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  5. 6 Best Merchant Services for Dentists in 2024 (Safe & Reliable)

6 Best Merchant Services for Dentists in 2024 (Safe & Reliable)

Alexandros Melidoniotis Alexandros MelidoniotisFinance Specialist March 22, 2024
March 22, 2024
Dentists – like all health practitioners – need a reliable credit card processor that can offer competitive pricing, quick onboarding, and other value-added features like free hardware, virtual gateways, and funding options. You’ll also need to be able to accept all payment types and easily set up payment plans for clients.

Unfortunately, long-term contracts, high processing costs, and inadequate customer support are only some of the common pitfalls of merchant services providers. A significant issue is that many payment processors don’t offer HIPAA-compliant software to help you manage your practice. 

If you see hundreds of patients every month and your chosen pricing structure isn’t ideal or your provider isn’t transparent about price, you could quickly find yourself paying hundreds of dollars in unnecessary fees, too.

That’s quite a lot to consider, especially if your practice is new.

Fortunately, I’ve researched dozens of merchant services providers to find out which ones have pricing and features well suited to dental offices.Thanks to its low rates, negotiable contracts, and HIPPA-compliant processing solutions, my top recommendation is Leaders Merchant Services (LMS).

Carry on reading to see why Leaders Merchant Services is a great option for your dental office, or take a look at the other providers I recommend. 

Short on Time? These Are the Best Merchant Services for Dentists in 2024

  1. Expert’s Choice
    LMS_Monogram Leaders Merchant Services
    Leaders Merchant Services is a popular choice with our readers
    Flexible contracts and favorable deals for dentists willing to negotiate.
  2. staxx logo Stax Simple flat-rate plan for dental offices, easy HIPAA-compliant software integration.
  3. imageedit_5_4080554157 Chase Payments Solutions Affordable interchange-plus plans and same-day funding option.

What We Look For in the Best Merchant Services for Dentists

Aside from being able to accept credit card payments at a fair rate, you also need access to modern hardware and software, virtual terminals, and other convenient features. Here are factors I focused on when ranking the best merchant services for dentists:
  • Competitive pricing. I’ve only included processors that can save you money one way or another – whether that’s by offering subscription-based plans, low markups on transactions, or getting rid of hidden fees.
  • Strong security features. Your patients’ billing information should be as secure as their classified medical records. I’ve only included processors that offer HIPAA-compliant software, so you can be sure the data your practice uses is safe.
  • Fast onboarding. As a busy professional, you can’t afford to wait for days on end for your merchant services application to get approved. I’ve only listed providers that can help you set up an account within 48 hours.
  • Accessible software solutions. Software solutions that allow dentists to track their data are always welcome. An easy-to-read dashboard should be enough – most dentists don’t have the time to keep up with complicated charts and advanced statistics.
  • Responsive technical support. Credit card processing can be tricky, especially if it’s your first time setting up a merchant account. If you want to make sure there’s always someone to help if things go wrong, you should only consider providers with exceptional customer support.

A Note on HIPAA Compliance

Payment processing itself is not considered a HIPAA-covered activity because you’re not storing any health-related information in your merchant account. If you’re only using a merchant services provider for this functionality, then it doesn’t need to have a BAA or be HIPAA-compliant.

However, any software you use – whether that’s built into your merchant account or offered as a third-party integration – needs to be HIPAA-compliant if it has access to personal health information (PHI). This includes the tools you use to manage invoices, bookings, health records, or any other aspects of your practice.

Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) has become one of the standout payment providers operating in the US today. LMS’s 96% approval rate, easy onboarding, and advanced features (e.g., iAccess software, shopping carts) make it an excellent choice for dentists.

Although it doesn’t advertise all of its fees upfront, LMS lets you bargain for better terms and rates – especially if you’re looking to leave your current merchant services provider. In fact, LMS will give you $200 if it can’t meet or beat your current rates.

Long-term contracts with LMS can come with fees as low as 0.15% per transaction. When paired with its small monthly fee (usually around $9.00/month), this will give you plenty of room to grow your practice with confidence.

Although PCI-compliant, LMS itself isn’t HIPAA-certified. You can, however, opt for Clover’s POS hardware, which comes with software that is fully HIPAA-certified. Just keep in mind that using this software comes at an additional monthly fee.

