How Does a Pharmacy Accept Payments?
Thanks to the rise of the Internet and developments in the world of technology, there are an increasing number of payments that get concluded online. This means that customers no longer have to be present in person to pay for a product or service. Truth be told, it is safe to say that all businesses accept electronic payments.
Though, if you are a licensed pharmacy owner and want to accept payments via check, you require an eCheck account. In short, an eCheck account is a kind of bank account where a customer’s money is kept for a limited period of time prior to getting transferred to your business account.
What Is a Pharmaceutical Distributor or Wholesaler?
There are a number of patients who will need medications that were made specifically for them because of different reasons. It could be that the medication that is available commercially has certain ingredients that a patient cannot take without adverse reaction or it could just be that the substances are not available as there is such a demand for it.
When that is the case, a licensed pharmacist can prepare and package the medication in accordance with the prescription of a licensed physician or surgeon. When this happens, it is referred to as distribution of compounding products or a licensed pharmaceutical wholesaler.
The Role of an Online Merchant
There is an increase in the popularity of online merchants, but if you prefer to visit a pharmacy that still operates conventionally that option still exists today. The reason why online merchants have become so popular is because by ordering online your medicine will be delivered to your home. It does not get more convenient than that, right?
What is more, with the help of online merchants you can get all your important medicine promptly on a regular basis. However, if you want to get a merchant account specifically for pharmaceutical-related payments, you will have to make sure that it is risk-free so that all the crucial info of your customers are not disclosed.
Over the past several years, online pharmacies have come under fire; mainly by government organizations, making it more difficult for these merchants to obtain credit card processing accounts. Years back all online pharmacies were able to accept both; credit cards and echecks but today Visa and MasterCard have tightened their requirements for accepting and processing pharmacy payments, even from licensed pharmacies. This has led online pharmacies to start relying on accepting echecks as their preferred method of payment.
Pharmacy echeck merchant accounts are now available to licensed pharmacies of all sizes! Merchants will easily be able to accept payments from their USA customers at low rates. Never worry again about a merchant account being closed down because of Visa/MasterCard, echeck runs directly through the Federal Reserve and is not regulated by any organization, such as ACH and NACHA. Echeck payments quickly clear and are wired to the merchant with a limited hold period.
Licensed pharmacy merchants will have the choice of integrating the echeck payment system with their website(s) in addition to having the ability of uploading transactions for batch order processing. Echeck merchants will have easy access to their reporting within the gateway. The gateway is secure, which protects both the merchant and the customer from fraud.
Does Your Business Pose Any High Risks?
A business that offers licensed pharmaceutical compounding targets very specific customers. Though, the reality is that it is also associated with many chargebacks. In short, a chargeback is when a customer gets refunded by reversing the transaction.
Now any company that has many chargebacks (to be more precise a ratio of more than 1% is regarded as one too many chargebacks) will be classified as a high-risk business. Basically, if your pharmacy-related business has a high chargeback ratio, you will automatically be placed in the high risk category and you will not find someone who will be willing to underwrite your business.
As a matter of fact, at times even when your account is underwritten by a bank, it could happen that your account gets stopped. This is also often the case with PayPal and other third-party credit card processors. A third-party credit card processor will end your account at once if one of your payments has been rejected because of fraudulent activity. When this happens, your business will be unable to accept payments any longer. There is more…
If your account has been terminated, you will have a difficult time to get another merchant account as your business will be added to a terminated merchant file (TMF) list that other merchant account providers have access to. The effects that this will have on your business will be disastrous as you will not be able to receive any of your payments.
What About Startups?
In addition to accounts which have been terminated and businesses that have high chargeback ratios, several card processors will also regard brand new businesses and startups as high risk.
This means that if your business has not been operating for a long time in the compounding pharmacy industry, the chances are good that it will not be easy for you to get a merchant account.
Possible Reasons Why Your Startup Will Not Get Approval
If you want to apply for a merchant account for your startup business, there are a couple of reasons that your account could not get approved. If your business is regarded as unpredictable and does not boast a big bank balance, there is a chance that you will get the thumbs down. Also, as you are new to the industry you will most likely not have a payment processing history yet and this is the primary resource that is used to underwrite a business.
Why Process eChecks?
Pharmacy credit card processing is expensive, especially with banks getting stricter and merchant accounts being closed often. Pharmacy echeck processing is the best way to lower your company’s risk of losing payment processing and being put out of business.
Echecks are similar to paper checks but are done all electronically. There is nothing to physically sign or send. The funds are quickly debited from the customer’s account, allowing for quick order processing and shipping. Most card transactions today are done by debit card; both echecks and debit cards withdraw funds directly from the customer’s bank account within 24 hours. The customers will not notice a difference but, the company will see a dramatic decrease in payment processing fees.
