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Taking it to the Streets: How No-code Payments Integration® Saved Time and Money for DocTerra Mobile Veterinary Services

Taking it to the Streets: How No-code Payments Integration® Saved Time and Money for DocTerra Mobile Veterinary Services
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DocTerra Mobile Veterinary Services is a 24-foot all-mobile veterinary clinic in North Carolina. The clinic is equipped to provide the same veterinary care as a brick-and-mortar practice for all pets, large and small: dogs, cats, birds, turtles, rabbits, horses, farm animals, and even ostriches. The vet team drives to patients’ homes and farms for wellness checks, emergency care, surgery, dentistry work, lab tests and radiology. DocTerra uses Covetrus Pulse*, a cloud-based Veterinary Operating System, to manage their practice.

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Dr. Terra Stines Smith opened the clinic in 2018. It is truly a family business, with a 10-person staff that includes her husband, mom, dad, sister and brother. Tristan Blair, Terra’s sister, has been the practice manager since 2020 and is responsible for client communications, appointment scheduling, prescriptions, medical records, post-lab outreach and collecting payments.

In late 2023, PayJunction contacted Terra to discuss how our No-code Payments Integration® would benefit DocTerra. While initially hesitant about switching, Terra was so frustrated with their current integrated payments provider that she agreed to a demo. We showed how payments could be initiated without leaving Pulse* in minutes using our free browser-based solution. She’s never looked back. 

PayJunction is so much better. There’s no way I would return to the other provider.
Terra Stines Smith DVM

Read on to learn how DocTerra streamlined payment acceptance, saved time, received outstanding customer service and saved more than $200 monthly in processing fees.

Before: A Bumpy Road for Payments 

As in a traditional veterinary practice, DocTerra Mobile collects most payments in person, at the time of service. 

Veterinarians and Vet Techs run a client’s card on an integrated payment terminal and the information flows into Covetrus Pulse where it is securely stored with patient records.

Tristan collects patient payments over the phone, typically for prescriptions, lab work, or post-appointment charges.


Veterinarians and Vet Techs run a client’s card on an integrated payment terminal and the information flows into Covetrus Pulse where it is securely stored with patient records.

Tristan collects patient payments over the phone, typically for prescriptions, lab work, or post-appointment charges.

Every in-person transaction initiated on a terminal in the mobile clinic worked as promised. However, things came up short after that. Here are a few of the pain points Terra and Tristan shared with us as they described a “limited integration” with Pulse:

Taking phone payments - There was no way to capture and save card details in Pulse, so doing a recharge required playing “phone tag” with customers, wasting time and delaying cash flow. Once on the phone, Tristan had to log into the payment provider’s portal and manually enter the information. Next, she would log into Pulse and manually record the payment when the transaction was approved. Working across multiple tabs and double-keying payment details was inefficient and prone to keying errors.

Balancing the books - DocTerra’s external bookkeeper did not have access to the payment provider’s portal. Therefore, every month, Terra had to download and email transaction reports, which was an “annoying and time-consuming process.” 

Getting help - Terra and Tristan reported terrible customer service from the provider. Terra told us: “Getting help was very frustrating. We’d wait hours for a call back to help solve a problem. It was so impersonal. We felt like a number.” Often, they would be transferred multiple times during a call, requiring them to repeat the issue with each escalation.

During: On the Road to Recovery

The transition to PayJunction went smoothly. PayJunction’s implementation specialists interfaced with Pulse software with a few simple clicks by quickly mapping fields required to run a transaction, including amount, invoice number, and customer information. Then they instructed what to do post-approval, such as close out a one-time purchase, update customer records, or email a receipt.

The cloud-connected terminal setup was easy too. As Terra told us: “It was so streamlined and intuitive. The staff and I didn’t need much training.”

Terra called PayJunction’s support team when an issue arose regarding a transaction that exceeded the maximum threshold. The rep answered on the first ring and immediately fixed the issue, resulting in a great customer experience.

Tristan noticed that in some cases, the cardholder's name needed to be added to the customer record on file, making it difficult to recharge the card for a new transaction. The knowledgeable rep explained that contactless cards do not transmit the name or address field when a payment is made with a tap. Now, staff in the mobile clinic instruct customers to insert their cards the first time it’s being presented. Once captured, the information—along with the tokenized account details—is automatically stored in patient records, making future transactions frictionless.

After: A Smooth Ride Ahead

The streamlined integrated browser experience has benefitted everyone at DocTerra. Switching to PayJunction’s integrated payment processing is faster, delivers a better customer experience, and saves money.


Here’s how collecting payments is easier for Terra’s mobile vet team, Tristan, and the bookkeeper

On the road - The terminal automatically saves credit cards to recharge future transactions, which is convenient when wrestling with an agitated dog or goat. The mobile staff reports that the device is more dependable and easier to use than their prior system.

In the office - Tristan has experienced a noticeable improvement when processing Rx and lab payments. Everything is done within one tab and double-keying has been eliminated. “The browser extension automatically pulls in the invoice number and amount so I’m confident it’s correct,” she said

Card details - whether captured on a terminal or during a phone payment, are securely saved in patient records. This eliminates the back-and-forth of phone tags. Tristan easily pulls up the patient record and charges the card on file. DocTerra is paid faster and there are fewer outstanding balances. Terra estimates this saves 5-10 minutes per transaction

Closing the books - Reconciliation has also gotten easier. The bookkeeper can access PayJunction’s portal to view the clinic’s statements and reports. This is faster and more secure than downloading files and sending emails.


Getting Help

Terra and Tristan are amazed at how easy it is to reach someone for support. As Terra said: “We don’t have to punch 15 buttons on the phone or get transferred multiple times to speak to an expert. The service reps are all knowledgeable, and it’s a more personal experience. They understand time is essential.”

This was great to hear. It demonstrates that customers experience PayJunction’s core values in interactions with our teams. In this case, “Own It - Don’t pass the buck” and “Put People First - We do business with people, not companies.

Saving Money

DocTerra has reduced monthly transaction costs by more than $200! They’ve eliminated unnecessary fees such as “Processor Transaction Risk Fee,” “PCI Compliance Fee,” “Network and Processor Access Fee,” and “Safer Payment Fee”. Terra and Tristan love PayJunction’s transparent pricing. Terra told us: “As a business owner, I appreciate seeing the specific transaction fees deducted from my bank account. I know exactly what I was charged.”

Learn how No-code Payments Integration can help your business

* The use of No-code Payments Integration with a browser accessing Covetrus Pulse does not indicate any partnership or direct integration with Covetrus Pulse.

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PayJunction Team

Content written by the PayJunction team encompasses broad business topics including marketing, brick-and-mortar business operations and management.

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