Credit Card Processing Set Up

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    Mark Ingram

    Have you looked at Transfirst? They have partnered with Availity for credit card processing. They also provide a free credit card reader (usb). Their fees are far more reasonable, no interchange fee, no monthly account fees, no PCI compliance fee (whatever that is). It would be nice if you looked into partnering with them. Your current offering of $36.60 monthly flat fee + 20.00 + the add-on fees is way high. Even Paypal and Square are far better deals (and even at volume).

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    Therabill Support Specialist

    Therabill at this time has partnered with two different merchant accounts.  We do not have any immediate plans of partnering with anyone else.  The plans that our two partners  offer are both cheaper than Square at higher volume.  Square is at 3.75 percent without any monthly flat fee.  That is great for low volume.  However, at higher volume, the higher percentage rate really takes over.  For example, the average percent with Club Automation is going to be around 1.9%.    At $5000.00, you would be paying $188.00 to Square, but with Club Automation, the percentage charge would be $95.00.  The difference clearly makes up for the flat monthly fee.

    When it comes to choosing a credit card processor, there are many things to consider.  There are many offerings out there.  Unfortunately, Therabill cannot integrate with all of the choices out there.

    If you do want to use a different processor, we would be more than happy to integrate Therabill to your current gateway, but you would need to pay the development costs for the integration. 

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    Mark Ingram

    You are correct. There are many things to consider. For example, you are assuming that the Square transactions are manually entered and the rate is 3.75 (actually 3.50 +15 cents). If they are swiped, the fee is 2.75% and on your $5000.00 example would be 137.50. Your example did not include the set monthly fees of 36.60 (monthly fee +PCI Compliance fee) which increases the cost to 131.60 (95.00 +36.60). It is also not clear that you are accounting for the .25% added to the interchange rate and the 15 cent per-transaction fee. If you have not included the .25% add on fee then the interchange fee should be 2.15% which on $5000.00 would amount to 107.50 + however many per transaction fees incurred at 15 cents each.. When adding the set fees of 36.60 the total then comes to 144.10. Which is more than Square. That same example with Transfirst would cost 109.50 (1.99% x $5000.00 + 10 monthly fee + 10 cent transaction fee for however many transactions). I think the transaction would need to be closer to $9000.00/month for your system to be cheaper than Square and I don't think it would ever get cheaper than Transfirst.

    However, considering that charging a slightly higher cost for the integration into Therabill is reasonable as it saves your customers time and work. Paying to have custom integration is probably not viable from a customer standpoint.

    I am not suggesting that Therabill integrate with all choices out there. That would be rather extreme. I am only suggesting you look at some other options that might be of benefit to you and your customers. Who knows what you might discover.

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    Therabill Support Specialist

    I do admit, I didn't do an exact accounting and I apologize for any confusion.  My point was only to show that with a higher monthly percentage (like Square) vs.  a monthly fee + a lower percentage, that there is a point where the two costs intersect. For low volume, the higher percentage with no flat fee will be cheaper.  But there is a point as volume goes up that the higher percentage becomes more expensive than a flat monthly fee + a smaller percentage. 

    The cost of integrating is not cheap.  Therefore, it is probably not going to be in the best interest for someone to ask for a custom integration because it is pretty expensive.  Therabill cannot absorb this cost and still offer our pricing model, which is often half of what other companies are charging (take for example Kareo).    Therabill offers two choices for merchant accounts.  Most of our competitors (some who charge twice as much for their software, only offer one merchant account, if they offer any at all).

    You are asking for a specific integration with Transfirst.   If other customers requested the same customized integrations, Therabill would not be able to maintain its low subscription rate.  Therabill needs to manage its costs very aggressively in order to keep the price of Therabill at reasonable price for you.   As with any business, expenses that we incur have to be paid for some how, and that is usually from subscription revenues.  It would not be fair to other members of Therabill for us to incur the expense of integrating with multiple credit card processors which would result in a rise in Therabill's subscription rates.

    As mentioned earlier, we are willing to integrate with your credit card processor, but this would be a customized integration, payable by you.

    I do want to go back to your original post about the expenses of Transfirst because it will let me offer some information for people out there who are shopping for a merchant account.  This is very important.

    1. You mentioned that there is no interhchange fee.  Most likely, they are just not telling you this up front.  The interchange fee is what is being charged by the acquirer (not the actual merchant account).  There is no way around the interchange percent.  For Square, the interchange rate is built in to their percentage.  If a merchant account does not charge you interchange (and they do not have it built in to their percentage rate), then they will be losing money.  The acquirer will be charging the merchant account their percentage (which is what the interchange rate is).  Now this is important.  Many merchant accounts will post their rates.  If they are posting their rates, they may not be showing interchange.  You would quickly learn when you got your first bill from them that they add on interchange.
    2. The PCI-compliance fee.  All merchant accounts will have it.  PCI compliance is required.  Most will not tell you of this fee until after your first statement.  After your first statement, you will receive a notice saying that you have to prove PCI - compliance or pay a $19.95 per month non-compliance fee.  If you prove compliance, then you only have to pay $6.95 compliance fee.  Again, this is usually not told to you up front.  Therabill has gone through 4 merchant accounts since our beginning.  Each one of them never quoted to us that there was a PCI compliance fee when we signed up.  We didn't find out about it until after our first statement.  We HATE that.  We believe in being up front.  This is why we post it in the pricing and we tell our merchant account partners to be up front about it, that you will end up being charged a PCI compliance fee.

    With that in mind.  When you are shopping for a merchant account and you are talking to their sales rep.  When it comes time to talk about fee's, make sure you ask them about all possible fee's that you will encounter.  Ask them about interchange.  Ask them about PCI compliance fees.  They usually will not offer this information unless you ask for it and they won't think twice about adding it to your bill (to me, that is just shameful).
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    Mark Ingram

    Transfirst is like square in that the fees are rolled in and they don't require a merchant account per customer and but deposit fees into your account usually within 2 days. Anyway, I understand the your point.

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    Therabill Support Specialist

    Got ya.  Therabill does not have enough volume at this time to make a direct connection with one of the acquirers (which it sounds like Transfirst is).   Therabill making a connection to them would be equivalent to Therabill becoming an ISO (or merchant account).  To do this, Therabill would have to guarantee Transfirst X dollars a month in interchange fees.  That X is usually on the scale of $10,000 - $50,000 dollars.  Pretty much, the merchant account has a minimum monthly amount that they have to pay the acquirer.   

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    John Wisniewski

    The Novera merchant account offers true transparency with cost plus pricing. Simply stated Novera passes all the non negotiable card association rates and fees right thru to the merchant and then adds a flat fixed monthly fee on for the processing fee. It is the clearest and most transparent pricing in the market place and it will never change for the life of the account even if your business grows 10x!! Feel free to contact us 703.865.3011  x 743

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