Step 1: Choose the Right Payment Gateway

The first step to small business credit card processing is setting up a payment gateway account— which is different from a merchant account provider. All your transactions, no matter what type, are channeled through a payment gateway. The payment gateway’s role is simply to decline or approve a transaction. Here’s a look at how payment gateways work:

  • The customer goes through the checkout process and pays for a good or service with their credit card.
  • Next, the authorization needs to be checked. The payment gateway service sends the transaction data to the merchant bank’s processor, who then routes the transaction data to the cardholder’s bank account.
  • The transaction now needs to be verified. The cardholder’s bank will either approve or decline the transaction. Then it will pass that information back to the credit card processors. The processor then passes the information to the cardholder and the merchant.
  • For a card that was accepted, goods or services are delivered. The transaction is completed.
  • The customer’s bank sends the required funds to the credit card processor. The processor forwards the funds to the merchant’s bank. Once you research the different payment gateway options available to you, contact the one that’s right for your business to get started. Be sure to look for the following features when choosing a gateway account for your business.
  • PCI DSS compliant
  • SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
  • eCommerce integration
  • Report generation
  • Customer support

Step 2: Set Up Your Merchant Account

The second step to processing and card machines for small business is choosing a merchant account provider (your payment processor). This involves thorough research into the best credit card processor for your business. Be sure to review not only the credit card processing fees from the payment processor, but also the overall pricing structure.

Some gateway service providers also include merchant services, but you should shop around before settling on that option. You should also note that some payment processors actually have gateway services of their own or have partnerships. It is important to find the right credit card processor for your transaction needs.

You want to find a payment processor that has all the credit card processing solutions you need to make transactions, and you want the best rates for their services.

How To Get A Credit Card Machine For Small Business | Person Using Pos System

Keep These Key Features in Mind When Choosing a Payment Processing Company

Not all payment processors are created equal. To figure out the right payment processing solution for your small business, be sure to take the following factors and features into consideration when researching a credit card processing company.

  • Digital application and rapid setup time. You operate in a fast-paced environment, so it’s important to partner with a payment processor that makes account and equipment setup quick and easy.
  • Favorable pricing structure and low transaction fees. Ask about the pricing model of your payment processor. How much is their markup? What processing fees do they charge? Ideally, your processor should offer transparent pricing and clear details about their rates. Or better yet, choose a payment processing provider that doesn’t take a cut out of your sales. At Stax, you are charged a flat monthly fee for unlimited access to the direct cost of interchange rates.
  • No ancillary or hidden fees (see below). Stay away from providers that tack on additional processing fees beyond credit card processing.
  • Fraud protection. You want a provider that looks out for you and helps prevent fraudulent transactions from taking place.
  • Supports the payment processing solutions you need.  Depending on your business, this may include integration with your POS system, EMV-compliant equipment, support for your shopping cart, POS terminal, virtual terminal, mobile card reader, etc.

Processing Fees You Should Avoid

  • Termination fees
  • Customer service fees
  • Statement processing fees
  • IRS fees
  • Batch processing fees
  • Annual processing fees
  • Contract fees
  • PCI compliance fees

Step 3: Accept Credit Card Payments

Once your merchant account is set up, you’re ready to accept credit card payments. This can be as simple as logging into a software product or entering your customer’s payment information.

In some cases, you’ll need to set up your equipment (i.e., POS system, credit card readers, etc.) Whatever credit card payments solution you choose for your business, it should be simple and easy to use.

If you don’t like the payment processor or the services you’re receiving after a few months, it should be easy to switch payment processors— unless you signed into a contract. Many contracts will have a hefty termination fee you have to pay in order to cancel. Try to get the fee waived or simply choose a credit card processor that doesn’t have contracts.

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FAQs About Getting A Credit Card Machine

Q: What is a credit card machine, and why do I need one for my small business?

A credit card machine, also known as a point-of-sale (POS) terminal, is a device that allows your small business to accept credit and debit card payments from customers. It is essential for modern businesses as it enables easy and secure transactions, expanding your customer base and increasing sales.

