If you’re in Australia you’ve probably seen the sudden rise of a service called zipPay/zipMoney, and another called AfterPay. These are line of credit services for consumers to purchase products and services, including healthcare.

Obviously credit services aren’t new, there’s been companies like MediPlan around for many years. However, the ease of implementation for both your patients and your practice make these new players worth looking at.

How Does zipPay/zipMoney Work?

zipPay can be used for purchases up to $1000, and zipMoney for $1000-$3000. Their online platform essentially enables a client to purchase a product or service in advance without being forced to make an up-front payment.

Instead, zipMoney authorises funds to be transferred to the clinic immediately after authorisation has been granted. The client then makes regular monthly instalments; ideal if a specific treatment is needed and the funds would not otherwise be immediately available.

For some patients, it might even be possible to enjoy up to 24 months of interest-free payments. This will depend upon the clinic in question as well as the treatment being administered.

Streamlined Payment Options and a Greater Degree of Client Satisfaction

Convenience is the key benefit in terms of what this form of payment package has to offer. The same benefit of the streamlined approach applies directly to your practice.

The most obvious windfall is that patients are now able to afford appointments without having to worry about up-front costs. This makes it much more likely that they will contact the clinic and schedule a session.

If you currently allow patients to run a line of credit then your staff will no longer have to spend their time following up late payments. A lump sum is provided directly from the payment company. This allows your team to devote their time to other core practice functions like ensuring high-quality treatment options and engaging with the patients.  Plus there’s no issues with chargebacks. Once the money is paid to you, any followup falls to the credit provider.

The ultimate advantage of zipMoney involves the affordability of the services themselves. As patients will no longer have to turn down a procedure as a result of limited funds, and your treatment can now be seen as a much more affordable option.

Payment plans are clear and straightforward; providing the insight required for the client to make an informed decision. You’d expect that this will lead to higher patient retention and obviously, a more positive view of the clinic as a whole.

Downsides

From your point of view, there is a cost to use these services. zipPay charges a flat fee of 15c plus 2-4% of the amount. So on a $1000 purchase you’ll be paying somewhere between $20.15 to $40.15. AfterPay is higher with a flat fee of 30c and 4-6% commission. Both say the payment to you is immediate, however in practice that means that zipPay will pay you daily at 4pm, and AfterPay will pay you within 48hours.

From the patient’s point of view they pay a flat monthly fee instead of interest, the size of which depends on the provider. Most are paid by direct debit or credit card so if there’s missed payment there may be bank charges for the client.

Integration With Your Practice Software

For users of our iconpractice clinic software, to allocate a payment from either of these services you would simply need to assign an EFT payment to the patient’s account. Simple!

Other PMS services may differ and you’d need to check your provider.

A Growing Trend

In recent news, the parent company zipPay has purchased the Australian payment provider known as MediPlan. This consolidation in the market may turn out to be a good thing or may reduce competition.

Summary

So these services may be a benefit to your practice. The higher costs to you associated with the transactions may be offset by the increased turnover seen from more patients affording your services. The increased exposure these services are experiencing may create a wave that you can ride for increased exposure for your practice.

So, let us know, have you integrated these services in your practice? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.

 

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