Finding a Payment Processing Company for Healthcare Providers: High vs Low Risk

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The healthcare industry is a highly variable marketplace. The wide range of business types have varied reliability and profitability. This makes the option for negotiation or individual solutions appealing to merchants and merchant account providers. Credit card processing companies are plentiful, there are lots of options and intense competition among providers. Because of the vast nature of the industry, navigation of the nuances in the industry can be difficult and maybe even overwhelming. Depending on the business type you have, the merchant account provider options can be more or less abundant. 

Merchant account providers classify clients into high or low risk merchant accounts. Low risk has nearly infinite availability because of the attractiveness to account providers. Most companies are pleased to take on a low risk account. High risk account providers, on the other hand, are few and far between. Either way it is totally possible, and important, to find a provider that not only provides the necessary services, but increases the functionality and ease of use of your healthcare business.

Low Risk Merchant Accounts

Some health related industries are high risk, and some are low risk. The differences are anything but nominal.  If you’re low risk you have the ability to shop around for the best rate. Examples of low risk healthcare merchant account business types may include medical supplies companies, local senior care providers, or hospice. 

Low risk merchant accounts are typically well understood industries with low monthly processing totals, low average ticket size and low chargeback. These attributes naturally make them attractive to banks and readily accepted by credit card processing companies. Unfortunately, this also makes them a target for unsavory processing companies and the high volume of options makes it difficult to determine which companies are scams opposed to the reputable providers. There are many companies that deceive consumers and can cause great harm to a business. Try to avoid companies that:

  • Employ deceptive sales tactics
  • Charge you undisclosed rates and fees
  • Charge expensive monthly, annual, and early termination fees 
  • Have non-cancellable/long-term contracts and leases
  • Have misleading websites or disclose a limited portion of the information required to make a well-informed decision 

Financially, it makes sense to go with the best rate. However, an absurdly low rate generally means that the company will make back the difference elsewhere. Make sure to prioritize customer service. If you cannot get ahold of the provider in a time of crisis, the difference in rate may not be worth it. If there ever is an issue, a reputable provider who can assist you in getting the business making money again can be invaluable. 

High Risk Merchant Accounts

The high risk health care businesses are varied and classified high risk for different reasons, but generally they are expected to have a greater risk of chargebacks or credit fraud. Some specific examples include health and beauty, CBD, male enhancement, nutraceutical, or skin and hair care.

If you’re high risk, your options are limited. It is important to choose a provider that specializes in high risk accounts. Providers that don’t specialize in high risk accounts will either be wary of such an account or they won’t provide the necessary services for a high risk account causing the business owner great inconvenience going forward.  High risk merchant accounts can vary greatly but generally are either highly regulated, ecommerce, or a possible reputational risk to the credit card processing company or the bank. A company that doesn’t specialize is likely to use unsavory business tactics like large termination fees or non-terminable contracts. Companies that specialize in high risk accounts will cater to the individual needs of your company. For example, Double Helix is a company that will work with you to provide the services you need at an appropriate price while providing terrific customer service. 

Advantages of finding companies that specialize in high risk merchant accounts include a much quicker approval process because these types of providers are already approved by their bank to provide processing for high risk account types. Competitive industry rates are easier to recognize because of the lower competition among high risk providers versus low risk account providers. There are also websites that detail the common industry standards and compare providers for various attributes. While extremely useful, it is important to use more than a single website for research to avoid internet pitfalls.

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