Just the other day I was in a discussion with a dentist who was considering dropping American Express as a method of receiving payment from clients visiting his dental office.
He presented a reasonable case for not accepting American Express, or Amex cards, from his patients and customers as a means of settling for their dental treatment.
What is your office policy on American Express card usage by your patients?
I know that some dentists are not accepting American Express because the merchant fee for American Express is more than the merchant fee for Visa and MasterCard.
Let me tell you why this is such a wrong decision on so many levels:
Yes, sure, American Express
charges merchants a higher percentage rate for usage than do MasterCard and Visa card.
But how much higher is it, really?
The worst case that I’ve heard of, or the biggest difference between Visa and Amex, was only a small 2%….hardly worth worrying about, in the big scheme of things…
$20.00 in a $1000.00???
You’re Looking At This The Wrong Way Around…
So the thought of the masses, [i.e. most dentists], is that most people who offer up an Amex card also have a Visa Card, so it’s really no skin off their noses….
That’s the thought, and let me tell you, it’s the wrong way around.
[BTW… I personally always get out my Amex Card at every opportunity…]
So, as a big time Amex User, let me tell you, when a merchant doesn’t accept my Amex Card at all, or the merchant whacks me up to three percent for using my Amex, they are saying to me the following things by their actions, speech and thoughts.
Firstly, the Merchant is insulting me, by their actions. What they’re really saying is:
“We don’t want your dirty old Amex Card here”.
It’s about as offensive as saying:
“You’re not wearing *THAT* out with me, are you?”
Put simply, Mr. Merchant, you are offending me by rejecting my choice of payment.
Secondly, by preferring not to take my Amex, the Merchant is immediately placing a sign across his own forehead, across his shop, across his business, that says:
“I’m a cheapskate!!”
It says: “I’m mean.”
“I’m a tightwad”
As a merchant, you can’t see this sign. You don’t see this sign. But it’s there, popping up every time you discriminate against an Amex Card holder.
Thirdly, I bet, Mr. Merchant, that you haven’t even profiled what an Amex Card User is, have you?
Amex card owners and users pay a higher annual fee than other card owners…
More importantly, American Express is a Charge Card. Not a Credit Card. As a Charge Card, it’s a visual sign to you Mr. Merchant, that I, the Amex Card User, will be paying off my card balance in full, each month. It’s telling you, that I’m in control of my money. And I’ve got it. The money.
And it’s telling you, that because of this, there’s probably MORE money where that came from, just waiting for me to spend with you, if you hadn’t insulted me and my Amex in the first instance….
Did you think of that, Mr. Merchant? With Visa being a *credit* card, there’s a higher chance the Visa Card user is running an open unpaid balance, on their card…there’s a good chance that there is *less* cash around…
Fourthly, and finally, and most importantly, because of point three above, statistics will show that the average spend per Amex transaction will be greater than the average spend of Visa card or Master Card.
And that’s significant.
And what does that mean?
It means that you should be trying to attract MORE Amex users to your business. More people who spend more.
Instead, Mr. Tightwad, you are choosing to offend and drive away these valuable clients. These people with more cash, and more disposable income.
I read once, or heard the fact a long time ago, that businesses that had out and displayed those small triangular signs “Bankcard welcome”, even in not so prominent places, well those businesses were benefiting because the sign acted as a subliminal buying signal being transferred to the customer.
In the same way then, the converse would be true as well.
A sign displayed saying:
“We Welcome Your American Express Card”
will relax *all* customers. Resulting in higher average spending.
Not just for Amex Card holders. But across the board.
A visible sign saying that your business charges a percentage to Amex Users, or worse still, does not accept Amex at all, sends a message of meanness to *all* customers, not just Amex Users.
So don’t be mean. Don’t look mean. It’s costing you….
The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple easy to implement system I developed that allowed me to build an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.
Email me: david@theUPE.com
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