Q: How can I get a credit card machine for my small business through Stax Payments?

Getting a credit card machine through Stax Payments is simple. You can visit our website and request a call from our team once you provide some basic information about your business. Once registered, you can browse through our range of credit card machines and choose the one that best suits your business needs. Our team will guide you through the application process and provide assistance every step of the way.

Q: What types of credit card machines are available for small businesses at Stax Payments?

Stax Payments offers a variety of credit card machines to cater to diverse business needs. Our selection includes traditional countertop terminals, wireless terminals for mobility, virtual terminals for online transactions, and mobile card readers for on-the-go businesses.

Q: How secure are the credit card machines offered by Stax Payments?

Security is a top priority for Stax Payments. Our credit card machines are equipped with the latest encryption and compliance measures to protect your customers’ sensitive data. Rest assured that your transactions are safe and compliant with industry standards.


Ready to Set Up Credit Card Processing for Your Small Business?

If you’re looking for the perfect payment processing solutions for your small business, you’ve come to the right place. Stax Pay offers subscription-based integrated payment processing services at a direct cost— without any markups, ancillary fees, or contracts.

Implementing Healthcare Data Security Standards: A Guide for Merchants and ISVs

As an independent software vendor (ISV), you play a key role in the success of your clients. Businesses rely on you to power their systems and ensure they have the tools they need to operate efficiently.

And if you’re an ISV that also functions as an ISO or payments company, then one of your essential functions is to help clients stay compliant with data security standards that secure cardholder and consumer data (aka PCI-DSS compliance).

Data security becomes doubly important if you serve entities in the health and wellness sector.

This is because aside from protecting cardholder data, healthcare organizations like medical clinics and dental practices must also look after protected health information (PHI), which falls under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

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The Challenges with Implementing Healthcare Data Security Standards

Ensuring 100% PCI and HIPAA compliance isn’t an easy task, particularly because healthcare workers aren’t data security experts, and thus don’t always have the technical knowledge required to safeguard patient and consumer data.

As such, healthcare professionals need user-friendly tools that make data security simple and intuitive.

This brings us to the next challenge: a lot of healthcare organizations are using legacy or disparate solutions to manage their operations, which opens up privacy risks and liabilities.

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How ISVs Can Encourage Proper Data Security in Healthcare

In the following sections, we’ll shed light on some of the ways you can help your healthcare clients protect patient and consumer privacy.

Take a look at the pointers below and see how you can apply them in your ISV operations.

Ensure Your Tech Stack is Fully Compliant

As an independent software vendor, your first order of business should be your (and your clients’) software solutions. By ensuring that your own solutions are fully compliant, you’ll be able to offer higher value and protection for your business and the clients you serve.

It’s helpful to refer to compliance checklists and guidance documents from official sources. These include:

On top of that, here are some of the key areas to cover when ensuring that your and your healthcare clients’ apps and tools are compliant with all data security standards.

Handle data using secure networks

See to it that patient and cardholder data isn’t transmitted over unsecured networks. Ideally, organizations should separate and segment their networks so that no private data is ever transmitted through open or shared networks.

One way to do this is to set up a firewall between the cardholder data environment and the corporate network. Access to the cardholder network should then be restricted to appropriate users.

Implement encryption and tokenization

Encryption refers to the use of a key to encrypt sensitive information when data is stored or transmitted. When information is encrypted, it can only be returned to its original form using the right decryption key.

Meanwhile, tokenization is a security protocol in which sensitive data is replaced by tokenized information (i.e., one-time codes that are randomly generated). This means sensitive data (like credit card numbers) are never exposed during the data transmission process.

Encryption Vs Credit Card Tokenization Explained | Healthcare Data Security Standards

Together, these security protocols help keep organizations compliant with PCI and HIPAA. In the case of cardholder data, for example, payment tokenization ensures that credit card information is never exposed when processing transactions.