Features and Benefits

  • Quick onboarding. With one of the highest approval rates in the industry, you can rest assured a representative will get back to you as soon as you submit your application.
  • Cash advance. With its cash advance program, LMS offers easy access to capital when you need it. You’ll then pay the sum back slowly through a small commission on your future sales.
  • E-commerce integrations. You can easily set up online payments with CartManager, LMS’s shopping cart provider. You’ll also get the fantastic Authorize.Net for an extra monthly fee, which you can then integrate with the rest of your business’s software.
  • Great phone support. LMS doesn’t offer too many support channels when it comes to support, but its 24/7 phone line means you’ll always be able to get help if you need it.
Learn more about this merchant services provider in our updated LMS review.

Security features
  • PCI compliant
  • Tokenization and end-to-end encryption
HIPAA-compliant software solutions
  • Authorize.Net gateway for online payments
  • Clover software (optional)
Support
  • 24/7 phone support
Transaction fees on cheapest plan ~2% + 0¢
Monthly subscription on cheapest plan $9.00

Stax gets many things right, so it’s no surprise that it so often makes our lists of the best merchant services for various kinds of businesses – dental practices being no exception. Why does it stand out? Stax offers fairly priced monthly subscriptions, and low flat transaction fees. On top of that, Stax’s HIPAA-compliant software is included in your monthly fee, so you’ll get plenty of software for managing your dental practice.  

Stax’s pricing model is transparent and easy to understand. You choose the monthly subscription that fits you best, and you only pay a small flat transaction fee every time you process a payment. The cheapest plan starts at $99.00.

For small- to mid-sized practices, this might seem like a lot to pay upfront, even though it buys you 0% markup on your transactions. That said, provided your office processes at least $8,000 of payments every month, Stax’s plans could actually save you up to 40% compared with more traditional interchange-plus pricing plans. You also won’t have to worry about any hidden charges racking up costs.

Features and Benefits

  • Free hardware. Not only does every Stax account come with free hardware, but there’s also a wide variety of readers and terminals to choose from, should you decide to upgrade in the future.
  • Flexible digital invoicing. Stax’s powerful software makes it easy to create and send customizable digital invoices to your clients. You can even schedule future payments and set up flexible payment plans for monthly/ongoing services.
  • Easy reporting tool. Stax’s all-in-one payment platform includes a user-friendly reporting tool that makes tracking payments as easy as possible.
  • PCI compliance support. You’ll get a third-party PCI compliance dashboard included in your monthly fee that guides you through your yearly security assessments. You’ll also be able to see your compliance status, whether you need to take any action, and access plenty of PCI guidance in Stax’s knowledge base.
For more on Stax, see our comprehensive review.

Security features
  • HIPAA compliant
  • PCI compliant
  • Fraud and chargeback prevention
HIPAA-compliant software solutions
  • Reporting and analytics tool
  • Digital invoices
  • Shopping carts
  • Software integrations
Support
  • Live chat, email, support ticket, phone
  • Comprehensive knowledge base
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 0% + 10¢ (in-person)
Monthly subscription on cheapest plan $99.00
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3. Chase Payment Solutions: Predictable Flat Rate Pricing and Solid Features

Chase Payment Solutions is a good option for dental practices that want simple flat-rate pricing with no monthly fees and HIPPA-compliant payment processing. Chase’s pricing model might make it easier to predict your monthly processing costs. Plans are month-to-month, so you can cancel at any time if you’re not happy with the service.

InstaMed is Chase’s proprietary HIPAA-compliant software, and it comes with tons of helpful features and tools for managing your dental practice and patient communications. It can help improve your practice’s efficiency, reduce the burden of administrative tasks, and enhance patient satisfaction. Bear in mind that you’ll have to pay a monthly fee for the software, which can add to your overall processing costs.

Other helpful features Chase offers dentists include business funding options, next-day payouts, and a mobile app that keeps you on top of your practice on the go.

Features and Benefits

  • Convenient payment options. An online payment portal allows patients to pay bills at their convenience. They can pay on a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop and create digital wallets to securely store their payment data. You can also accept payments over the phone, by mail, or in person.
  • Payment plans. InstaMed enables merchants to set up automated payment plans to help patients manage their financial obligations more effectively and increase the likelihood of payment collection for the provider.
  • Useful integrations. Seamless integrations with leading solutions like Electronic Health Record (EHR), Electronic Medical Record (EMR), accounting software, and practice management systems (PMS) simplify the billing and payment experience for your patients and staff.
  • Estimator tool. By considering reimbursements from insurance companies, this useful tool allows dentists to give patients an accurate estimate of their healthcare costs before approving treatment. This can reduce disputes over billing.
Read our expert review to see if Chase is right for you.

