When it comes to running a retail pharmacy business, providing smooth checkout transactions is essential for creating the best customer experience possible. In order to do this, your point of sale (POS) system needs to be equipped with the best healthcare payment processing backed by top-notch merchant services.
Merchant services and payment processing are two terms that are closely related but refer to different aspects of the financial transaction process. Merchant services typically refer to a set of financial services provided to businesses to help them accept electronic payments from their customers. Payment processing, on the other hand, is the actual transfer of funds from the customer to the merchant.
Selecting the right healthcare payment processing provider is crucial for pharmacies to ensure they are investing in a solution that has the necessary compliance, security, integrations, cost-effectiveness, and IT support.
This blog will explore what merchant services and payment processing are and why it’s essential for pharmacy owners to invest in an industry-specific solution. Additionally, discover what factors should be considered when selecting a payment processing system and the benefits the right solution should provide.
1. What are Merchant Services for Pharmacies?
Merchant services typically include a range of services, such as setting up a pharmacy merchant account, providing POS equipment, and setting up a payment gateway service to enable online transactions.
Payment processing, on the other hand, is the actual transfer of funds from the customer’s account to the pharmacy’s account. Payment processing companies typically act as intermediaries between the merchant and the customer’s bank, handling the authorization, clearing, and settlement of transactions.
By selecting solutions and providers that have specialized in pharmacy payment processing and merchant services, you can ensure that your business is in the right hands and ready to streamline payment processing and improve customer experience.
For instance, Auto-Star has been working with retail and clinical pharmacies to provide POS hardware and software solutions for over 35 years. Their solutions are programmed to provide all of the integrations and security needed to run a pharmacy’s sales, inventory, and payments effectively. They also provide merchant services to ensure optimal payment processing so their pharmacy customers can accept a wide variety of payment options from patients, such as traditional cash, check, or credit and debit cards, along with mobile wallets and other mobile payment solutions like smartwatches.
Lastly, POS providers experienced with integrating pharmacy software make it easy to connect loyalty and gift card programs into your solutions. Providing pharmacies with a powerful way to incentivize customers to return and make additional purchases.
2. Factors to Consider When Choosing a Merchant Services Provider for Pharmacies
The name of the game is creating smooth and fast checkout experiences through your POS system. There are several factors to consider when evaluating different pharmacy pos systems and merchant service providers.
The first thing to consider is finding a healthcare payment processing solution that easily integrates with your existing POS system. This should work on your traditional checkout setup as well as any next-generation technology like wireless pin pads that have been purchased to implement curbside or at-the-door payments. The right payment processing provider can integrate with a pharmacy’s existing systems, making payment processing more efficient and reducing the risk of errors.
The second item you should evaluate is the transaction fees and rates. You want to find a provider who is transparent with their rates so you can determine how much they charge for payment processing and their other services. Choosing an integrated solution from one partner can eliminate other unnecessary fees. For instance, many payment processors in the US and Canada charge an integration fee for integrating 3rd party solutions. A nice benefit of getting your POS and payment services from one place is eliminating some of these additional fees.
Next, thoroughly research the provider’s security and compliance standards. As a pharmacy, you need providers who go beyond adherence to PCI-DSS standards. Healthcare payment processing is highly regulated, and pharmacies must comply with strict regulations such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and others. A reputable payment processing provider will deeply understand these regulations and ensure that the pharmacy’s payment processing protects data from unauthorized access, fraud, and cyberattacks and exceeds compliance standards.
Auto-Stars offers a range of security and compliance measures to protect customer data, including adherence to PCI-DSS standards and secure credit card storage. This allows pharmacies to securely store credit card information for future use like end-of-month billing or delivery, which can be keyed in manually or saved and auto-populated.
After evaluating these three items, consider what customer support is available. Payment processing issues can arise at any time, and it is important to have a provider that offers responsive technical support and resources for troubleshooting issues in order to quickly resolve any issues that arise.
Lastly, evaluate your top choices’ reputation and experience. Reviews and feedback from other pharmacies that have used the provider’s services can tell you a lot, search for real feedback online, from case studies and success stories to chat boards on review sites, to ensure you’re selecting a provider that will do the most for your business.
3. Benefits of Integrated Payment Processing and Merchant Services for Pharmacies
There are numerous benefits to utilizing integrated payment processing and merchant services for pharmacies, including streamlining payment operations and management, improving the customer experience, increasing revenue, and optimizing inventory management.
Your perfect POS and payment processing solution will streamline your operations. This means it will provide a faster checkout process with options to opt-in to loyalty programs and receipt delivery options for customers to select email or print. It will also have simplified end-of-day and closing management that eliminates keying errors and make end-of-day reconciliation easy with settings like automatic batch settlement, which eliminates the need to close out machines at end of the day.
When retail pharmacies optimize the checkout experience and allow their customers to choose how they pay for prescriptions and other products, it improves customer satisfaction.
In addition to enhancing the customer experience, these software solutions can increase revenue by offering loyalty programs, gift card sales, and other features. By incentivizing customers to return to the pharmacy and make additional purchases, pharmacies can boost their bottom line and improve their financial health.
Lastly, your payment processing should automatically work with sales and inventory management, so your pharmacy can track data in real-time to optimize stock levels and pricing.
In conclusion, healthcare payment processing and pharmacy merchant accounts are critical for the success of any pharmacy. By implementing these solutions, pharmacies can streamline payment processing, improve the customer experience, increase revenue, and optimize inventory management. Choosing the right provider is also crucial, as transaction fees, integration with existing systems, security and compliance, customer support, and reputation and experience can all impact the effectiveness of these solutions.
Auto-Star offers a comprehensive pharmacy merchant account and payment processing solution that integrates with their POS system to improve payment processing efficiency and provide a better customer experience.
Contact us here to find the best POS and merchant services for your pharmacy!