Meanwhile, healthcare entities that encrypt their hard drives protect PHI by ensuring their data cannot be accessed even if a hardware device (like an employee’s tablet or laptop) falls into the wrong hands.

As an ISV partner, it’s best to encourage your clients to implement these security measures. Doing so will go a long way in safeguarding patient data, reducing client risks and liabilities.

Use tech solutions with robust security features

Humans aren’t perfect, and we can still make mistakes despite our best efforts. However, certain errors can lead to serious risks and liabilities for an organization.

For instance, an employee may inadvertently share patient data in an unsecured manner. In certain instances, someone may forget to log off their device and leave patient files visible when they step away from their desks.

The best way to safeguard an organization against human error is to adopt solutions that come with robust security capabilities. Consider the following.

Built-in security protocols. Using solutions that have strong security features can take some of the data security burdens off people’s shoulders. For example, as a Level 1 PCI service provider, Stax has built-in tokenization and encryption capabilities so entities can rest assured that patients’ credit card data is always securely transmitted during transactions.

Strict password protection. Encourage clients to adopt patient management software that implements robust password protection. Some solutions, for example, don’t allow users to create weak passwords. Meanwhile, others systems have features that automatically prompt people to reset their passwords after a certain period of time.

User permissions. Utilize solutions with flexible user permissions that allow administrators to enable or restrict access to data. For example, certain patient management platforms require users to verify their role and identity before being given access to a patient’s file.

Users logs. Implement software that can keep logs of users who access patient information. Doing so not only makes it easier to audit compliance, it also deters people from unnecessarily accessing or sharing patient data because they know that their digital activities are traceable.

Encourage Clients to Go Digital

While the management of consumer and cardholder data has largely gone digital, there are still certain instances in which information has to be handled physically. Some clinics, for instance, use paper forms to capture patient data. Meanwhile, medical ID tags are still worn by patients in many hospitals.

In these instances, you need to encourage your clients to digitize their processes and solutions. Evaluate their current procedures and then propose ways to modernize them. For instance, if they’re using paper files to store patient information, you could introduce an online patient management platform to replace their manual systems.

Now, if they must use paper-based procedures, emphasize the importance of proper storage and disposal of documents.

Documents that don’t need to be stored must be disposed of properly using a bin designated for PHI. Any files that go into this bin are to be shredded.

Make Training and Education a Stronger Focus

The best ISVs cultivate strong relationships with clients.

A big part of doing this lies in training and education. Rather than simply giving healthcare organizations a bunch of tools and sending them on their way, offer more value by providing the knowledge they need to effectively uphold data security standards.

The specific training program will depend on the organization’s needs, but generally speaking, you’ll want to cover the following areas.

Payments. Ensure that clients know how to collect and process payments properly and securely. This involves training them on how to use payment hardware and software. See to it they’re aware of best practices such as not writing down payment data, not storing unnecessary information, and using a secure network when dealing with payments.

Invoicing. It’s also helpful to train clients on invoicing best practices. For instance, it’s much safer to send invoices via the company’s payment processor (instead of email), as this ensures that the invoice is sent through a secure environment. If they must send invoices via email, they need to make sure their messages are encrypted. In addition, ensuring that they do not include Personally Identifiable Information (PII) within any inappropriate area of the invoice is important. This can be done by making sure invoicing features are built with proper data field requirement, helping healthcare providers to properly input the information to reduce risk.

Password management. Educate users on how to create strong passwords (or passphrases) and remind them about the risks of sharing or writing down passwords. These things may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of people with poor password practices.

Industry data shows that almost half (49%) of people only add a digit or change a character when prompted to update their passwords. What’s more 52% of people reuse passwords on multiple occasions.

Email habits. It’s also beneficial to teach people about good email habits. Emphasize the fact that employees who have access to sensitive data such as credit card info and PHI are prime targets for email phishing and other scams.

As such, you need to equip people with pointers on how to stay safe when dealing with attachments and teach them how to spot and report suspicious activities such as email address spoofing.

