Mobile Payments ... Things to Consider

It's important to consider costs, security and more before you sign up for mobile processing.

Money & Credit

Things to Consider Before Accepting Mobile Payments

It seems there's an “app” for anything these days, mobile payments included.   Simply download an application, plug a tiny “card-swiping” device into the earphone jack and you're all set to accept payments with your smartphone, right?


It seems there’s an “app” for anything these days, mobile payments included.   Simply download an application, plug a tiny “card-swiping” device into the earphone jack and you’re all set to accept payments with your smartphone, right?

Well, kind of.  Yes, it’s easy to download an app, but it’s important to consider costs, security and more before you sign up for mobile processing.

Cost Comparison—Mobile Processing vs. Traditional

Costs can vary widely depending on the mobile processing company you choose.  While most mobile processing promote low (or no) monthly fees, you’ll typically find that they’ll charge a much higher transaction fee than traditional point-of-sale processing.  For example, let’s say you process 100 transactions per month.  Depending on the type of card you’re accepting via your phone, you could be paying up to $.75 or more per transaction than you would with a desktop terminal.  On average, it is estimated that many chiropractic offices will pay from $35 to $75 more per month in transaction fees with mobile payment acceptance solutions.  Even if your existing processor charges you little or no monthly fee, it typically does not make up for the extra cost of accepting mobile payments.

Protecting Payment & Patient Information

Today, one of the top concerns in the payment processing world is the security and privacy of cardholder data.  With some mobile processing companies, card readers that you scan credit cards with can be poorly constructed and lack the ability to encrypt consumers’ data.  This puts patient credit card data at risk for compromise, especially if you were to lose your smartphone or tablet.   It’s important to do your research when it comes to selecting the right processor for mobile solutions.

Integration with Desktop Processing

Be sure to pick a mobile option that integrates with your traditional desktop point-of-sale terminal and the processing behind that.  Most processing companies offer mobile solutions, but it’s important to make sure you’re able to see all transactions in one place, whether you accept payments via smartphone or in your office.  Also, be wary of processors that entice you with their mobile app only to charge you higher rates for both mobile and desktop processing later.

Front Office Professionalism

Most doctors like to quickly and easily print a receipt at the reception counter.  Most customers still request that.  This can be inconvenient without a traditional desktop terminal/printer.  While most good mobile applications allow your patients to sign for their transaction right on the device (and even emails a receipts to them), the customer experience can be “clunky” at times.  Service interruptions can be more prevalent and transactions may cancel if you don’t have the right mobile option.  This can cause inconvenience to your customers.  Make sure you consider how customer-friendly the mobile processing option you’re considering is.

Changing Technology

Mobile payment technology is changing rapidly.  New security feature are being upgraded to mobile apps all the time.  It’s important you work with a processor who you trust to monitor technology trends and security and updates software regularly.

Be sure whomever you're considering for your mobile payments takes the time to explain your options to you.  For more information on NCMIC payment acceptance options, click here.


The information in the NCMIC Learning Center is offered solely for general information and educational purposes. It is not offered as, nor does it represent, legal or professional advice. Neither does this information constitute a guideline, practice parameter or standard of care. You should not act or rely upon this information without seeking the advice of an attorney familiar with the specific legal requirements of the state(s) in which you practice. If there is a discrepancy between the site and an insurance policy you have with NCMIC, the policy will prevail.