Inside: Most customers prefer to use credit cards above every other form of payment. Find out how processing credit cards smoothly and securely for patients can develop your business.
Cash? That’s the traditional way to pay.
Forty percent of customers prefer credit cards as their best way to pay, as per 2016 survey by TSYS®, a payment solutions organization. Thirty-five percent prefers debit cards. Only 11 percent consider cash.
As more consumers pull credit cards out of their wallets in place of cash, businesses like your pharmacy need to maintain the level with how consumers want to pay. And that involves processing credit cards.
“Independent pharmacies requires you to receive credit cards to remain profitable and aggressive,” said Christina Braatz, Association Development Executive in CardConnect, a payment processing solutions service provider that utilizes patented tokenization and PCI-validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE). “Processing credit cards will do your pharmacy more available as ever to consumers while also improving your cash flow.”
Staying protected when processing credit cards
Even if your pharmacy is already processing credit cards, each business requires to make sure it does so in a protected manner. Thirty-two percent of identity fraud in 2016 were in relation to credit card fraud. “Various businesses assume that since they are small, they would not fall victim to a data breach,” Braatz said. “But, any business that receives credit card payments can be targeted with fraudulent activity.” On Oct. 1, 2015, new regulations came into effect that balanced counterfeit fraud liability to merchants not recognizing EMV cards also called a chip or smart cards. “Any business that is not recognizing chip cards and is hacked can be financially obligated for the hefty fees that come along with the breach,” Braatz said.
Pharmacies require to make sure to update their systems to accept EMV cards. “Recognizing EMV payments will permit pharmacies to add an additional layer of security because chip cards create ideal transaction codes that cannot be utilized again,” she said.
Pharmacies with sensitive health data in their systems must keep their data secure.
Assuring your pharmacy’s PCI compliance
Every pharmacy that processes credit cards must recall about PCI compliance.
PCI-DSS, or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, is a layer of rules passed down from the four significant card brands (Visa®, American Express®, MasterCard® and Discover®).
“These rules help secure consumers’ personally identifiable data and are even more significant for businesses handling medical information,” Braatz said. “Being PCI compliant indicates your pharmacy is doing its best to keep data like credit card numbers or medical records safe and protected.”
Braatz suggests choosing a payment processor that guarantees PCI-compliant payment processing to secure your business and your patients. “Pharmacies should use a processor that provides powerful security solutions like PCI-validated point-to-point encryption and tokenization,” she said.
Tokenization makes an irreversible token that travels through the payment gateway, in place of the card number. “By securing cardholder information this way, pharmacies can secure their business and consumers from a potential data breach,” she said.
Pharmacies have special payment factors
To do that, they need one of two things:
- Eligible Merchant Category Code (MCC) number that recognizes the pharmacy as a healthcare provider
- Qualify for the 90% Rule
As per SIGIS, the Special Interest Group for IIAS Standards, the 90% Rule applies on pharmacies operating in hospitals or medical buildings that usually fill prescriptions and have a limited accessibility of other merchandise.
Specialty pharmacies that mostly sell prescriptions, like compounding pharmacies, may be shortlisted. But in every case, the drug store or pharmacy should attest that 90 percent of its previous year’s gross revenue comes from prescriptions and other eligible healthcare products.
New ways to pay
Consumers today want to make payments in their own way. That includes in person, online, and with a mobile equipment or wearable. “NFC, or near field communication, is also starting to gain popularity among merchants and their consumers,” Braatz said. “NFC permits customers to pay by simply holding their phone over an NFC-compatible equipment. It renders a quick and easy checkout experience.”
Braatz recommends pharmacies look for a payment processor that provides an omnichannel payment solution, so consumers receive an accessible checkout experience at their will. And one that receives the method they like to pay with. “By accepting distinct types of payments, pharmacies can rest insure knowing they are supporting their customers with a seamless payment experience,” she said.
Credit Card Processing Terms to Know
Don’t get overwhelmed by the unfamiliar lingo when it comes to processing credit cards. Give an overview to these common payment processing terms.
ACH (Automated Clearing House)
A process to process payments electronically. The process needs the bank’s routing number and account number. Funds get transferred from the buyer’s to the seller’s account electronically. For example, an eCheck.
A data security procedure that encrypts sensitive information, for instance, customer’s payment card data or personally identifiable information. Tokenization changes the customer’s data with a mathematically non-reversible token. The token has no algorithmic nexus to the original piece of data, meaning hackers cannot unlock it with a decryption code.
EMV (Europay®, MasterCard®, and Visa®)
A joint venture that made the original standards utilized for smart card (chip) payment transactions.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) permit customers a tax-free way to save money in an account utilized for medical expenses.
NFC (Near Field Communication)
Also called as RFID or Contactless, near field communication utilizes a chip embedded in a card, fob, or smartphone and an antenna that enables a low-level electrical charge. The charge powers the chip, which then transfers the customer’s data to the antenna. Two standards for payments exist these days. One performs for one-way communication to transfer credit card data. The other works for two-way communication for EMV and couponing on mobile wallets.
PCI (Payment Card Industry)
A council consisting of terminal manufacturers, processors, card brands and security experts from the payment industry. This cluster establishes all standards and practices regarding securing payments, applications, and networks.
Significant issuing banks created PCI compliance standards to secure personal information and to make sure security when processing transactions. Due to the increase in identity theft, data breaches and hackers all processors now levy breach insurance or PCI compliance fees to secure against such a breach, which could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages and fines.
PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)
PCI standards for payment card data security.
P2PE (Point-to-Point Encryption)
When consumers swipe or insert their cards, their account data gets encrypted and then decrypted at either a retailer’s switch, a payment gateway, or by the processor, depending on the scheme. Various schemes are in function using various encryption methods.
A credit card terminal functions on a handheld device, computer screen, and smartphone. The virtual terminal runs in a window through a web browser or other software application, instead of using dedicated hardware, like a physical credit card terminal.
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