Also, provide reminders on the types of info they can and cannot share via email

Browsing habits. Anyone viewing and handling sensitive information should be mindful of their web browsing habits. Visiting unsecured websites or clicking on suspicious links can lead to malware and that can put data at risk.

Conduct data security audits

Maintaining data security isn’t a one-and-done activity. It’s a continuous and evolving initiative. As technology advances, so should your data practices. To that end, encourage your clients to conduct regular audits of their security standards. By periodically checking and evaluating your compliance efforts, you can identify areas of improvement and continuously beef up your efforts.

Let Us Assist You in Helping Your Healthcare Clients Succeed

As an ISV, it pays to have partnerships with solution providers that have advanced and robust security technologies. At Stax, we love partnering with ISVs and helping them create more value in the market.

We equip you with strong security tools that ensure PCI and HIPAA compliance, so you and your healthcare clients can rest easy knowing that you’re on top of all data security requirements.

Get in touch to learn more about how ISVs can benefit from partnering with Stax.

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FAQs about Merchant ans ISV’s

Q: What is the role of an ISV in healthcare data security?

As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV), you’re integral in ensuring the clients you serve maintain robust data security standards, especially if you function as an ISO or payments company. It’s important to help clients stay compliant with data security standards like PCI-DSS, which secures cardholder and customer data.

Q: What are the challenges with implementing healthcare data security standards?

Ensuring 100% PCI and HIPAA compliance can be challenging, particularly for healthcare workers who are not data security experts. They may lack the technical know-how required to safeguard patient and consumer data, leading to the need for user-friendly data security tools. Additionally, many healthcare organizations use outdated or disparate solutions, thereby increasing privacy risks and liabilities.

Q: How can ISVs encourage proper data security in healthcare?

ISVs can aid in enhancing data security in healthcare by ensuring their own software solutions are fully compliant. They should implement secure networks with encrypted and tokenized data transmission. Also, they should encourage clients to adopt tech solutions with robust security features and policy-driven user permissions.

Q: What role do training and education play in implementing data security standards?

Training and education are vital in maintaining data security standards. They include instructing clients on how to process payments securely, follow invoicing best practices, manage passwords, cultivate safe email and browsing habits, and conduct data security audits.

Q: What steps can be taken if healthcare entities still rely on physical data management?

For healthcare entities that still use physical means to capture and store data, ISVs can provide guidance on digitizing processes and solutions. However, if physical forms must be used, it’s crucial to emphasize the proper storage and disposal of documents.

Q: Why is data security critical in the healthcare sector?

Data security is paramount in the healthcare sector to protect sensitive patient and cardholder information. Healthcare entities have to comply with both the PCI-DSS for cardholder data and the HIPAA, which secures protected health information, enhancing the protection of patient privacy and reducing risk and liabilities.

Q: How does encryption and tokenization contribute to data security?

Encryption and tokenization are security protocols that safeguard sensitive data during storage and transmission. Encryption uses a key to encrypt sensitive information, accessing it only through the correct decryption key. Tokenization replaces sensitive data with randomly generated, one-time use codes, enhancing the safety of data transmission.

Q: What is the importance of regular data security audits?

Data security audits are essential in maintaining and enhancing an organization’s data practices. As technology advances, security standards must evolve to keep pace. Regular audits identify areas of improvement, ensuring continued compliance with changing data security standards.


 

PCI and HIPAA Compliance: What Healthcare Businesses Need to Know About Credit Card Processing

While all businesses must take the privacy and security of the customer information they handle seriously, those operating in the vast healthcare landscape have additional measures they must take to maintain compliance in protecting their patient’s information.

As a credit card processor, Stax frequently receives questions from healthcare providers about HIPAA compliance. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has stated that credit card processing does not fall within the scope of HIPAA as no health record information is being stored – only card payment information.

