Payment processing can be one of the most important parts of your revenue cycle—it’s also one of the most variable parts. Your organization’s patients may make their payment with HSA or FSA debit cards, credit cards, or a combination of different sources. As telemedicine grows, your patients may also be used to paying through online portals. Accounting for all of these different payment methods and pathways should be a top finance priority for your organization. But how does payment processing work? Let’s explore how credit card payments work for therapy practices and the benefits they bring.
How Does Payment Processing Work?
Most of credit card processing happen behind the scenes. Your patients and office staff ensure the billing details are correct and the payment method is entered, and then the amount appears in your account after two or three days. But knowing the steps in the middle can protect your organization. There are three main steps in credit card processing: authorization, settlement, and funding:
- The cardholder presents their card or payment information to a point-of-sale device or online gateway.
- The merchant (your organization) sends a payment authorization request to the payment processor, who ferries that information to the specific card association and then the specific bank behind the card.
- The authorization request, along with the cardholder’s details, is made to the bank.
- The bank approves or declines the transaction, and the merchant receives notification of the approval or decline.
This process is nearly instantaneous.
Settlement and Funding
- Merchants send batches of previously authorized transactions to the card associations and issuing banks through their payment processor.
- The banks analyze the details of the transactions and charge each cardholder for their individual expenses.
- The funds (minus any fees) transfer to the merchant’s bank, where they go into the merchant’s account.
This process takes longer. But modern technology is speeding up the process so many payment processing tools can complete the process within 24 hours.
Benefits of Credit Card Processing
While there are many variables in collecting revenue that your organization can’t control, a better payment processing platform can give you the insight and internal organization you need to track payments and streamline payment for better cash flow. At Fusion, our payment processing platform is built to fulfill the unique needs of therapy practices by offering these solutions:
- Diverse payment options for your patients, including processing transactions through FSA and HSA funds held by major card associations. When you can easily accept more forms of payment, especially from patients exercising their benefits and tax-advantaged accounts, your practice is accessible to more patients, and there are fewer delays in authorized payments.
- Flexibility to set your own term lengths and refunding policies. At Fusion, we easily accommodate voids and refunds, so you can build long-lasting relationships with your patients that fit your practice’s financial needs.
- Scalability. All fees are transaction-based, so your organization can set up Fusion at multiple field offices or through your preferred online platforms. There is no upfront fee for setting up or activating payment processing in Fusion.
- No data storage. Yes, you can store cards for future use, but payment information transfers straight to the payment processor. Your patients’ credit card details aren’t accessible from or stored in our databases.
- Complete insight into the status of payments through Transaction Insights or generated reports
- The ability to invoice via email through the platform for ease of use and comprehensive recordkeeping.
- Your staff no longer has to waste time and energy dealing with bounced checks or tracking down nonpayment.
How Does Payment Processing Work Once You Choose Fusion?
Through our system, you can maintain accurate records of in-progress and completed payments. Your team can also manage billing and repeat invoicing through a single platform, which reduces miscommunication and delays.
Fusion integrates with your patient records so you can invoice the correct parties, whether the charge is to a patient or a caregiver, through their preferred payment method. This streamlines the process and reduces potential delays caused by charging the wrong party or charging the wrong partial amounts to different parties. Contact us today to learn more about how our payment processing solution can integrate into your practice’s administrative infrastructure.