Security features
  • PCI compliant
  • Tokenization and end-to-end encryption
  • Security scans
HIPAA-compliant software solutions
  • Instamed
  • Authorize.Net gateway for online payments
Support
  • 24/7 phone and ticket support
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 2.6% + 10¢
Monthly subscription on cheapest plan N/A

Affordable subscription-style plans and a personalized approach to each client’s needs and goals makes PAYARC suitable for dental practices of any type or size. Plan pricing and transaction fees are based on processing volume and start at $69.00. You’ll be offered the wholesale interchange rate with no markup and a small transaction fee that ranges from 5ȼ-15ȼ, depending on your plan.

You’ll also benefit from PAYARC’s robust reporting and analytics features, which allow dental providers to track and manage their financial performance. You can view detailed transaction history, recurring transaction reports for payment plans, and more on your dashboard.

What’s more, PAYARC’s partnership with Rectangle Health gives dental practices an industry-specific solution that meets HIPAA standards for the protection of patient information. While there is a monthly fee for the software, it offers a fabulous set of useful tools, including seamless integration with Electronic Health Record and Electronic Medical Record systems.

Features and Benefits

  • Practice Management Bridge software. Rectangle Health integrates with your existing dental practice management system to streamline operations. It offers features like automated appointment reminders, pre-visit paperwork, and post-visit surveys. This can reduce the time your staff spends on administrative duties.
  • Patient financing options. Improve client satisfaction with zero risk to your practice by offering financing options for costly dental services like bridges, dental implants, and cosmetic procedures. Approval is quick, even for patients with lower credit scores.
  • Secure payments. Both PAYARC and Rectangle Health comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Both also offer advanced fraud prevention tools to protect your practice against hacks and data breaches.
  • Same-day payouts. If you want even fast access to your funds, PAYARC offers a same-day funding option. Provided you pass underwriting and pay a monthly fee, it will deposit eligible funds into your bank account at the close of each business day.
Learn more by checking out our expert PAAYARC review.

Security features
  • PCI compliant
  • Tokenization and end-to-end encryption
  • Data breach protection
HIPAA-compliant software solutions
  • Rectangle Health software integration
  • Patient financing plans
  • Reporting and analytics tools
Support
  • 24/7 phone support
  • Email support
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 2.49% + 30¢ (in-person)
Monthly subscription on cheapest plan N/A

Budget-minded dental practices will find much to like about ProMerchant’s affordable interchange-plus plans. But that’s not all – ProMerchant also offers month-to-month plans, free terminals, no setup fees, and exceptional customer support. From the moment you’re approved, you’ll have a dedicated support team that can address any issues that arise.

To accept online payments, ProMerchant uses the Authorize.Net payment gateway, which is HIPPA-compliant and comes with robust fraud prevention tools. Other gateway features allow you to set up recurring payments for patient plans and store customer profiles for faster checkouts.

New and small dental practices concerned about an increase in processing costs will appreciate ProMerchant’s promise to never raise the transaction fee on its interchange-plus plan, even if its costs increase. This can bring peace of mind and make it easier to budget for state-of-the-art equipment and other business costs.

Features and Benefits

  • Clover hardware. Clover’s POS hardware is a good choice for modern dental practices that want to integrate their payments with HIPAA-compliant software. Clover handles a wide range of payment types, including credit and debit cards, contactless payments, and mobile payments.
  • Useful business tools. ProMerchant’s scheduling tools allow you to easily set up appointments and manage your practice’s calendar. Other tools allow you to track and manage inventory, such as dental tools, equipment, and other supplies.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM). Clover systems can help you manage, analyze, and improve patient communications. By helping you to anticipate and address your patients’ needs, you can improve patient retention and referral rates.
  • Analytics and reporting. ProMerchant’s advanced data analysis tools can help you track performance, analyze promotion strategies, and make informed decisions about your dental practice.
See our in-depth ProMerchant review for more details.

Security features
  • PCI compliant
  • Tokenization and end-to-end encryption
  • Data breach protection
HIPAA-compliant software solutions
  • Clover terminals (with Clover for Healthcare integration)
  • Authorize.Net gateway
Support
  • 24/7 phone support
  • Dedicated account manager
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 3% + 10¢ (credit)
Monthly subscription on cheapest plan $7.95

Flagship Merchant Services is another provider that doesn’t advertise all the details of its pricing model upfront, but that’s because it gives you the freedom to negotiate the best terms for your practice.