Two important components come into play here. There’s the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, better known by its acronym, HIPAA. There’s also the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards or PCI DSS, which are standards set forth by the PCI Security Standards Council.

Credit Card Processing Exemption

The exemption for HIPAA and credit card processing only applies to the actual credit card processing services. Therefore, Stax merchant services should not be used by healthcare professionals to store health records (ex: entering medical procedure information in invoice line items or in the comment sections of transactions). This would be a violation of Stax Terms of Service. Since our credit card processing services are exempt from HIPAA, Stax does not provide signed Business Associate Agreements as it does not store or transmit electronic protected health information (ePHI) accounts.

What is HIPAA Compliance?

HIPAA is a federal law that passed in 1996 that required the creation of nationwide standards to protect sensitive patient health information from disclosure without the patient’s consent or knowledge. From this, two rules were implemented, the HIPAA Privacy Rule and HIPAA Security Rule.

The Privacy Rule addresses the use and disclosure of protected health information (PHI) and the Security Rule protects a subset of that information, including all individually identifiable health information.

The Privacy Rule includes standards to inform individuals about their rights on how their information is used and shared. The intention of the Privacy Rule is to strike a balance of protecting the privacy of those seeking care with the ability to share information between healthcare providers.

These rules apply to covered entities—defined as individuals and organizations subject to the Privacy Rule that must maintain HIPAA compliance. These entities, as outlined by the CDC, include:

  • Healthcare providers
  • Health plans
  • Healthcare clearinghouses
  • Business associates

Additionally, the CDC website states that  in order to comply with the HIPAA Security Rule, covered entities must do the following:

  • Ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all electronic protected health information (e-PHI)
  • Detect and safeguard against anticipated threats to the security of the information
  • Protect against anticipated impermissible uses or disclosures
  • Certify compliance by their workforce

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What is PCI DSS Compliance?

The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) is a global forum of payment industry stakeholders with the mission, “to enhance global payment account data security by developing standards and supporting services that drive education, awareness, and effective implementation by stakeholders.”

The PCI SSC was founded in 2006 by American Express, Discover, JCB International, MasterCard and Visa, and each founding member shares equally in the ownership, governance, and execution of the organization’s work.

The PCI DSS work to protect cardholder data and prevent fraud. The standards encompass the following four areas:

  • PCI Data Security, which includes technicial and operational standards connected to cardholder data. This covers maintaining a secure network and protecting cardholder data, monitoring and testing networks and maintaining an information security program.
  • PCI PIN Transaction Security Requirement, which protects customers’ PIN and payment processing activities. Any manufacturer of payment processing software and hardware must align to the PCI DSS steps throughout the design and production process.
  • Payment Application Data Security Standards apply to software vendors and any companies that develop payment applications used to process, transmit or store cardholder data.
  • Point-to-Point Encryption requires businesses to encrypt the transmission of cardholder data, making it unreadable to a would-be cyber attacker or other unauthorized parties.

Adhering to PCI compliance standards allows businesses to securely process payments and protect customer cardholder data. Maintaining HIPAA compliance is fundamental for any healthcare business to protect patients’ PHI. In the healthcare industry, both PCI DSS and HIPAA are necessary to protect the business and patient.

HIPAA and PCI DSS Compliance Comparison

Maintaining HIPAA and PCI DSS compliance is critical, as non-compliance can have devastating consequences for the business, but more importantly, for the patient.

The most recent report available reveals the average price for a medical record is valued at up to $250 per health record on the black market, while a payment card, the second most valuable record, averages only $2.50 per record. This means that between medical records and payment information, healthcare providers not only handle the most sensitive information, they are prime targets for cyberattacks.

Learn the difference between HIPAA and PCI DSS compliance and how healthcare businesses can stay in compliance with both.

HIPAA PCI DSS
Who oversees compliance? Office for Civil Rights (OCR) [Government agency] PCI SSC [Private sector]
What information do they protect? Medical records and patient information Cardholder data
Implementation Leaves room for interpretation Highly prescriptive guidelines

Now that we’ve outlined what HIPAA and PCI DSS compliance encompass, let’s discuss the key differences.

