Help : Choosing an Integrated Merchant Services Partner

MD HQ has integrations with two merchant services partners: Stripe and Bluefin. These communicate with MD HQ via an API, meaning that once you set up your Stripe or Bluefin account and we connect to it, you continue to handle billing inside MD HQ, rather than having to go to an external website or application.

Each billing service has different strengths and drawbacks, and most of our clients find one that works better for their specific business needs.


Stripe has a simple billing structure and is a quick set-up for your practice. They charge per transaction with no monthly fee. At the moment, it is our only integrated merchant services product that supports subscription-based payments. Therefore, if your practice offers subscription-based services, we recommend using Stripe.

However, Stripe does not support any practice that sells supplements online. This generates a fraud alert in their system and they may suspend your account without warning (this can happen even though MD HQ is separate from the website/online storefront where the supplements are sold).

Stripe does not offer card readers for use in the office. For practices that process a lot of cards in office, this can be a limitation.


Bluefin is a traditional merchant services partner with a cost-plus billing setup (rate varies by type of card used, card present/not-present, etc.) that is typically quite competitive. Let us know if you want us to have Bluefin contact you to put together a personalized quote.

Bluefin will send a credit card swiper for use in the office, saving time from manual entry of credit card information and giving access to lower merchant services charges associated with swiped versus "card-not-present" transactions. So, for practices that process a lot of credit card payments in the office, we recommend using Bluefin.

Connecting to MD HQ

Once you have an account with Bluefin or Stripe, we need to access that account. For Stripe, we ask that you post the public and private API keys on a sticky note inside your EMR, then let us know by email so that we can go in and retrieve them. DO NOT send via email, as this is sensitive information and email is not secure. For Bluefin, they generally inform us of the necessary information, but you may post your API key on a sticky note inside your EMR when you receive it, then let us know by email, to be doubly sure that we get the necessary information.

Using a Non-Integrated Merchant Services Processor

You do not need to use one of our integrated merchant services providers. If you have a particularly amazing rate elsewhere, or otherwise prefer to continue to use a separate merchant services processor, you may do so. If you want to track charges and payments in MD HQ, using a separate merchant services processor would involve double-entry of this information into MD HQ and your chosen merchant services system. Using a separate merchant services processor also means that patients will not be able to pay their invoices or add a credit card via the MD HQ Patient Portal.