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6 Best Credit Card Processing for Therapists in 2023

Ivana Shteriova Ivana ShteriovaFinance Specialist September 11, 2023
September 11, 2023
Every good therapist knows that client comfort goes beyond the therapy session. The same principle applies to collecting payments, too. By offering a simple invoicing process and multiple ways for clients to pay, you can set yourself apart from the competition.

Unfortunately, not every credit card processor offers the level of service you need. Some accept very few payment methods, while others don’t offer HIPAA-compliant software for managing your practice’s finances. Many companies also impose lengthy contracts and early termination fees, making it easy to end up stuck with a provider that isn’t meeting your expectations.

After researching dozens of credit card processors, I’ve found the most affordable and reliable options with great features for therapists. Most therapy practices will benefit from Leaders Merchant Services’s (LMS) custom pricing and appointment scheduling integration. You can even collect payments through subscriptions or alternative methods like payment links, which offer your patients even more ways to pay.

Continue reading to see what other HIPAA-compliant payment solutions I recommend.

Short on Time? These Are the Best Credit Card Processors for Therapists in 2023

  1. Leaders Merchant Services – Custom plans, low transaction fees and appointment scheduling integration for therapists.
  2. PAYARC – Abundance of billing and invoicing tools and advanced features for health professionals through its Rectangle Health integration.
  3. Flagship Merchant Services– Affordable rates and various business funding options to help you to grow your practice.

See 3 More Great Options | Comparison Table

What We Look For in the Best Credit Card Processing for Therapists

Though every therapy practice is unique, there are some common payment processing features that almost any in-person or virtual practice will benefit from. Here are the therapist-friendly features I made sure every processor on my list offers:
  • HIPAA compliance. If you want to use any built-in software or software integrations, you’ll need to keep an eye out for HIPAA compliance. Every payment processor on this list is either HIPAA compliant itself or integrates with third-party software that is.
  • Various payment methods. While credit cards are still a popular payment method, they’re not everyone’s preferred way to pay. Offering a variety of payment methods will make it easier for your clients to pay your invoices on time.
  • E-commerce integrations. E-commerce integrations allow your clients to schedule and pay for therapy sessions online. This means you can spend more time supporting your clients and less time on administrative tasks.
  • Invoicing. Invoicing software that allows partial payments or custom payment plans will make your services accessible to clients who can’t pay upfront or all at once. Every credit card processor on this list either integrates with third-party invoicing software or offers one or more virtual terminals with invoicing functionality built-in.

A Note on HIPAA Compliance

Credit card processing itself is not considered a HIPAA-covered activity because you’re not storing any health-related information in your merchant account. However, if your payment processor offers built-in software solutions to help you manage invoices, bookings, health records, or any other aspect of your practice, then this needs to be HIPAA-compliant.

Similarly, any third-party software you integrate with your merchant account needs to be HIPAA compliant if it can access personal health information (PHI). This, unfortunately, limits what integrations you can use with your payment processor.

Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) biggest benefit is that you can tailor its custom pricing structure to suit your business’s needs. You’re encouraged to negotiate an interchange-plus pricing structure that works for your practice. Best of all, you can expect relatively low monthly fees starting at $9.00 and per-transaction fees starting at ~2% + 0¢.

LMS itself isn’t HIPAA-certified but integrates with software that is. For an extra fee, you can use Clover’s HIPAA-compliant software to schedule appointments, manage client data, and more. Clover’s point-of-sale (POS) system can seamlessly integrate with any existing Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software. Depending on your plan, you may get one free Clover POS device, meaning you’d only have to pay for its HIPAA-compliant software.

Every LMS merchant also gets access to the iAccess business portal. This business management tool allows you to see financial analytics, explore industry trends, and respond to online reviews.

Features and Benefits

  • Quick setup. It takes less than 5 minutes to apply for an LMS merchant account, and most accounts receive approval within 2 business days. Once approved, you can start accepting payments the next business day.
  • 24/7 fraud and chargeback management team. Whether you operate within standard business hours or offer out-of-hours appointments and therapeutic support, LMS will still be available to help resolve any issues if something goes wrong. The processor has a dedicated fraud protection department that provides rapid problem resolution.
  • Cash advances. These collateral-free loans are a flexible financing option that’s ideal if you’re a new therapy practice or need some extra capital to expand your business. You can simply repay the loan through a small commission on your future sales.
  • Variety of payment methods. On top of the standard debit/credit card payments and ACH transfers, you can also accept bank transfers, digital wallets, and check payments if you purchase the mini check reader from LMS.
Read our expert Leaders Merchant Services review for more details.