Entities overseeing compliance

The most fundamental difference, is that HIPAA is managed by the government under the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and codified into federal law. Whereas the PCI DSS are managed by a private sector entity. Related to this difference, HIPAA requirements are only applicable to U.S. entities and PCI DSS applies globally.

Room for interpretation

Also fundamentally different between the two is the language used in each. HIPAA allows for flexibility in how the law is interpreted, allowing some room for flexibility in implementation for those that must stay HIPAA compliant. Whereas PCI DSS are highly specific and prescriptive of the security measures businesses must take to protect cardholder data.

Protected data

Another key difference is in relation to the type of information protected. HIPAA protects medical records and how they are shared, and PCI requirements cover cardholder data and are intended for fraud prevention and consistency in how payments are processed.

HIPAA and PCI DSS overlap in the end goal—protecting sensitive data from being stolen or shared improperly. Whether that is patient data or credit card data, these compliance requirements are designed to defend businesses and healthcare facilities alike. For healthcare organizations specifically, both are necessary to protect patients and the business.

Pci And Hipaa Compliance | Doctor On Computer Secure Pci Hipaa Healthcare Credit Card Processing

How to Maintain PCI And HIPAA Compliance

Because healthcare businesses need both PCI and HIPAA compliance it is important to understand how they work together and where to find government-provided resources. Here, we’ll share three steps healthcare businesses can take to maintain both HIPAA and PCI compliance.

Implement strong cybersecurity measures

Protecting your company from data breaches requires a robust firewall and dedicated resources for a right-sized cybersecurity team. While a personal device may be protected from malware by using good anti-virus software, healthcare businesses are far more vulnerable and must take proactive measures and establish security policies that meet the needs of the business.

Some of these measures include conducting third-party risk assessments for all vendors. This is especially important for healthcare businesses where vendors have access to patient information, as third-party risk continues to grow and medical information is highly targeted. It is also imperative to develop an incident response plan and back up patient data and other critical information because ransomware attacks continue to increase in frequency.

Conduct regular risk assessments and audits

Part of maintaining HIPAA and PCI security compliance is regular assessments and audits of the program. With a constantly evolving threat landscape, businesses must continue to monitor security programs and adapt to emerging threats.

Choose trusted providers for payment processing

The right payment processor will provide hardware and software that align with PCI standards. Stax is not only PCI compliant, we are also HIPAA compliant and integrate with electronic medical and health records in a secure platform enabled to process payments.

We’re available 24/7 to help your healthcare business easily and securely process payments while maintaining HIPAA and PCI compliance.

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Why You Should Integrate Payments with Your Electronic Health Records & Electronic Medical Records (EHR/EMR)

Electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR) are two terms that are often used interchangeably but have key differences.

An EMR is a patient chart that is localized to one practice; if a patient moves to another healthcare provider, their EMR needs to be transferred to provide continuity of care. An EHR is also a patient record, but the key difference is that it contains information from multiple doctors or healthcare systems and has a more holistic view of the patient’s health.

Between the two, an EHR is a more robust source of information, and the history of care, test results, illnesses and hospitalizations, and medications provide valuable information to the current provider.

Healthcare systems and professionals working within them are operating under unprecedented circumstances of demand and complexity. Adding to this complexity is the management of billing and payment processing, which has historically been a manual process at the hospital and practice level, and an inconvenient task for patients.

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Why EMR and EHR Payment Integration?

In today’s world, convenience and safety are a priority for businesses and consumers alike. While many retailers and other businesses have evolved to more seamless systems and convenient payment processing platforms, the healthcare system remains bogged down by inconvenient payment solutions.

All healthcare providers collect payments, but when payment processing systems are separate from the patient EMR/EHRs, the process may feel clunky or antiquated to the end-user.

Integrating payments into EMRs and EHRs provides a seamless, safe, and convenient way for patients to remit payments and healthcare providers to manage billing for their practices.