Why accept echecks? Over 95% of households in the United Sates have a bank account; allowing nearly every household the ability to purchase products via echeck. Echecks are much more difficult to dispute or chargeback compared with a credit or debit card and the customer must go to the bank to place the stop payment along with paying the bank fee of $30-$40.
Echecks are able to be submitted in three different ways. First, transactions are able to be uploaded in a batch transaction format, secondly, transactions are able to be entered into a virtual terminal and lastly, they are able to be accepted on the merchant’s website. Website acceptance is done as the customer is checking out of the merchant’s website. The customer is presented with a picture of a blank check and the customer fills in their information; this method is the most popular by online pharmacies since the customer is actually entering their own information.
Echecks normally take 3-5 days to clear. Once the payment has cleared it will show “collected” inside the merchant’s online gateway. At this point the merchant is able to send the products to the customer. Payments are dispersed to the merchant weekly (if located outside of the USA) and daily (if located inside the USA). After only a couple months of processing echecks; most online pharmacies will agree it is their favorite method of payment. Funds are held for only one week, contrary to credit card processing, and their customers will not experience any foreign transaction fees.
Pharmacy eCheck Account Integration
There are several different ways that licensed online pharmacy businesses are able to integrate their eCheck account. Some pharmacy merchants prefer inputting their customer’s information manually while other pharmacy merchants have their customers put their own information into the website’s order page. We integrate with; WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce, Ecwid, LimeLight, Magento, Opencart and Prestashop to name a few.
API (application programming interface) is provided to merchants working Allied Payments. This interface will allow online pharmacies to accept orders directly on their website. This assists merchants because it will allow orders to be placed on their website without having to manually enter and process an order. A phone order is more time consuming for the company. API integration is very important to every online merchant.
Allied Payments provides eCheck services to online RX merchants via API integration as well as virtual terminal processing for inputting orders manually. Some pharmacy merchants will mitigate their risk by manually entering the information for their clients. They are able to accept and decline orders as they see fit. Orders that they feel are fraudulent are easily refused and legitimate orders are charged, processed and shipped.
SSL encrypted servers are a must for online pharmacies. The internet is plagued by fraud and spammers that are looking to scam online consumers and online pharmacies out of money and products. SSL servers allow merchants to operate their online RX business without having to worry about being hacked and having their customer’s information compromised. Licensed online pharmacy merchants not utilizing a payment processor with SSL are risking losing orders and customers. It is important that online pharmacies work with a RX credit card processor that has these security measures in place.
PCI compliance is a very powerful tool that RX merchants have been increasingly using in order to combat online fraud. PCI compliance protects the licensed online pharmacy as well as the customers and the online pharmacy’s affiliates that send sales to the pharmacy. Pharmacy merchants must choose to work with an account provider that is able to provide this service. PCI is a compliance requirement placed on merchants by the card brands and the merchant banks. All online merchants need to be PCI compliant.
Reliable Pharmacy eCheck Accounts
Allied Payments provides reliable echeck merchant accounts to online pharmacies at affordable rates and fees. Licensed online pharmacy eChecks accounts, over the past few years, have become more and more challenging to setup. Complications involve new government regulations and increases in Visa and MasterCard fines for selling certain pharmaceuticals. In other words, payment processors that work with pharmacy businesses need to monitor their merchants very closely to verify merchants operate under the rules and regulations of the government and the banks. The second obstacle being that banks accepting pharmacy websites are dwindling. Even with these barriers, Allied Payments offers competitively priced merchant services to online pharmacies of all sizes.
Due to the large amount of fraud surrounding licensed pharmacy merchant accounts, pharmacy companies normally have difficulty in being approved. Allied Payments provides several fraud prevention tools in order to limit the merchant’s exposure and risk while offering several solutions to online pharmacies that allow merchants to process payments using a virtual terminal or by having their customers order directly over the merchant’s website using API integration and hosted payment pages to ensure PCI compliance. Allied Payments will set your business up with multiple eCheck accounts in order to protect against losing one account and being unable to process additional orders. Serious licensed pharmacy merchants work with several solutions simultaneously to minimize their risk.
The majority of online pharmaceutical payments are accepted through the company’s shopping cart and website. Some merchants also accept payments over the phone which requires the business to have a licensed pharmacy eCheck account with a virtual terminal for inputting orders manually. Most payment processors are not eager to offer licensed pharmacy merchants with a virtual terminal because of the heightened chance of fraud. Customers purchasing through the business’ website have their IP logged, which is matched against their billing address. It is much more difficult for fraud orders to pass through a shopping cart checkout than through a virtual terminal, where one IP is charging many cards. Allied Payments is proud to offer virtual terminals, allowing licensed pharmacy merchants to process all of their customer’s orders.
