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Your Practice & Credit Card Processing Fees

February 2024 | admin

As credit card processing fees continue to rise, there’s lots of industry chatter about passing on charges to our veterinary clients. While passing on credit card fees might seem like a way to offset costs, it can have negative consequences for your practice in terms of revenue and customer perception.

You could add an additional line item for three percent of the total bill or increase all your fees by three percent, and while those might seem like a reasonable solution, ultimately both options lead to higher processing costs. Plus, how do you feel as a consumer when faced with those new, additional charges? By irritating clients, or by appearing to nickel and dime them, you run the risk of losing them.

And if you give clients a discount for paying cash, you’re also cutting into the practice’s revenue.
Something else to consider is some jurisdictions and credit card companies, like Care Credit, specifically prohibit or restrict businesses from passing on credit card fees to customers. Violating these laws can result in fines or legal actions against your practice.

So, what can you do?
• It’s recommended to shop for merchant services at least every six months and try to negotiate for a better rate.
• Monitor credit card statements monthly. If you notice unexpected increases or discrepancies, follow up with your provider ASAP.
• Different cards carry different interchange fees. By encouraging the use of cards with lower interchange rates, such as debit cards, or swiping a card instead of entering it in manually, you can reduce overall processing costs.
• Staying PCI compliant can also help avoid expensive non-compliance fees.

Historically credit card fees have been a cost of doing business and passing on those charges might be perceived as prioritizing the business’ interest over your clients’ convenience. It’s best practice to find alternative ways to mitigate the rising fees.