Better Collection Rates

Whether a patient uses an online portal to submit payment, or they mail in an invoice, the process is often inconvenient and time-consuming. Additionally, many medical bills are not able to be paid in full, creating the need to track balances and account standings as payments are made over time. While an inconvenient user experience is not always the reason collecting payments proves to be difficult, it can contribute to delays and extend the time it takes for a practice to receive payment.

Traditional billing can be a burden on the consumer and provider, and integrating payments into the EMR/EHR can alleviate the hassle and increase responses. With an integrated platform, billing can also be automated, which ensures invoices are sent out in a timely manner, eliminating the cumbersome process of a collections specialist auditing patient accounts.

Save Time and Resources

Manually managing invoices and payments is a time-consuming process that requires significant resources from the healthcare provider. When payments are tied to patient records, the process becomes more automated, and medical practices are better able to manage accounts. This also eliminates the time and human error risk of manually inputting payment from paper invoices. An integrated platform makes viewing reports and reconciling records far easier and more accurate.

Many providers today still use multiple methods of collecting payments. For example, a practice may accept cash payments and use a card terminal, in addition to an online platform. While accepting payments in multiple forms proves to be a benefit, disparate systems are tougher to reconcile and pose additional risks for human error.

Reduce Risk and Improve Compliance

Integrating medical records and payments allows medical providers to better maintain compliance and reduce risks associated with having a disintegrated system. Many providers have added payment options over the years as they’ve become available. These expanded offerings are necessary as technology has evolved, but using multiple systems can create a disjointed user experience and pose additional security risks.

By using an all-in-one platform that integrates payment capabilities to health records, healthcare providers are able to better track and maintain these records, making them safer and more compliant.

Accept More Payment Types

Another benefit of payment integration is the ability to accept additional forms of payment electronically. One example that is beneficial for medical practices is accepting ACH payments, which are convenient for the customer, and reduce card processing fees for the practice. Other payment methods can also be accepted, providing convenient options for the patient and enabling them to pay their bill in a secure manner.

Improve Patient Experience

All of the above reasons to integrate payments into EMR/EHRs primarily serve healthcare practices. An added benefit of streamlining the collection process is an improved patient experience. By creating a user-friendly interface, offering multiple payment options, and providing a secure manner to send payment, the patient greatly benefits along with the practice.

Additionally, the ability to view medical records in tandem with billing can alleviate some of the confusion that comes with understanding medical bills. In fact, 74% of patients report they are confused by the explanation of benefits and medical bills. Simplifying the billing and payment process can reduce confusion and create a more positive patient experience.

Though healthcare is a necessity, there are a plethora of options for people to choose from when selecting a healthcare provider. Practices with antiquated technology, patient portals, and inconvenient payment processing may be at risk of losing business. As technology advances, user experience takes precedence and becomes not only the norm but the expectation.

How to Integrate Payments with EMR/EHR

Payments can be integrated with medical and health records with a secure platform that is enabled to process payments and is both PCI and HIPAA compliant. Stax offers a seamless platform that allows patients to choose payment options they are most comfortable with. This includes contactless payments, text-to-pay, debit/credit payments, ACH transfers, the ability to schedule recurring payments, and more.

Stax works with providers to ensure PCI and HIPAA compliance. In addition to receiving 24/7 customer support, Stax has transparent pricing and a subscription model, which allows providers to better predict costs.

The solution also comes with access to valuable data and analytics. Dashboards that are directly linked to payments and records provide insights into the practice that may otherwise be missed if using multiple systems.

Once payments and records are integrated, dedicated support and the right equipment for your unique needs mean implementation is as seamless as the end-user experience. Stax offers everything in one platform, including QuickBooks integration and over 200 other available software integrations.

Healthcare practices looking to modernize their billing and payment processing should consider the above benefits of a convenient and secure EMR/EHR integrated payment processing system. With many solutions out there, and several payment processing options available, finding the right option that can also scale with your business can be a challenge.

