25 March 2009

Just when I thought I was out.. they pull me back in.

In a previous life, I put together quite a few point of sale systems. I have since put that behind me to focus on the dental trade, of which there is plenty to learn. But when a door opens, do you walk through it or go about your business? Well, I chose to try and not let it hit me on may way through.

Having made recent friends with an owner of a local establishment, I was asked for help in getting setup with a new point of sale system. And so I've been busy recently. Technically dental? Well, yes. Let me explain.

With the recent proliferation of HSAs and Flex Accounts, credit/debit cards are becoming a more common form of payment for dental services. Dental offices typically have a handheld credit card processing machine off to the side to handle these transactions. Slow, runs off of a phone line, and a bit painful to use. But is there an easier way. As if the clouds parted and the sun shined down in a moment of inspiration.. YES!

Retail establishments have known the benefits of processing credit card sales via software for some time. Authorization over the internet, 2-3 second transaction times, automatic batch settlement and reporting features. Run the card through a standard issue magnetic stripe reader, and the software does all of the heavy lifting. If you want the ubiquitous credit card receipt paper, thermal printers are aplenty. Bartenders, sales clerks, and wait staff rejoice at the very sight of such a system.

Possible for a dental office? Absolutely. Will it make a difference? You mileage may vary. I personally know of an office that despises their credit card processing machine for the reasons I stated above. Now, perhaps in my moment of enlightenment I might offer an alternative.

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