What dentists need to know before upgrading their payment systems

Methods of payment are rapidly evolving, and dental practices need to keep up with the latest mobile pay and other trends. Before you get started with updates in your practice, here are some important considerations from two experts.

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Methods of payment are rapidly evolving, and dental practices need to keep up with the latest mobile pay and other trends. Before you get started with updates in your practice, here are some important considerations from two experts.

The payments landscape in the US has shifted dramatically during the past year. No longer are magnetic stripe credit and debit cards the standard payment form for card transactions. Last year, chip cards started replacing traditional magnetic stripe cards as the standard of payment. This year marks the continued growth of mobile payments such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

With more than 300 million chip cards circulating in the US,[1] and one in four smartphone owners using a mobile payment application,[2] dental offices are bound to feel the impact of this shift in payments technology. This will only become more pronounced as more patients use credit and debit transactions to pay deductibles and electable procedures.

As dental offices continue to upgrade payment systems to accept chip-enabled transactions, here are a few key considerations that should be made before updating your payment terminals.

Understand your needs—A dental practice should first consider whether they need a stand-alone terminal or a practice management system before upgrading payments systems. There are advantages to each, for instance, stand-alone terminals tend to be less expensive and easier to upgrade.

Account for emerging payments trends—Mobile payment adoption in the US is steadily growing. In fact, mobile payment forecasts conducted by eMarketer estimate a 210% growth in mobile payment transactions by the end of 2016. As dental practices continue to upgrade payment systems for EMV standards, they should also make sure that those upgraded terminals support mobile and contactless payments to future-proof their business.

Understand processing fees and rates—Prior to upgrading payment systems or changing payment processors, dental offices should understand the rates and fees involved because they vary from processor to processor. It’s important to select a payment processor with competitive rates and experience when upgrading systems to EMV.

Upgrading payment systems is about more than just fraud prevention—The ability to accept chip-card transactions and mobile payments demonstrates to your patients that their valuable credit card information is important to you, and that you’re committed to providing them with the most up-to-date payments security solutions.

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In many ways, the dental and payments industries are moving on parallel paths in taking advantage of digital and connected technology. Leveraging mobile payments and EMV will ultimately build trust with your patients, as well as provide a better all-around patient experience.


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Keith Drayer is vice president of Henry Schein Financial Services (HSFS). HSFS helps health-care practitioners operate financially successful practices through their diversified suite of financial and business resources. HSFS’ portfolio of resources is designed to give customers the financial advantage critical to success in today’s changing marketplace.

Chris Lee is the president of Moneris’ US division. Her main duties include overseeing Moneris’ North American Strategic Partnerships and Emerging Markets channels. She is involved in essential business components that bring Moneris to the forefront of payments, including, sales, marketing, operations, account management, merchant retention, and business development.

REFERENCES
1. http://www.retaildive.com/news/visa-pushes-to-speed-up-emv-transition/421090/
2. https://talkbusiness.net/2016/07/study-one-in-four-u-s-smartphone-owners-use-mobile-pay-walmartpay-numbers-remain-unknown/

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