Large licensed pharmacy merchants can be approved for a direct pharmacy eCheck processing account with their own unique descriptor. Smaller licensed pharmacy merchants will be able to be approved for a 3rd party aggregate pharmacy eCheck account. Both types of accounts do not have volume restrictions.
Customers will receive weekly payouts including detailed reporting of; sales, refunds, chargebacks and settlement of funds. Multi-currency processing and settlement is available, in all major currencies. A PCI-compliant payment gateway is provided along with a team of technical support personnel to assist with integration. The payment gateway easily integrates with all major shopping carts, minimizing the time that is required to start processing orders.
RX eCheck Account
Pharmacy eCheck accounts are usually difficult to obtain because of the level of fraud that surrounds this business. Merchants must setup their business with multiple RX credit card processing accounts in order to limit their exposure if one of their accounts is closed. Not with eCheck; eCheck is the best payment method for pharmacies.
There are numerous different tools to make sure that the orders that are processed by your company are non-fraudulent. 3D and non-3D secured merchant accounts which will require some credit card holders to have a special code provided to them from their card issuing bank. This type of fraud protection helps to allow only good transactions to be processed and declines any transactions without the code on the basis that they are not authorized charges. Many licensed pharmacy merchants enjoy the protection of using a 3D secure system however it is important to also have a non-3D secure RX merchant account to make sure that pharmacy companies are able to accept as many orders as possible in case some customers do not have 3D secured credit cards. The easiest solution is to offer eCheck processing services to your customers and avoid card processing issues altogether.
Allied Payments provides eCheck processing to online pharmacies with the ability to process payments in multiple currencies while also settling the funds to merchants in several different currencies. It is important for licensed pharmacy merchants to accept payments in multiple currencies since their customers will not be billed a foreign transaction fee for purchases that they make. It is also important that the settled funds to the licensed pharmacy business be in the same currency as the merchant’s bank account in order to avoid any excess charges by the merchant’s bank.
Real-time payment processing is an important part of eCheck acceptance for online pharmacies. Merchants should make sure that their RX merchant account provider will process transactions in real-time. Real-time transaction processing refers to the bank providing an approval or decline to each customer transaction within a couple seconds. This is critical to increasing sales.
If a customer is putting in an order and their payment is declined in a non-real time environment, the customer will leave the website and possibly process the order elsewhere since they did not receive a successful transaction confirmation. In a real-time transaction processing environment, the bank will provide the customer with an approval or decline within seconds. If the order is declined a message will appear on the order page with the reason for the decline. The customer will then be able to use another account in order to process their order. If the order is successful, a message will appear on the order page and an email will be sent to the customer providing a receipt for the approval of a successful online RX order.
Multi-Currency Processing Helps Online Pharmacies
High risk merchant accounts make it possible for online pharmacies to accept orders from customers all over the world in multiple currencies. Licensed pharmacy customers do not want to risk ordering an item from a different country and then having to pay a foreign transaction fee from their bank because they purchased the item in a different currency than their own. Merchants processing with Allied Payments are able to avoid this by offering multiple processing currencies to their customers. Online merchants that do not utilize multi-currency processing will risk losing many re-orders if the customers are being charged excess fees by their bank.
Allied Payments’ eCheck accounts feature no volume limits, allowing licensed pharmacy merchants to process as many transactions as possible without the chance of reaching their volume cap. Many pharmacies today use affiliates to help sell their products and if their cap is reached, both the customers and their affiliates will go elsewhere to purchase or sell their pharmacy medications. Don’t lose another sale by working with a RX eCheck account provider that is unable to provide an account to you without a volume cap. Allied Payments is the company to partner with to make sure that your licensed online pharmacy stays up and processing.
Real-time data is imperative to all businesses. Sales tracking is easy and detailed reporting is available to all merchants that are processing with Allied Payments. Online pharmacies will be able to review all; sales, refunds, chargebacks and settlements of funds, in real-time, from their online merchant portal.
Pharmacy eCheck Processing with Allied Payments
Being approved for a pharmaceutical merchant account is normally a very problematic endeavor. Most banks and payment processors have shied away from the industry as a whole because of the legal consequences associated with processing payments for merchants potentially selling controlled drugs. Pharmacy merchants are notorious for adding controlled drugs onto their website after being approved for regular non-controlled drugs. A payment processor needs to regularly check their merchant’s websites to make sure that all of their merchants are constantly in compliance.
Allied Payments offers pharmacy eCheck processing accounts to online pharmaceutical merchants located throughout the world selling; herbal supplements, weight loss products along with women’s and men’s health medications. Pharmacies are able to accept; echeck and ach payments. All payments are sent through our bank’s SSL encrypted servers along with multi-layered fraud prevention to assist licensed online pharmacy merchants with fraud protection by verifying that every transaction is legitimate.