Ready to get started? At Stax, expert guidance is available 24/7, with in-house online and phone support to help you find the right solution for your practice.

Contact us to learn more.

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The Best Mobile Credit Card Readers for Small Businesses

Going cashless is becoming the norm for consumers. People are not carrying cash like they used to. And the evolution of mobile credit card processing technology means consumers have more choices when it comes to how they pay. So what does that mean for small businesses, especially businesses on the go?

Mobile credit card readers are the perfect solution for on-the-go payments. You can accept both EMV and magstripe cards, while some readers also accept NFC apps like iOS’ Apple Pay for contactless payments. Whether you’re using a mobile card reader with your phone or a terminal, mobile readers for small businesses can streamline the entire payment process. Here are some factors to consider while looking for a mobile reader:

Is Your Point of Sale Mobile?

To utilize a mobile credit card reader, your POS system must be able to function on a mobile device. These days, there are many options for mobile POSs, but whether you’re completely functioning on iPads everywhere or a desktop POS in store and an android phone on the go, you’ll need a mobile device to use a mobile card reader. 

Can You Accept EMV and NFC?

A good mobile credit card reader should have the ability to accept both EMV chip cards and NFC credit card payments. This means in addition to a classic magstripe reader, the reader needs to have dip or tap functionality. Customers have more options when it comes to how they pay. Mobile payments like Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay have grown in popularity recently. 26% of people worldwide now use mobile wallet payments (in addition to using classic options like debit cards or magnetic stripe Visas, Mastercards, etc). Accepting payment besides cash increases your business’ cash flow. Mobile swipers like the Chipper 2X BT connect via Bluetooth, so you can accept and manage payments from a mobilen app. These readers are great if you often work outside of a typical brick-and-mortar store.

RELATED: An Ultimate Breakdown of Credit Card Readers

Are Mobile Credit Card Readers Reliable?

Mobile readers need to be secure and reliable. All businesses that handle cardholder data must be PCI compliant and your mobile payments need to be compliant as well. Non-compliance results in fines anywhere starting from $5,000 up to $100,000 a month. If you use a mobile payment app with your mobile credit card reader, it must be PCI compliant. Stax uses tokenization and encryption all the way to settlement. Whether you key-in information or use a card reader, your data is secure.

Can You Connect Over 5G and WiFi?

Poor connectivity and technical issues slow down check out and cause long lines. Connecting your reader multiple ways can be an insurance policy against those issues. The Dejavoo Z1 and Z9 are both wireless, so you can take them on the go and connect over WiFi or 5G to prevent long lines from forming. They’re a perfect payment processing solution for busy times of day at stores, or if you have a pop-up stand event.

Are There Extra Features Without Extra Costs?

Extra features on your mobile reader shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg while giving flexibility to how you do business. The Dejavoo Z1 reader can email customers their receipt, while the Dejavoo Z9 offers a built-in receipt printer. The Chipper mobile swipers connect via Bluetooth for mobile payments. A good mobile reader should offer useful features to make mobile payments easier.

Choosing the best mobile credit card readers for small businesses boils down to capabilities and functionality. Along with those features, your credit card processor must support mobile payments.

Some other considerations as you consider mobile card readers:

  • What transaction fees , processing fees, or monthly fees does the merchant services provider you’re looking at charge?
  • Does it work with Android devices or just Apple ones, like iPhone?
  • Does it integrate with your eCommerce software (like Shopify)?

Stax’s mobile payment processing solutions are fully integrated. Business owners can track, manage, and accept in-person and online payments from wherever you are. And as a Level 1 PCI compliant service provider, with the highest level of compliance available, you can be confident that your data is secure. Stax’ transparent pricing means you don’t pay extra to process payments—without a contract. And our unbeatable customer support will be there to ensure your success.

Also Check Out: Ways to Save on Credit Card Reader Machines

Ready to see what Stax mobile solutions can do for you? Contact us today.

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