If you run a clinic in the healthcare industry, then you should seriously consider ensuring that you can receive contactless payments. There are a number of important reasons for this, and the implications are probably more far-reaching than you realize.
There are many different ways that you can fulfill this requirement for contactless payment processing. This might involve using an NFC card reader for instance so that your customers can pay in-store, it might involve setting up direct debits or wire transfers, or it might mean providing a way for your customers and clients to pay online through a website.
We will look at all these solutions and why they are so important in this post.
Why Contactless Payments Matter
Why do contactless payments matter? Surely, as long as your customers can pay, you can serve them… right?
Firstly: receiving contactless payments is actually much more hygienic. This is something that we maybe didn’t give much thought to until recently: but the recent outbreak of COVID-19 has brought it to everyone’s attention. If you are wearing gloves to try and avoid the transmission of disease, then you will find it hard to remove a card and enter a chip and pin. Being able to pay in a contactless fashion speeds up the transaction, while also meaning that no one has to make contact with the chip and pin device, the card, or any cash.
This is especially important in a healthcare clinic. Whether you are a physician or a dental practice, there is a higher chance for the spread of disease and your job is to maintain a sterile environment. Even before coronavirus was a thing then, providing contactless payment was important.
Contactless payments also improve turnover, allowing more people to be served more quickly. This can, in turn, allows you to see more patients in a day. While this is a more pressing concern for grocers and other stores, it can actually make a significant difference for any clinic that has large queues waiting to sign in.
Of course, it’s also possible that some people may only have access to contactless payments! This might seem surprising, but it is increasingly common for people to leave the home without a wallet – seeing as their mobile phone or their watch can often handle payments. Just as there came a time when every company needed to adapt by offering chip and pin services (seeing as fewer people were carrying cash) it is now time for every company to adopt wireless transactions.
This is why being able to accept payment online or via wireless transfer is also very important. When you
Then there’s the issue of not excluding your customers. Being able to accept as many different payment methods as possible is what will allow you to deal with people from all walks of life. This is especially important in the healthcare industry.
How to Avoid Excluding Patients and Clients
If you run a business then it doesn’t make sense to prevent people from giving you money. Yet while that might seem like pretty obvious straight forward advice, this is something that companies are regularly doing on a daily basis by making it difficult for certain people to use their services or buy their products. In fact, there’s a good chance that at some point someone will have tried to pay for one of your products or services, and then for whatever reason found themselves unable to.
This is especially likely in the healthcare industry. That’s because you will be dealing with people from all walks of life and people who in many cases may be less mobile and able than others. That includes the elderly, the disabled, and those who are too sick to pay through conventional means.
There are lots of different payment methods available today, but most of us do not have access to all of them. As such if you were to only accept one or a few forms then you might end up having to essentially refuse payment from some of your hopeful customers. In a store the classic way this happens is when a store doesn’t accept card payments – this puts off a large proportion of their potential customers and probably costs them much more than the cost of setting up a chip and pin machine.
But even not accepting contactless payments can be serious here: think about the elderly who may be suffering from arthritis or someone in a wheelchair who struggles to stand up. Offering a contactless NFC payment can be game-changing here. Likewise, being able to take payments online or over the phone means they can pay from home and not worry about it when they come in.
And it’s easy to forget that not everyone has the internet still. If you have an online booking system this can be extremely useful for getting the maximum number of patients. However, if you are inflexible with that system, you can easily risk losing out on business seeing as many people won’t be able to access the web and won’t be able to see your website. Make sure that you accept orders over the phone and consider advertising in some other places such as print media and/or radio.
Likewise, think about making sure that your website is accessible. That means using large fonts, it means supporting every type of device, and it means having large, touch-friendly buttons for your visitors to interface with.
All this makes a huge difference to the number of people who can use your business, but also to the ease with which they can do so.
The aim then is to provide the widest range of payment processing options as you can, while making as many of these quick and contactless as possible.
To do this, it is a good idea to use the right software. MedicalCRM is a contact relationship management system that will not only keep your customer data secure, but also handle processes like emailing, billing, and more.
Having a contactless payment method available in your clinic is a great option. We’ve already seen how this can help you to encourage rapid turnaround and also cater to a wider number of patients. This is hygienic, fast, and efficient. It also makes your business appear more forward-facing.
These systems work using NFC. That stands for “Near Field Communication” and means that your customers will be able to pay using their contactless card, or even a smartwatch or phone!
MedicalCRM makes it very easy for you to integrate your card payments into your business. This means that your merchant account and your scheduling software will all be updated once the transaction has been handled, making it easier for you to chase up missing payments, generate invoices, and more.
Online payment makes it simple for a lot of people to make bookings and pay for them upfront from the comfort of their home. This streamlines their experience in your clinic, helping to create a more positive and relaxing experience for them. This improves the customer journey and can even lead to more positive reviews and testimonies!
Ultimately, it also provides a great option for quickly integrating your appointments, billing, and marketing. MedicalCRM handles it all and lets you add secure payments to your website that will handle the entire transaction. All you need to do is provide advice and treatment!
Being able to accept payments directly over the phone, or begin able to allow customers to set themselves up themselves, provides a level of flexibility that might otherwise be missing. This can be extremely useful for those customers that are unable to come in, but that perhaps don’t have access to the web for payment. It can also be useful for sorting out issues with missing payments and more.
By covering these three contactless solutions, you can ensure your business is able to continue taking orders in any scenario, no matter who comes in through your door!
It is highly important that you ensure your payment processing is also secure and safe no matter which of these options you use. That means maintaining PCI DSS compliance, which is built into MedicalCRM by default. That means that our system is automatically able to meet and exceed the stringent guidelines that were set out by the leading payment companies themselves.
This is extremely important, not only as your duty to the customer but also as a smart business decision. Heartland Payment only recently incurred a massive 12.5USD fine for failing to comply with these standards. The same thing happened to Enron which paid out 225 million USD, and Sony that lost 24 billion for losing vulnerable customer payment information.
This is something that every business – especially those in a healthcare setting – should be taken extremely seriously.
If you want to learn more about the process and how to get started with your own payment system, check out MedicalCRM here.