Many businesses are unaware the credit card brands (Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express) all charge set fees when you process a payment, known as Interchange. Another fact is the card brands regularly adjust their fees, normally every April and October.
While the most recent October fee adjustments were relatively minor, in April 2022 the card brands moved forward with several large increases to Interchange which had previously been on hold due to the pandemic. While this adjustment was nationwide, what you may not know is many processors took advantage of it to further increase their own rates more than the actual card brands, thus subjecting offices to not one, but two price hikes. As a result, the April 2022 rate increase has been detrimental to the bottom line for many practices. However, there are some steps you can take to minimize the impact.
Remember, all credit card processors pay the same Interchange fees back to the card brands as the direct cost on every transaction. Interchange rates can be affected by:
TYPE OF CARD
Debit is almost always cheaper than credit, no matter if it’s processed with or without a PIN.
HOW CARD IS ACCEPTED AT TIME OF TRANSACTION
If the card is present (chip/swipe/contactless), you typically receive the lowest rate.
If the card is not present (keyed or website payments), you get a lowered rate if the billing ZIP code and the 3- or 4-digit card security code are used.
If the card is not present and the ZIP code and security code are not used, you will be paying the highest rate. This type of payment saw a sizable increase in April 2022 with certain cards going from 2.70-3.15 percent! The great news is avoiding this increase is relatively simple: when keying in a payment, always enter the cardholder billing ZIP code and card security code. Not only will you avoid this specific rate increase, but it also will consistently save you from paying higher Interchange fees and make it more difficult for a cardholder to dispute the charge.
If it has been a while since you took a closer look at what you’re paying to accept cards, or if you’ve seen notices of increases on your recent statements, now is a great time to make sure you’re not being overcharged!
3 Reasons to Look At Your Credit Card Processing Options
Processors can (and frequently do) raise fees above what is on your contract. A great deal that you were promised years ago is often very expensive now, due to frequent rate increases and confusing pricing schemes by other processing companies.
Equipment has evolved and new devices could save you money.
We have options for every practice budget and style, including simple, low-cost, standalone terminals and all-in-one online systems.
The average dental office takes 94.8% more in card payments than 10 years ago. Any part of your business that grows this much needs to be re-evaluated to ensure it’s still meeting the needs of your bottom line. 96% of cost analyses show savings! The average savings for MDA members has been 28% or $5,211 annually.
To get started, send a recent processing statement to 866-717-7247 (fax) or Compare@BestCardTeam.com for a detailed, no-obligation cost comparison and a $5 Amazon gift card. For questions call 877-739-3952.
Phil Nieto is President of Best Card. Since leaving behind the legal world, Phil is enjoying the relative ease of working directly with dentists to help them understand the confusing credit card processing industry and save more of their hard-earned money. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Best Card, the ADA Member Advantage and MDA-endorsed credit card processor, saves offices an average of $5,211 or 28 percent annually on processing fees by offering locked-in rates with outstanding customer service.