Integrates with HIPAA-compliant software
Third-party HIPAA-compliant software solutions
  • Authorize.Net payment gateway
  • Accounting integrations
  • Clover POS software (optional)
Security features
  • PCI compliant
  • Tokenization and end-to-end encryption
  • Advanced fraud detection (via Authorize.Net)
  • 24/7 fraud and chargeback management team
Transaction fees on cheapest plan ~2% + 0¢
Monthly subscription on cheapest plan $9.00

PAYARC shines with a suite of invoicing tools included in your monthly rate. You can create and send personalized invoices, schedule recurring billing, and see an overview of the status of your transactions. It also doubles as an analytics tool, providing you with insights to support your future business decisions.

PAYARC meets HIPAA-compliance standards thanks to its integration with Rectangle Health. While it comes at an additional cost, it’s well worth it – this platform offers an abundance of tools that will simplify the business side of your practice. You can use it to set up online patient scheduling and automatic appointment reminders. Other advanced features include waitlist management, patient surveys, and marketing tools to promote your practice.

PAYARC offers two types of pricing options: membership-based and flat rate. Membership pricing comes with higher monthly fees starting at $69.00 in favor of very low transaction fees starting at 0% + 15¢ (in-person & online), making it suitable for more established practices. The flat rate pricing structure, on the other hand, is ideal for new or smaller practices due to its affordable monthly fees.

Features and Benefits

  • Advanced payment features. Rectangle Health’s Practice Management Bridge software offers plenty of advanced features. You can make your expertise accessible to a wider patient base by creating various payment plans. You can even give your patients access to healthcare financing without your direct involvement.
  • Affordable payment gateway. PAYARC’s proprietary payment gateway is many times cheaper than popular options like Authorize.Net. Although not as feature-rich, it’s an excellent option if you need to take online payments securely.
  • Free PAYARC mobile app. PAYARC’s mobile app allows you to access your dashboard and manage your business on the go. You can even use it to accept payments.
  • No PCI-compliance fee. While most competitors will make you pay for your PCI compliance, PAYARC includes it in your monthly rate.
See our full PAYARC review for more features and benefits.

Integrates with HIPAA-compliant software
Third-party HIPAA-compliant software solutions
  • Rectangle Health integration (digital invoicing, appointment scheduling, patient engagement tools)
Security features
  • Level 1 PCI-compliant
  • HIPAA-compliant with Rectangle Health integration
  • End-to-end encryption and tokenization
  • Fraud monitoring and prevention
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 2.49% + 30¢ (in-person)
Monthly subscription on cheapest plan $0

Flagship Merchant Services is a good choice if you’re looking to expand your therapy practice as you can negotiate the best fees for your practice. It has affordable monthly rates ranging $7.95 and low per-transaction fees of 1.58% + 19¢ (in person).

Flagship offers merchant cash advances of up to $150,000 to help you grow your practice. Like LMS, you can pay back these advances from a percentage of your future sales. The application process is simple, and you can receive your funds within one business day.

Flagship itself is not HIPAA-certified but it is a certified Clover reseller, and Clover’s POS software is fully HIPAA-compliant. Using this software comes at an additional monthly fee, but it’s worth the extra cost to access the HIPAA-compliant features you’ll need for your practice, including storing card information safely, setting up recurring charges, and offering a secure checkout for online payments.

Features and Benefits

  • 98% approval rate. With one of the highest approval rates in the industry, you’ll almost certainly be able to start processing payments within a few days of applying to Flagship (or even on the same day, in many cases).
  • Payment gateway at a discounted rate. Through Flagship,you can access Authorize.Net and some of its advanced security features at a significantly lower fee than going through Authorize.Net.
  • Free terminal. You’ll be able to get a free Clover Mini POS system. Clover’s POS software is HIPAA-compliant and allows you to set up an online booking system, manage your staff, and create financial reports.
  • Same-day funding. While payments normally take two days to reach your account, Flagship offers same-day funding for an additional fee.
Read our expert Flagship Merchant Services review to learn more.

Integrates with HIPAA-compliant software
Third-party HIPAA-compliant software solutions
  • Authorize.Net payment gateway
  • Clover POS software
Security features
  • PCI/GDPR/CCPA compliance
  • End-to-end encryption and tokenization
  • Regular merchant account security scans
  • Advanced fraud detection (via Authorize.Net)
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 1.58% + 19¢ (in person)
Monthly subscription on cheapest plan $7.95

Chase Payment Solutions’ InstaMed integration offers a suite of HIPAA-compliant features. InstaMed uses proprietary AI technology to tailor payment plans to your patient’s needs. It allows you to create easy-to-understand statements with personalized messaging to simplify the billing process and increase payment compliance.

You can leverage InstaMed’s Reporting and Insights dashboard to gain greater visibility over the performance of your therapy business. From here, you can access your transaction data, valuable consumer loyalty insights, client behavior, and progress reports. You can also use it to store communication preferences, benefits information, and payment activity for each client, improving the efficiency of your practice and patient satisfaction.

