Founded in 1983, TSYS has been in the payment processing industry for 35 years. It serves businesses in 80 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K., China, India, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. It acquired TransFirst in 2016 and Cayan in 2018, making it one of the largest credit card processors in the U.S. It works with businesses of all sizes across many industries, such as retail, restaurant and professional services, including mail and telephone order businesses and those that are internet- or home-based. It also works with some high-risk businesses.
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We chose TSYS Merchant Solutions as the best credit card processor for professional service providers because it has affordable rates, few fees and provides a secure way for medical practices to accept credit cards from patients at the time of service or over the phone. It has healthcare-trained customer service agents in-house, and the company has experience providing payment processing solutions to general practitioners, specialists, dentists, veterinarians and other professional service providers in the healthcare industry.
TSYS partners with the American Medical Association as part of its Member Value Program (AMA MVP) to provide discounts and perks to medical practitioners, and also works with other regional, state and national healthcare associations. For businesses in the medical industry, there are no setup fees, no monthly minimum processing requirements, no cancellation fees and no batch fees. TSYS also includes a virtual terminal for no additional cost.
Pricing & Terms
Like many full-service processors, TSYS Merchant Solutions doesn't post its rates, fees or equipment prices online, so you'll need to call for a quote. When we called for pricing, posing as a small medical practice, the company representative provided us with tiered rates. However, the rep was happy to offer interchange-plus pricing when we asked for it.
Tiered rates.Although this pricing model is simple to understand, industry experts caution that its more expensive and less transparent than interchange-plus pricing. Here's what it costs to accept credit cards using TSYS's tiered rates.
- 1.19 percent plus 20 cents: Debit cards accepted in person using a card reader
- 1.69 percent plus 20 cents: Regular credit cards accepted in person using a card reader
- 2.35 percent plus 20 cents: Rewards credit cards accepted in person using a card reader as well as cards that you manually key in using the virtual terminal
- 3.20 percent plus 20 cents: Business credit cards you accept in person using a card reader
Interchange-plus rates.This pricing model is easy to compare when you're shopping for the best pricing, as you can clearly see how much you're paying the processor above the interchange rates that everyone pays, no matter what type of card you accept. Here's what it costs to process payment card transactions using TSYS's tiered rates.
- 0.25 percent plus 10 cents above interchange
Fees.TSYS charges businesses in the medical industry fewer fees than many of its competitors, as there are only two regular fees for your account.
- $5: Monthly maintenance fee, which includes your monthly statement and customer support.
- $18.80: Quarterly PCI compliance fee; this is lower than average, costing $75.20 per year, compared to the average $99 annual fee.
With TSYS, medical practices enjoy:
- No application or setup fee
- No monthly minimum processing requirement
- No early termination or account closure fee
- No batch fee
- No virtual terminal fee
Payouts. After you begin accepting credit card payments, it takes TSYS two days to deposit your processed funds into your account, which is an average amount of time. If your business is high-risk, it may take longer.
Terms. The standard contract is for three years, automatically renews at the end of the initial term and carries an early termination fee. However, for medical businesses, there's no cancellation fee, so if you want to close your account early, you can do so without incurring an expensive fee. Before you sign the contract, you need to read it to make sure the cancellation fee and the other waived fees have been amended in the contract or that you receive written waivers for these fees. If these fees haven't been removed from the contract or you haven't received a written waiver and you sign the standard contract anyway, you'll be held to the terms and fees of the standard contract.
Medical practices have unique needs, and TSYS caters to them with its flexible credit-card-processing solutions. Whether you operate a doctor's office, outpatient facility, clinic, medical spa or offer other types of healthcare services, you can accept credit card payments in your office, over the phone or online. Here are several ways to accept credit cards using TSYS:
- Credit card terminal.Accept payments at the front desk before or after patients are seen using a credit card machine and PIN pad. TSYS offers several models to choose from, such as the Ingenico iCT 205, which is an EMV-compliant model that includes NFC technology so you can accept chip cards and mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay. It costs $350. Or, if you want a wireless terminal, you can choose its Vital Mobile model, that has a touchscreen and also accepts chip cards and mobile wallets, though it's more expensive, costing $600 and has a $4.99 monthly fee.
- Virtual terminal. If you have internet access, you can accept credit cards and ACH payments using your computer and TSYS's Transaction Express virtual terminal. There's no extra cost, though you pay a higher processing rate for manually keyed-in transactions. You can purchase a USB swiper to plug into your computer for $99 if you want the lower rate, but it isn't EMV-compliant. Alternatively, you can choose PayTrace as your virtual terminal, which costs $10 per month, and purchase its USB swiper and chip reader for $299.