Flagship’s custom plans are ideal for health practitioners, but you need to be willing to negotiate better terms. Interchange-plus contracts, for example, usually come with better rates than tiered-pricing contracts, so I recommend pushing for interchange-plus if you decide to get a custom quote.

Like LMS, Flagship isn’t HIPAA-compliant, but it integrates with software that’s fully compliant. All accounts also include access to the iAccess Business Management portal, an advanced reporting and analytics tool that provides all kinds of valuable data, such as sales performance, competitor stats, and review tracking.

Features and Benefits

  • Speedy onboarding. You can easily complete Flagship’s online application in a few minutes and have your account ready to receive payments within 48 hours.
  • Same-day funding. As standard, Flagship’s payments reach your bank account within two business days – but for a small fee, you can apply for the same-day funding program and access your earnings in just a few hours.
  • Cash advances. Flagship offers cash advances of up to $150,000 for any expenses related to your practice. Advances can be paid back through a small markup on your future sales.
  • HIPAA-compliant hardware. Whether you choose an all-in-one system like the Clover Station or opt for the compact Clover Mini, you’ll be able to accept payments safely and securely.
Read our expert Flagship Merchant Services review for more information.

Security features
  • PCI, GDPR, and CCPA compliant
  • Tokenization and end-to-end encryption
  • Security scans
HIPAA-compliant software solutions
  • iAccess Business portal
  • Authorize.Net gateway for online payments
  • Clover software (optional)
Support
  • Phone support (Mon-Fri, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. PDT)
  • Dedicated account manager
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 1.58% + 19¢ (in person)
Monthly subscription on cheapest plan $7.95

These Are the Best Merchant Services for Dentists

While every merchant services provider claims to offer the most cost-effective solution, only a few providers tailor their features and pricing specifically to suit the needs of dental offices. Each provider listed here offers competitive rates, a variety of hardware and software solutions, as well as excellent phone support. Nevertheless, there are only a select few that truly stand out in these aspects.

If you’re looking for affordable rates, free top-of-the-line POS hardware, and easy access to financing solutions for your dental office, consider Leader Merchant Services’s custom plans.

With its convenient flat-rate pricing plan, low transaction fees, and advanced software, Stax will serve the processing needs of most dentists.

If you want a quick and consistent cash flow, you might be better off going for one of Chase’s plans.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the best merchant services for dentists:
Best Feature Best For Monthly fee on cheapest plan Transaction fees on cheapest plan
Leaders Merchant Services Bargaining power when negotiating fees Dentists looking to strike a better deal and grow their businesses $9.00 ~2% + 0¢
Stax Advanced HIPAA-compliant software Dentists looking for a robust, all-in-one payment solution $99.00 0% + 10¢ (in-person)
Chase Payment Solutions Proprietary HIPAA-compliant software with advanced tools Dental practices that want simple pricing N/A  2.6% + 10¢
PAYARC Client-focused processor with advanced HIPAA-compliant software integration Dental practices looking for affordable subscription-style pricing $69.00 0% + 15¢ (in-person & online)
Flagship Merchant Services Same-day funding for a low fee Dentists that need to access their earnings ASAP $7.95 1.58% + 19¢ (in person)
ProMerchant Affordable rates for smaller dental practices Lower-volume dental offices $7.95 3% + 10¢ (credit)

FAQ

What is a good rate for merchant services?

If you pay between 1.5% and 2% of your total earnings in fees, then you’re probably getting a good deal. Anything between 2% and 3% is considered average, and rates beyond 3% are considered expensive. If your current processor’s rates are too high, you may want to contact Leaders Merchant Services. LMS promises to meet or beat your current rate.

How do I choose a merchant service for my dental practice?

Consider your budget, your business’s size, and your hardware/software needs, then choose a merchant services provider that ticks as many boxes as possible. To make things easier, the top 3 card processors on this list can take care of all your payment processing needs.

What features should dentists look for in a merchant service provider?

HIPAA compliance and advanced security features are paramount. Other features to consider include comprehensive payment options, integrated scheduling, insurance verification, payment plan management, and patient communication tools. Your provider should also offer excellent 24/7 customer service and fair pricing that will keep your costs low.

Which are the best merchant services for dentists?

It depends on how many payments you process and your specific business needs. But for a subscription-based, feature-packed payment processing solution, Stax is hard to beat. However, if you’re only processing a relatively modest number of payments per week and want to save with an affordable plan, ProMerchant is a good choice.

You can check out our top credit card processors in 2024 for more great options.

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