Compared to most of my recommendations, Chase Payment Solutions has pricier per-transaction fees. You can expect to pay 2.6% + 10¢ per in-person, 3.5% + 10¢ per keyed-in, and 2.9% + 25¢ per e-commerce transaction. But unlike other processors, it doesn’t charge any monthly fees for its software. That said, the HIPAA-compliant InstaMed integration costs extra. InstaMed provides custom pricing, meaning you’d have to reach out to get a quote.

For more, check out our in-depth Chase Payment Solutions review.

Features and Benefits

  • Chase Mobile app. The Chase Mobile app offers features like real-time transaction tracking and the ability to send and receive payments swiftly. It allows you to manage your business finances on the go, giving you more time to focus on your primary role: patient care.
  • Recurring billing. To avoid payment delays, you can set up an automatic collection service. Chase allows you to securely store your patient payment data and use it to bill them automatically. This encourages eStatements and online payments that reduce paper waste and your overall processing costs.
  • Free same-day funding. With a Chase Business Banking account, you can get free same-day funding, a benefit that is usually not available or comes at an additional cost. This quick turnaround is especially beneficial for managing operational expenses and optimizing financial planning.
  • Zero liability protection. Chase Payment Solutions’ zero liability protection ensures that in the event of unauthorized transactions such as fraud or theft related to your Chase Business Banking account, you’re not held responsible for the costs. Chase promises to reimburse any money lost in these situations.
Integrates with HIPAA-compliant software
Third-party HIPAA-compliant software solutions
  • InstaMed integration (digital invoicing, reporting and analytics, patient engagement features)
  • Authorize.Net payment gateway
Security features
  • PCI-compliant
  • End-to-end encryption and tokenization
  • Payer verification
  • Advanced fraud detection and prevention
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 2.6% + 10¢
Monthly subscription on cheapest plan  $0

Stax is an ideal solution if your practice extends beyond one-on-one sessions, like selling online courses, webinars, journals, and books. If your multiple income streams result in a high volume of transactions, Stax could save you up to 40% thanks to its membership pricing model. Its low transaction fees of 0% + 10¢ (in-person) can also save you money if you process large transactions. Due to its high monthly fees, Stax only makes sense if you’re a high-volume practice.

Stax is a great solution if you need both payment processing and HIPAA-compliant software. Your monthly fee includes nearly every tool you could need for your business. For example, you can create digital invoices and allow clients to pay in full or in installments. You can also set up payment plans and recurring invoices for repeat patients.

If you see clients in-person, you can also benefit from Stax’s fantastic selection of hardware. You can get a free terminal can use your smartphone or tablet as a terminal. This will allow you to set up invoices, charge cards on file (via the virtual terminal), and manually enter card information. If you connect the Authorize.Net payment gateway, you’ll also be able to accept PayPal.

Features and Benefits

  • Built-in shopping carts. If you already have a website, clients can make bookings and pay for sessions or deposits with Stax’s one-click shopping cart.
  • Analytics and reporting. Every Stax plan grants access to Stax Pay software and its reporting and analytics dashboard, allowing you to keep an eye on your practice’s financial health throughout the year.
  • Industry-leading security. Stax has a comprehensive guide to help you achieve PCI compliance. You’ll also get a PCI compliance dashboard that guides you through your yearly security assessments and shows your current compliance status.
  • Fraud protection. Stax’s virtual terminal uses the Address Verification Service (AVS) to detect potential fraud. It also places temporary holds on customer accounts that require additional verification, protecting you from fraudulent transactions and chargebacks.
Read our expert Stax review to learn more about this all-in-one platform.

Integrates with HIPAA-compliant software
Third-party HIPAA-compliant software solutions
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Digital invoicing
  • Custom and pre-built shopping carts
  • Software integrations, backups, and more
Security features
  • Level 1 PCI-compliant processing
  • Helps merchants achieve PCI compliance
  • Fraud and chargeback prevention
  • Advanced fraud detection (via Authorize.Net)
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 0% + 10¢ (in-person)
Monthly subscription on cheapest plan

6. CreditCardProcessing.com: Free Clover Hardware

CreditCardProcessing.com uses subscription-style pricing, ranging from $15.00 to $15.00, offering great savings for larger practices or practices with multiple locations. However, unlike other subscription-style processors like Stax, it doesn’t offer an all-in-one solution. Still, you can use the iAccess business management portal to keep track of your finances, manage your online reviews, and access analytics to support your business decisions.

That said, you can get a free Clover Mini on the High Volume plan, which will give you access to the features that iAccess is missing, like invoicing and a virtual terminal. These devices aren’t cheap to buy, and very few other processors offer them for free.

