What’s the best credit card processing for therapists?It’s a question you may not have pondered a lot. After all, your first priority is to help your patients live well. But you are a business owner. And as a business owner, you must handle your finances well. That’s how you ensure sustainability. That’s how you ensure you can continue helping your patients. Handling your finances well begins with keeping as much revenue as possible from your therapy sessions. Your therapy practice has ongoing expenses, such as liability insurance, office rent, website maintenance, continuing education, and referral fees. These are necessary, but could be reduced a little over time. But did you know you have a way to save lots of money immediately? All you have to do is change how you accept payments. By implementing the best credit card processing system at your therapy practice, you can boost your income by thousands, if not $10K+, per year. Got your attention? Let’s dig a little deeper…
Why therapists should look for the best credit card processing
You may think: What’s the big deal? We’re just talking about a few percentage points in fees. That’s true. But it adds up. These credit card processing fees eat into your therapy practice’s profits. There are many reasons why you should care about this. First, you spent more than six to nine years or more in school to obtain your Master’s degree or PhD. That’s a massive investment in time and energy. But you did it, and your efforts will benefit lots of people. Second, it’s not just a time commitment that you made, but also a financial commitment. The average doctor of psychology, for instance, graduates with a debt load of $200,000. Additionally, to start your private therapy practice, you spent money and time developing a business plan, finding an office, hiring assistants, and more. Depending on how you run your therapy clinic, that investment could have been anywhere from a few thousand dollars to more than $50,000. Third, you have ongoing expenses and there’s simply no reason to spend more than you have to on something like credit card processing. By paying those fees, you’re letting money fly out the window. As you can see, you have a lot on the line. That’s why you need to eliminate credit card processing fees. That money can go towards protecting your investment.
How much do therapists lose to credit card transaction fees
Here’s the good news: You work in a growing and important field. The behavioral therapy market has been growing at an annual rate of 8.2%. As long as you market your services well and set up referrals with primary care providers, you should have a steady flow of clients. Now, that brings us to accepting payment. Let’s first break down how much therapy costs, as fees can vary. Therapy sessions cost anywhere from $75 to $200 or more, according to Healthline. How much you charge depends on your location, your specialty, your experience, and whether or not you accept health insurance. For example, if you specialize in sleep therapy, your services may cost a lot more. Since most of your patients suffer from insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and other sleep disorders, therapy probably includes a polysomnogram (overnight sleep study). During a polysomnogram, medical equipment is used to monitor brain activity, breathing, heart rate, nasal airflow, and muscle movements. Given all that’s involved, a polysomnogram can cost a lot of money (from $600 to $5,000). Health insurance will cover a good portion of that, but chances are some patients will have a high out-of-pocket expense. Why would that matter to your revenue at your sleep therapy clinic?Well, credit cards have the highest usage rate for consumer payments, with a 40% share of payments.
As transaction values increase, Federal Reserve research finds credit card usage rates increase as well. So, more than 50% of your clients could pay with a credit card. Now, imagine this scenario:
40% of the revenue you collect at your sleep therapy clinic comes from health insurance claims.
The remaining 60% comes from patients’ copay, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket payments.
Among that 60%, two-thirds, or 40% of your total revenue, comes from credit card transactions.
That leaves 40% of your sleep therapy revenue subject to credit card transaction fees. These fees can easily exceed 3% per transaction. That adds up over time and kills your bottom line.But you don’t have to pay these fees. There is a solution for all therapists. You can get free credit card processing.
How much more could therapists make with free credit card processing: An example of a sleep therapist
Let’s continue with the example of a sleep therapist. And let’s say the sleep therapist treats 60 patients per year at an average cost of $1,500. That equates to $900,000 in revenue per year. Like the example in the above section, let’s assume 40% of that revenue comes from credit card transactions. The sleep therapist also uses one of the following merchant service providers, paying an average credit card fee of 3.25% per transaction:
That means the sleep therapist pays a 3.25% fee to the merchant service provider on $360,000 worth of revenue. That’s $11,200 per year in credit card transaction fees.How much would eliminating credit card processing fees increase the sleep therapist’s salary? Well, let’s say, after accounting for equipment, labor, insurance, marketing, legal, and other expenses, the sleep therapy clinic has net margins of 10%. The sleep therapist earns $90,000 per year. That’s quite solid. But if the sleep therapist got rid of credit card transaction fees, her income would jump from $90,000 to $101,700 per year. That’s a salary increase of 13%!Imagine what you could do with a salary increase of 13%. You could get more resources for your patients and expand your therapy clinic. Or, you could use the money for yourself. Save more for retirement, buy a nicer house, or take a better vacation. The choice is yours! The bigger point is this: That’s your money. It deserves to be in your wallet. And you don’t have to waste it on credit card transaction fees.
How therapists can find the best credit card processing
The first step to getting free credit card processing is finding the merchant service provider (MSP) that provides the best value. Ideally, you want an MSP with low fees, quality service, and reliable hardware and software. You may even want mobile credit card processing and virtual terminal processing capabilities. To find the best MSP for your therapy clinic, follow these steps:
Avoid tiered pricing. While tiered pricing may seem cheaper, too many transactions get marked as ‘mid-qualified’ or ‘nonqualified’, and not ‘qualified’. Your average fees will be hard to predict and could be much higher than anticipated. What to do instead: Look for MSPs that offer pass-through pricing. The interchange fees are passed on to you, the business owner. This ensures transparency. You’ll know how much you’ll pay in fees and can plan accordingly.
Choose three to five MSPs with low fees and quality service. Don’t immediately choose the MSP with the lowest fees. Read the fine print. Take note of pricing for:
interchange fees (paid to the bank)
network fees (paid to the card network)
assessment fees (paid to the card brand)
MSP markup (MSPs have complex surcharges and other markups, like a monthly fee)
Negotiate the MSP markup. Do you see the four fees listed above? You can’t negotiate the first three, but you can negotiate the last one. We’ve seen small businesses get 5-10% off the MSP markup. See which credit card processing lowers their price the most, and go with them. By negotiating, you can save lots of money over the long run.
Now that you know the processing for getting the best credit card processing for therapists, let’s get to the next step: Ensuring you don’t lose any revenue when patients pay with a credit card.
The cash discount program—the strategy for therapists to bring home 100% of their revenue
Whether you’re a sleep therapist, psychologist, or addiction specialist, know this: You can still accept credit cards and avoid processing fees.How can you do that? You already know the first step: Get the most affordable credit card processor possible. Here’s the second step: Use a cash discount program. As the name suggests, you give your patients a discount for paying with cash. At NadaPayments, our cash discount program gives therapy patients a discount of up to 3.95%. Your patients can still pay with a credit card, but they save when they pay with cash. Even better, how your therapy patients pay doesn’t matter. Your revenue remains the same, as the credit card price Now, you may be wondering: Is this legal? Yes! It is, thanks to the Dodd-Frank Act. You can give discounts based on payment method. Interested in learning more? At NadaPayments, we’re ready to help your therapy clinic get free credit card processing. That way, you can focus more on what matters: helping your patients. Contact us at +1 (929) 293-1800 or click the link below.