Who’s in Charge?
Credit cards are a necessary, but often expensive part of doing business.
Could Ben handle credit cards better at his chiropractic practice?
“It seems like things are going a lot better at the practice,” Carmen said, turning slowly so Ben could admire the dress she was trying on.
Ben was seated in the dress shop, trying to keep their son quiet and still while Carmen found just the right dress for a friend’s wedding. “Yes — but where’d that come from? I thought you were completely focused on the important question of the sarong skirt versus the trumpet skirt.”
“Tulip, actually, and yes, I’m very interested in that question. However, I also want to make sure you’re in a good mood before I start using our credit card.”
Ben laughed. “I am in a good mood, actually,” he admitted. “The changes we’ve been making at the practice are really paying off. And that dress looks great.”
“Good!” Carmen stepped back into the dressing room for a moment and returned with another dress. “Speaking of credit cards…”
“I like that dress even better,” Ben offered. Their son ducked under a dress rack. Ben hauled him back out. “Speaking of credit cards?”
Carmen was back in the dressing room, but she called through the door. “I’ve been thinking we need a change in our card processor at the pizzeria. The fees seem really high. How about yours?”
Ben agreed that he felt his processing fees were high, too, admiring yet another dress. “That blue thing is very nice,” he said as his wife disappeared into the dressing room again. “But, you know, it’s better to pay the fees than not to get paid, and sometimes a patient has an outstanding balance that’s just too high for him to handle in cash.”
Carmen stepped out with her arms full of bright fabrics and grabbed Jonathan’s hand. Ben joined her in the line to the cash register. “I guess it’s different at the restaurant,” she said. “We use a point of sale system the same way the store here does. If your transactions are mostly about getting old debts off your books…”
“We have some payments through our POS system, both for treatment and for things like back supports and exercise equipment,” Ben said, “but there are also times when we call a client about a bill that didn’t get paid by insurance, and they ask us to put it on a credit card. Those get posted manually, so it’s easy to make mistakes or to miss them.”
“I don’t think we have many mistakes in our credit card transactions,” Carmen said consideringly, “but sometimes a card is declined — and the customers have already eaten.”
She reached the front of the line and placed her stack of dresses on the counter with a credit card on top.
“We’ve had credit cards declined, too,” Ben said. “And as you say, we’ve already provided the services at that point. It’s a hassle to follow up, and I think maybe sometimes we don’t follow up. You can always make them wash dishes, right?”
The kids laughed much more than the joke deserved, but Ben hardly noticed. “Hey, how many dresses do you need for one wedding?”
“I couldn’t pick just one,” Carmen explained. “Plus, there are other dressy events in our future.”
“I don’t know yet, but now that I have these dresses, I promise you there will be some.”
Ben didn’t argue, but he was thinking about credit card transactions at the practice. Just how much were those transactions costing him?