Mobile POS and credit card swipe application reviews

There are 62 Point of Sale (POS) apps listed on Infinite Peripherals App Partners. Infinite Peripherals is a leading provider of POS hardware for Apple products including the iPad. In the coming weeks I’ll post reviews on a very specific set of features. The features are:

  • Credit card processing- is the app compatible with many merchant services companies or is it proprietary?
  • Can the app store or use tokens in the transaction process. Tokens replace sensitive payment data. By enabling tokens for repeat customers, merchants can gain insights into customers.
  • Scalability: is it one app = one account, or can a merchant access data by user, by location, etc. Is it part of a suite of solutions to reduce PCI burden?
  • Multi-channel: are all channels integrated with one reporting hub?
  • Fee relief: does the app have any intelligence to help merchants manage the cost of accepting payments, including swipe vs key entered.

To keep the list manageable the topics list is relatively small so merchants can see at a glance key differences. Your blog author, Christine Speedy, sells the CenPOS solution that’s includes a free mobile app, compatible with all Infinite Peripherals products. Although other apps are also available from our partners, usually they don’t stack up to CenPOS after a consultation.

Look for this subject title: iPad credit card terminal. Shown below is the Infinea Tab.  The Infinea Tab

 

ipad credit card terminal

Click the image above to visit the iPad peripherals manufacturer web site.

Dental billing solution enables rebilling after insurance claims

Most medical and dental billing solutions address HIPPA, but what about secure payments?  Our dental billing solution enables you to securely collect current payments and outstanding bills after insurance claims are completed. Collecting payments in a secure manner is equally important to HIPPA. Most staff at medical practices don’t even know what PCI DSS is, even after having 6 years to comply.

DENTAL BILLING SOLUTIONS

Tired of getting paid weeks and months after services are rendered?

Do you have patients paying a co-pay on the visit, then after you’re paid by the insurance company, the patient ends up having a balance due?

How long on average does it take you to collect that balance? Are you paying a medical billing company to collect it for you?

Do you have orthodontia patients that are billed the same amount every month?

Do you offer a payment plan in some situations?

SOLUTION: TOKEN ACCOUNTS.

  1. Merchant accesses a secure payment processing platform and creates a TOKEN to enable rebilling the patient or to set up recurring billing. Card data is never stored at the merchant location and the token links only to remotely hosted encrypted data. To re-bill, the merchant enters the patient name, transaction amount, and the TOKEN ID.
  2. Patients agree to have their card charged, usually up to a specified amount, at the time of the original transaction. Merchants can print a receipt, or have an email automatically sent with the receipt.

BENEFITS:

  1. Improve cash flow.
  2. Reduce or eliminate collections.
  3. Simplify the billing process- reduce workload.
  4. PCI Compliant- secure solution eliminates exposed card data.
  5. Reduce opportunities for internal fraud by eliminating receiving card data within mailed billing responses.
  6. Managed payment processing costs- eliminates costly human errors that result in interchange qualification downgrades.

FEATURES:

  1. Optional Signature Capture stores patient opt-in agreement electronically indefinitely.
  2. Access secure web page from any computer.
  3. User control for all functions and reporting. You decide who can perform what type of transaction. Enable off site billing or accounting to access reporting.
  4. Optional industry template to capture insurance policy number, account number etc. Export reports on demand.
  5. Real- time cash flow. Enables management to see  multiple locations at a glance.
  6. Multiple merchant accounts- Use the same system for multiple doctors within a location.
  7. Minimal set- up. No major upfront investment.
  8. Optional pay page- simple code you can add to your web site so patients can pay a bill.

SALES CONTACT: Christine Speedy 954-942-0483

SCREEN SHOTS

Figure 1. The customer is present and you swipe the card. The card number, expiration and name on card are automatically recognized, as with any swipe device. Confidential information will be x’d out and will not appear on the screen.  Enter the  sale amount, as usual.
swipe sale screen

Notes: Other required or optional fields are determined by the merchant prior at account set-up.  The merchant determines data capture preferences balancing speed at the cashier, information needs, and risk.  In all the figures shown, invoice is mandatory, but that is strictly a merchant decision.

FIGURE 2.  When the customer is not present, different data needs to be captured for risk and interchange qualification  ( how much a transaction costs the merchant) concerns. i
virtual terminal card not present sale screen

FIGURE 3. If the merchant wants to bill the same customer again, the repeat sale button is selected. Information is collected for both the initial sale and future sales. A token is automatically generated, or the merchant can specify one. We recommend you collect the email address so that you can send automatic receipts for future billing. (You can also ask the customer to opt-in or opt-out to marketing via email.)

virtual terminal repeat sale screen

FIGURE 4.  When you’re ready to go back and bill the patient, enter the TOKEN ID along with the amount to charge.

virtual terminal token billing

If you captured an email previously and set up automatic receipts, an email is automatically generated and sent. Email set up can be programmed with your own FROM and SUBJECT.

