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18 November 2011

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We run a surgery travel clinic. Recently more patients want to pay by credit card. What are the costs involved for setting up this facility?

Question in full:

We run a thriving travel clinic at the surgery. Recently we noticed that more patients want to pay by credit or debit card and not by cheque, as in the past, but we do not have the facility to take these payments like a retailer. What are the costs involved and is there a minimum level of transactions each month?


Accepting payments via debit or credit card is simple and easy to do. All it involves is the installing of a machine that uses your existing telephone lines (mobile machines are also available), which then downloads every evening and sends one total payment to your bank account.

Costs vary depending on providers but, as a rule of thumb, the machines cost around £20 per month to rent. Credit-card payments are around 3% of transaction value, with debit cards roughly 30p per transaction – make sure you negotiate well.

There is no minimum volume of payments required; it is the overall cost-effectiveness that needs to be taken into consideration. Other benefits include certainty of payment and cleared funds within two business days if the provider is your own bank or three days if the provider is not linked to your bank. In the first instance, speak to your Relationship Manager who will effect an introduction to the right people.