- Mobile credit card processing. Let customers pay from anywhere in your facility, on location or wherever you provide services using a mobile card reader. TSYS offers several options. It has a credit card swiper that attaches to your mobile phone or tablet and costs just $1, but it isn't EMV compliant. The EMV-complaint mobile card reader is for Android devices and costs $85.
- Online credit card processing.You can use TSYS's hosted payment page to create a dedicated webpage that your patients can use to pay post-visit bills. To use it, they'll click on a link and enter their credit card information, which is easier than picking up the phone, sending a check or visiting your office again. If you already have a website, TSYS has an API you can use to integrate with your shopping cart.
Accept more payment types. In addition to credit and debit cards, you can also accept HSA and FSA cards. If your customers pay by check, you can process them electronically as ACH transactions instead of taking them to the bank for deposit.
Recurring billing.TSYS offers automated recurring billing through the virtual terminal. This can be a useful feature if your patients prefer paying large bills on an installment plan.
Integrations. TSYS integrates with QuickBooks, saving you the time it would take to manually transfer your payment data. It can also integrate with most practice management software and electronic records management systems, though the rep we spoke with noted that many practitioners prefer to keep their payment system separate because it simplifies PCI compliance requirements.
Here are some additional factors to keep in mind as you choose a credit card processing company for your business.
When you call the company, the customer representative asks a few questions about your business and provides you with a pricing quote. If you decide to sign up with TSYS, the rep sends you an application to fill out. After you submit the application and supporting documentation, such as your business license and a voided check, it takes the company approximately 24 hours to approve or deny your application and set up your account. After your account is approved, the company ships your processing hardware.
As a professional in the healthcare industry, your business requires strong security measures to protect your patients' privacy and payment data. TSYS uses advanced security protocols to keep your patients' payment data safe and HIPAA compliant. These security features include end-to-end encryption, tokenization, account monitoring, a fraud detection system and PCI compliance. Like all processors, TSYS also requires you to achieve and maintain PCI compliance on your end.
TSYS offers a Data Breach Security program that covers expenses incurred from a data breach, such as card replacement and credit monitoring. It also has a Card Compromise Assistance Plan (C-CAP) that covers up to $100,000 per merchant ID – up to $1 million for multi-location businesses – in annual damages to help you recover from a cyberattack.
If you need help with your account, you can call or email the company 24/7. In our testing, we were unable to get ahold of a representative right away but received a call back the same day. The rep was helpful and forthcoming with pricing, including higher tier rates for rewards and keyed in cards, and replied promptly to follow-up emails. TSYS notes that its representatives are in-house, healthcare-trained and U.S.-based.
TSYS's online resources include articles, white papers, an annual U.S. Consumer Payment Study, and information on its processing and data security solutions. The website is searchable but lacks some of the self-help resources its competitors provide, such as how-to guides to help you resolve issues on your own. The company has a YouTube account with several informational videos, but there aren't many tutorials.
Although TSYS Merchant Solutions offers competitive rates, charges few fees and is a reliable credit card processor for professional service providers, specifically those in the healthcare industry, there are some things to think about before you decide if TSYS is the right payment processor for you. Consider the following:
- This processor doesn't post its rates, fees or equipment pricing online, so you must call the company for a price quote. Although this is fairly common among full-service credit card processing companies, since they prefer to customize your pricing quote, it's inconvenient for busy merchants who prefer to find this information online.
- TSYS's standard contract has a three-year term that automatically renews and has an early termination fee. The rep we spoke with told us that for businesses in the medical industry, there's no cancellation fee. However, you want to make sure you read the contract to ensure that this change is reflected in the contract or that you receive a written waiver so there's no unpleasant surprises if you decide to close your account.
- Equipment leasing is available, and the contract is noncancelable and nontransferable, which means that even if you close or sell your business and return the equipment, you're still required to pay your monthly leasing fees. Leasing is almost never a good deal; you can avoid the leasing contract by purchasing your processing equipment upfront.
- TSYS offers some very inexpensive processing equipment options, like a $1 card swiper and a $99 USB card reader, but they aren't EMV-compliant, leaving you open to liability for counterfeit fraud. Although the low cost makes these options attractive, you should choose an EMV-compliant card reader.
- Customer service may not be immediately available; if your experience is like ours, you'll need to leave a message and wait for a rep to call you back.
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