Pharmacy merchant accounts from Allied Payments are available in multiple currencies and do not have a volume limit. Companies are allowed to process as much volume as they want. All transactions are quickly approved or declined in seconds not minutes and integration after approval is easily completed with Allied Payments’ API. Technical support for all licensed pharmacy merchants enables quick resolutions to all of your questions and problems.
Rates, fees and terms are an important part of any financial decision and pharmacy eCheck accounts are no different. All licensed pharmacy accounts have nearly identical fees; the rate is really the only variable in the approval process. The main fees include; setup fee, transaction fee, chargeback fee, wire fee and refund fee. The other fees listed on the contract are rarely charged since they are for uncommon situations; such as high chargebacks or fraud. A setup fee is a onetime fee that is deducted from the first settlement (payout) to the merchant. The transaction fee is a fee charged on every transaction. Chargeback fees are only charged when customers disagree with the charge and were unable to resolve the problem with the merchant. The wire fee is the cost the merchant pays every time money is wired to their company business account. The refund fee is the fee charged every time a refund is processed. Refunds are a manual process not an automatic one.
Allied Payments’ application and approval is very simple. Licensed online pharmacy merchants are able to apply with any completed application and the standard supporting documents. Licensed pharmacy merchants with payment processing history are quickly approved since there is a proven track record of processing that the bank can see. Startup pharmacies are welcome but it is important to realize that rates for companies without previous processing history will be at a higher rate and approval will take a few days longer.
Opening a Pharmacy eCheck Account
Online pharmacies offer a crucial service to those who unfortunately do not have health insurance or do not have enough money to pay for expensive medications in their own countries. Businesses were in a position to purchase pharmaceutical products for quite some time with the help of both eChecks and credit cards. Though, during the past number of years, more and more pressure has been placed on the banks, by the influential pharmaceutical companies that operate internationally. These businesses, as part of their attempts to keep their brands safe, have made it exceedingly difficult for those pharmacies that choose to operate online to get credit card processing accounts. Pharmacy eCheck processing is a requirement for any professional licensed online pharmacy. Merchants that are able to accept alternative payments will keep their customer base purchasing from them, even if their credit card processing account is closed.
eChecks Are Now Becoming More Crucial
Since there is not enough reliable credit card processing accounts for pharmacies, online pharmacies are now relying on eChecks in order to welcome online payments even more. With the help of eCheck, people can buy their much-needed pharmaceutical items with little effort or trouble.
Thanks to the growth of online banking and online payments, consumers are now quite at ease to pay via an electronic check. In fact, more than 85% of households in the United States of America are in possession of bank accounts and able to pay with eChecks.
How Does An Electronic Check Work?
When the customer wants to check out, instead of inserting his or her card number, the account particulars and bank routing are entered. Then, the transaction gets processed via the Federal Reserve just like any other check purchase.
It is important to note that eChecks do not get processed at the actual time that the transaction takes place. These transactions get cleared by the Federal Reserve at twelve o’clock at night. If there were any checks that bounced or returns because of insufficient funds, a merchant would usually be informed about these within two to four days. That being the case, a merchant might want to postpone shipping the merchandise till the transaction has been cleared in an attempt to decrease the risk involved.
Though, several online pharmacies are blessed with faithful, returning clients who buy their merchandise. Thanks to their purchasing history which has been established already, this group of customers poses less risk to the merchants. In fact, as the customers desire and require the products that they order from online pharmacies, the possible risk of chargebacks (transactions that get revoked) for eCheck that online pharmacies get are not high. On top of that, it is significantly harder for a customer to chargeback the transaction that was done via eCheck than what it is to chargeback those completed via credit card.
There are a number of benefits for accepting eCheck payments versus credit card payments:
• The rates are much lower, sometimes one third to one half the cost of their current credit card merchant account.
• Chargebacks are more difficult. It is much more difficult for a customer to chargeback an eCheck payment. They physically need to go to their bank and sign a form.
• Payments are much faster. Payouts to licensed pharmacy merchants are done normally one week behind where with certain licensed pharmacy merchant accounts it is one to three weeks behind.
• Pharmacy eCheck accounts are quickly approved and setup.
• Integration and security is never an issue with eChecks. Merchants will choose if they want to upload the transactions daily in a batch or integrate the echeck processing with their licensed pharmacy website, or both.
To conclude, there are thousands of licensed online pharmacies that process many eCheck transactions every single month successfully. In order to be able to reap the rewards of this key payment method, the licensed online pharmacy does not have to be situated in the United States. eChecks are low-risk and therefore a reliable way of accepting payment from a customer.
Contact Allied Payments today and speak with an account executive to walk you through the process of applying and being approved for a pharmaceutical eCheck account.