How to choose the best online payment solution for your veterinarian business

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Having the right payments integration in place can significantly contribute to the business growth of your veterinary practice.

The modern, tech-savvy customer is becoming increasingly more demanding of convenient, efficient and highly secure digital payment options, and when it comes to pet owners who want to pay for their animal’s treatment at your clinic, they have the same expectations. As a business, you have a responsibility to align your customer expectations with a secure payment processing system that provides protection from cyber threats, data breaches, while ensuring that it complies with industry regulations. The need for an efficient payment solution is obvious, but making the right decision for your clinic may not be so clear.

How to choose the best online payment solution for your veterinarian business - illustration of vets office with female and cat at the counter and male with dog sitting and waiting for the vet

In this article, we will look at the criteria for effective veterinary payment processing software and the number of benefits that it can provide to your business.

What is a payment gateway integration for veterinarians?

Payment gateway integration is the interconnection of payments software with an online digital payments platform via the use of application programming interfaces (APIs). An integration will allow you to upgrade the payments process at your clinic. Using a completely digitized system will enable you to keep up with the increasing demands from your customers, maintain your position in the competitive market and keep regulators happy.

How does payment integration benefit veterinarian practices?

Improved customer experience

A payment integration takes the complexities out of the transaction and helps generate an enhanced customer experience. As a veterinary clinic, you know how distressing it can be for owners when their pet undergoes a procedure or operation. Upgrading your payments system can remove that cumbersome payment experience, allowing you the freedom to interact with your customers, to offer support if needed, while the payment processes seamlessly.

Security against cyber fraud

The cost of damage from cyber-attacks has doubled since 2015 and will rise to $6 billion by 2021. This increase indicates the need for businesses to ensure that they are protecting both themselves and their customers from any potential threats, especially those that handle sensitive personal and financial information.

With an increase in sophisticated hacking methods, relying on older technology to process payments exposes your business to a greater risk of cyber fraud. An optimized payment gateway integration will ensure your veterinary practice is prepared and protected against cyber threats, including data breaches and financial fraud.

There are various ways that hackers can breach your system, including paper records, a wireless or wired network, your payment system database, and card readers. Identifying your data security vulnerabilities will help you to improve your protective measures, as well as comply with regulatory frameworks in a more robust way.

Streamlined regulatory compliance

Regulatory compliance can be overwhelming, and, when mixed with potential confusion over how to integrate a payment gateway, businesses can go off the idea altogether. The irony of this is that a comprehensive online payment gateway handles regulatory compliance for you, alleviating these stresses and allowing you time to focus on the rest of your business.

Being PCI-compliant ensures that you are protected from possible data infringement or sizeable fines.

How do payments work in the veterinary sector?

There are various ways that your practice can accept payments. Some companies offer payment plans that allow pet owners to take advantage of certain financing options should they be unable to make the upfront costs. Other options available to pet owners include pet insurance plans and other similar payment options. Best online payment solution for vets - image showing list of costs for pet insurance on device in hand to illustrate escalating costs and how payments work in the veterinary sector

Some veterinary practices only accept certain types of payments, but if you can offer your customers more options you are likely to see an improvement in both new customers and retention. What’s more, the customer experience that you offer should benefit as a result too. It is therefore important to carry out due diligence on vet payment processing providers to check for how well they accommodate different payment types, from in-person credit and debit card payments to online payments via both countertop and virtual terminals to insurance and recurring billing plans.

Why veterinarians should consider an in-office payment acceptance solution

While integrating with a digital payment gateway enables your clinic to accept and process online payments, it is also important to offer an in-office front desk payment system that provides for swipe and dip transactions and is protected by point-to-point encryption (P2PE).

Many clients still prefer to pay in person and on-site. An integrated system that caters to a tech-savvy digital customer base while also offering an on-site option ensures that you cover all client payment preferences.

Choosing the right payment gateway for your veterinary clinic

An effective payment solution for veterinary software should provide your business with consolidated solutions in data and anti-fraud security, comprehensive compliance with pertinent regulations, and a means to manage and process various ways for your customers to settle their vet bills. This type of payment gateway integration offers a win-win outcome for both your business and your customers.

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