All in all, CreditCardProcessing.com is one of the more expensive subscription-style processors on the market. However, if other subscription-style processors don’t work for your practice, this payment processor is still a great option. It also offers interchange-plus pricing plans, but you’re likely to get a better deal at LMS for this pricing model.

Features and Benefits

  • High approval rate. CreditCardProcessing.com offers a solution for merchants with low credit scores, making it an excellent choice for new businesses or those deemed high risk due to their financial history.
  • Free training. If you need help setting up iAccess or your POS hardware, CreditCardProcessing.com offers free training to help you to get up to speed and deal with common issues.
  • 24/7 multi-channel support. You can access 24/7 support over the phone or via email, which is more than what most competitors offer.
  • Data breach insurance. If you suffer any financial losses as a result of CreditCardProcessing.com having its data breached, you’re insured for up to $100,000.
Check out our expert CreditCardProcessing.com review for more details.

Integrates with HIPAA-compliant software
Third-party HIPAA-compliant software solution
  • Authorize.Net payment gateway
Security features
  • PCI compliance
  • End-to-end encryption and tokenization
  • Data breach protection
  • Advanced fraud detection (via Authorize.Net)
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 0% + 30¢ (Starter)
Monthly subscription on cheapest plan $15.00

These Are the Best Credit Card Processing for Therapists

While credit card processors don’t need to be HIPAA-compliant to handle your sales, your payment processing software does. This does limit what software you can use. Fortunately, all of the processors on this list have built-in or available integrations for HIPAA-compliant software.

New and small practices will find a lot of support from Leaders Merchant Services. LMS offers custom pricing and cheap rates. On top of that, you can receive a free high-quality Clover device and business financing. It’s ideal if you need only the essentials and want to save on credit card processing.

If, on the other hand, you’re looking for advanced features to streamline your therapy practice, PAYARC and its Rectangle Health integration could be the ideal choice for you. With this powerful combination, you can create patient plans, manage waitlists, and promote your practice, among other benefits. Moreover, PAYARC’s suite includes invoicing tools bundled within the monthly rate.

Flagship Merchant Services is perfect if you’re looking to expand your practice with flexible business loans. You can access the necessary capital to drive growth, whether it’s for acquiring new equipment, upgrading your workspace, or launching a marketing campaign on the same day you apply. Flagship’s fees are affordable. You can even get access to the reputable Authorize.Net for a fraction of the price.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the best credit card processors for psychologists and therapists.
Best Feature Best For Monthly fee on cheapest plan Transaction fees on cheapest plan
Leaders Merchant Services Custom pricing tailored to your practice Therapists looking for affordable processor that covers all the essentials $9.00 ~2% + 0¢
PAYARC A wide range of invoicing tools and Rectangle Health integration Therapists who need robust appointment management and patient engagement features $0 2.49% + 30¢ (in-person)
Flagship Merchant Services Collateral-free business funding and low rates Therapists who need capital to grow their practice $7.95 1.58% + 19¢ (in person)
Chase Payment Solutions A suite of HIPAA-compliant features through InstaMed integration Established therapy practices with more complex needs $0 2.6% + 10¢
Stax Comprehensive HIPAA-compliant payment and business management software Therapists with multiple income streams that process a high volume of transactions each month $99.00 0% + 10¢ (in-person)
CreditCardProcessing.com Free Clover Mini POS device for merchants on the High Volume plan Therapists that process a high volume of transactions each month $15.00 0% + 30¢ (Starter)


Do payment providers have to be HIPAA compliant?

Payment providers do not have to be HIPAA compliant if all they do is process payments. That’s because under HIPAA regulations, credit card processing companies are simply providing a financial service. However, if these merchant services providers offer built-in software that handles (or has access to) PHI, they are considered healthcare business associates and need to be HIPAA-compliant.

How do you charge clients online?

To charge therapy clients online, you have two main options: you can use a payment gateway to accept payments through your website, or you can use invoicing software to create digital invoices that can be paid online. Either way, you need to make sure that any software that handles PHI is HIPAA compliant.

Is Helcim HIPAA-compliant?

No. Helcim specifically states in its help center that healthcare businesses should not use Helcim to store PHI as its software is not HIPAA-compliant. If you need an interchange-plus payment processor with HIPAA-compliant software for your therapy practice, I recommend Leaders Merchant Services instead. You’ll get competitive per-transaction rates, great POS support, and (for an extra monthly fee) Clover’s HIPAA-compliant POS and e-commerce software.

Can therapists use Venmo for payment?

No. While Venmo is covered by the payment processing service exemption under HIPAA, it shares user information with PayPal. PayPal also sells user data to advertisers. Therapists need to be aware that most of these payment apps are not HIPAA-compliant. PAYARC offers compliant convenient payment options like digital invoicing, payment links, and even subscription plans that make it easy for clients to pay you with no legal risk.

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