Good news about Square

photo: Capsun Poe cc

photo: Capsun Poe cc

Good news!

I don’t generally have the pleasure of sharing ‘happy news’ on this blog, so I’m really pleased that today’s post is an exception.  In the last year or two, many therapists, myself included, stopped using Square for credit card processing because of privacy, ethical and HIPAA concerns. Recently, though, Square has made several important changes that shape their service into a safer, more attractive credit card processor for therapists.

Concern #1:  BAAs. Square provides services beyond ‘basic financial transactions,’ which meant that Covered Entities would need a Business Associate’s Agreement with them, and they didn’t offer it in the past.  Now?  It is standard in all contracts.  You don’t have to do anything to get it, either, it’s already loaded in your (old, or current) account.

Concern #2:  Automatic receipts.  In the past, Square would occasionally send receipts to clients automatically.  Worse, if your client shared a credit card with someone (ie, spouse) there was a potential that the receipts might be sent to them. Now? You can ask Square to turn off automatic receipts.  Just email their customer service.

Concern #3:  Reviews.  Square’s “Rate this business” function crosses an ethical line for therapists (ie, solicitation of testimonials.)  Now?  If you are classified in their system as a medical practitioner (which you would want to be so that you could take HSA cards), the review system should be turned off automatically for your account.  Notice I said “should,” though–I’d recommend emailing the Square customer support line to confirm that it actually is turned off.  (Rob Reinhardt reports that he’s heard from therapists who were classified as medical practitioners but discovered that their reviews & automatic receipts were not turned off.)

So if you’ve been using a competing company and missing the simplicity of Square (like I was,) or perhaps you’ve just kept using Square and not felt great about it–rest easy.  Square has listened to our concerns and made some really helpful changes.  Do double-check with customer service that all the right switches are turned off for your account, and then process on!