Transfirst vs CenPOS for orthodontists

After writing the Transfirst review, I stumbled on the news blurb about AAO renewing a three year agreement with Transfirst for credit card processing. The positive news is the deal offers pass through credit card processing. I don’t have any intimate details about how much merchants will pay over interchange though to make any comment. I then further learned that Transfirst has numerous similar deals with other medical associations.

As a parent with kids needing orthodontal care for several years, I’m initimately familiar with the billing requirements of orthodontist practices and the many situations they encounter. Does this sound familiar to you?

  • Payments made by almost exclusively by credit card or debit card, rarely cash or check
  • Initial downpayment made in person
  • Subsequent payments made during office visits
  • Some customers on automated payment or would like to be
  • Insurance may cover part of obligation
  • Multiple parties may be involved in payments (divorced parents, grandparents etc)
  • Kids of driving age show up without a parent or payment
  • Loans via third party

Convenience Parents would like:

  • Ability to pay online. Parents are busy!
  • Ability to store payment information and know that it is safe. (The parent not present can pay when it’s convenient.)
  • Ability to choose whether to accept automated recurring billing. (Puts parent in control of how much convenience they’d like.)

A wise man once said, to effectively reach your market, “you need to see what John Smith buys through John Smith’s eyes”.¬† Once an orthodontist routine is established, for parents, being present to pay a bill or having to call in during normal business hours, is just another pain point, especially when there are other parties involved in making payments. HSA debit cards are becoming more common, so sending a check in the mail is usually not the solution for the parent not there making a payment.

How CenPOS solves these problems:

  • Securely store payment information for repeat billing.
  • The CenPOS recurring billing module: Set it and forget it payments, including variable amounts and any dates. You can add a patient ‘contract’ and add multiple payers and payment methods for each payer.
  • Free secure online paypage for checks, credit, debit cards. Payers can make a one time payment or store their information for later.
  • Automatically emails when a card is expiring if a payer has registered.
  • EBPP- you could email invoices, though this is less common for orthodontists.
payment switch card not present retail

The illustration shows part of the payment cycle that applies to interchange qualification.

How CenPOS compares to Transfirst:

Payment Gateway Features As Listed on Transfirst June 2012
Differentiating Feature
Automatically prompts users for data to qualify more transactions for lower qualified rates
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Signature capture option
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Automatically switch transaction indicator to retail or card not present
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Search records by cardholder name
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Create Patient Payment Account and add multiple payers and payment methods
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Create any payment amount, any date, any payer method and SCHEDULE it
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Store records for 7 years
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Free secure online payments page
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DISCLAIMER: This review uses publicly available information posted on the competitive product web site as of 6/12/2012. The review does not include the credit card processing, just the gateway product. TransFirst is a registered trademark of TransFirst LLC.


  • Regardless of your business type, CenPOS generally outperforms TransFirst when all the facts are compared.
  • API is available to integrate into other software packages.


Contact Christine at 3D Merchant Services, authorized CenPOS resellers. Click here to become a customer or call the hotline at the top of this web page.