The benefits I’ve discussed are just the tip of the iceberg. This technology is leaps ahead of anything else on the market, including ease of use. Your staff can complete a repeat sale with less than 5 minutes of training. Setting up recurring billing, where the same amount is billed multiple times, is not shown here and is just as easy.

Protect your patient data. Protect your business from internal fraud. Improve your cash flow. Look at functional graphical reports that let you see and compare cash flow from multiple operations in minutes.

Questions? Need a demo? Call Christine at 954-942-0483.

Credit Card Processing Fees

Are you confused by quotes that are all over the place from sales reps?

This online prospect, a small restaurant, had one offer that was interchange plus 19 basis points. He said he was currently paying 54 basis points. He also had another quote for 41 basis points.

Is the quote real? Was he really paying interchange plus to start with? After questions by several others in the payment processing business it’s still unclear. The current costs were definitely not just interchange plus. Additionally, small businesses like this don’t get offered interchange plus. Why? Risk and reward. Interchange plus is generally reserved for larger businesses, of at least $1,000,000 or more, or restaurants that are part of a hotel operation.

Should the businessman take the 19 basis points? Without seeing the contract details, it’s tough to answer. On the surface it sounds…incredible. We do know there is a 3 year minimum and $299 minimum termination fee. As a general rule, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

What’s really funny is one of the experts said that all the offers were too high; that he knew people who only charge $.07 per transaction, plus straight interchange. This type of comment is exactly why business owners are confused. Let’s do the math. $250,000 in annual revenue with average ticket is 5000 transactions X $.07= $350 for the processor. Now the processor and the sales rep will split that amount, let’s say 50/50. $175 each per year. Deduct the cost to print and mail monthly statements and let’s call it $150. Deduct the cost to process the application (even if merchant is not charged) and it’s zero profit the first year. Restaurants are high risk, small businesses even riskier. I don’t know ANY processor who is willing to take on that risk in the hopes the business will still be around to collect $150 for the second and third year. What’s the point of being in business if you can’t make money?

The scenario described illustrates a couple of important items.
There are merchant processors willing to work for peanuts. Will they still be around later? Or is this just a ploy to build account numbers so they can sell their business portfolio?

Will the payment processor take care of the customer if the merchant has problems? Given the potential profit, I can’t see how they would have a good support team.

Will the payment processor work to help the customer qualify for better interchange rates? Again, at these rates, they can’t afford to.

If the restaurant is doing $2.5 million per year, the whole picture changes. In that case, the merchant must select the processor that will provide the greatest interchange management support, not the processor with the lowest ‘basis points’ add on (merchant discount). Why?

A downgrade can cost the merchant up to 70 basis points and that number continues to increase. Which is better for you? Managed interchange where you hit the lowest rate possible for your transaction, or the lowest merchant discount, where you might have a high number of transactions downgrading? I’ve seen the downgrade percentage as high as 100%. Yes, the customer had every transaction downgraded! Why is another story, but the point is with the right management team on your side, you’ll pay a little more on the surface, but you’ll more than make up for it with better interchange qualification.

If the last paragraph was confusing, that’s OK. It’s confusing to most of the people in the industry, especially those offering cut rate deals. You hire the most skilled people for every position in your company. It only makes sense to hire the most skilled team to assist you with managing your payment processing costs.

How can I reduce American Express fees?

You can eliminate the per transaction fee normally charged.

AMEX Split-Dial
Your terminal is programmed to dial Amex direct American Express transactions, and your other merchant number for VISA, MasterCard and other transactions. When this happens, the transaction fee normally charged (.25 cents for each transaction) is eliminated.

AMEX Reverse PIP
You can also offer reverse PIP which further reduces fees through split settlement. By using split-dial for American Express® , and reverse PIP (“split-settle”) you’ll eliminate any costs from your processor and only incur direct Amex costs.

Both of these are achieved through terminal programming. If your representative cannot help you with this, it’s time for a new processor!

protection from chargebacks

The sales slip must include both a cardholder signature and the card account number to be valid. The account number must be obtained directly from an imprint of the card itself or from electronically reading the magnetic stripe. Manually entering the account number does not protect you from a no-imprint chargeback even if the sales slip is signed.

Quick tip: by programming your terminal to request the last 4 digits of the card, it quickly checks to make sure the card swipe and the magnetic strip are the same. If you override this function, you may be more vulnerable to losses.