Healthcare professionals can sometimes have a tough time attracting and retaining patients. Lots of people get nervous about going to the doctor out of fear of being poked and prodded or due to the (untrue) assumption that medical professionals are bearers of bad news.
But there’s another factor that just might take the cake: poor patient experience. When people are ill, the last thing they want to do is get out of bed, let alone deal with time-consuming admin and payment procedures. As a healthcare professional, it would be in your best interest to make sure your payment protocols are as streamlined as possible for patients.
If you’re thinking about adopting a smoother payment system for patients, keep reading because we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about choosing your perfect fit!
Why do healthcare professionals need digital payment solutions?
Giving patients payment options is crucial for all healthcare providers because it encourages timely payments and helps to improve your cash flow. While it’s important to remember the role of medical aid schemes in healthcare, it’s equally as important to keep in mind out-of-pocket payments that do crop up every now and then. Patients signed up to a medical aid scheme will still need to pay a healthcare provider directly in certain instances, such as the following:
- Services not covered by medical aid
- Policy limits
While cash still reigns king in a number of industries, healthcare is increasingly moving away from cash and adopting digital payment solutions. Further driven by the pandemic, contactless payment methods such as digital wallets, QR codes and payment links have also grown in popularity and are exceptionally important in the healthcare industry, in particular.
Cash is considered easy and fuss-free, but there are several reasons why healthcare professionals prefer to be paid digitally - and why patients share the same sentiment. For starters, the risks associated with carrying large sums of cash are just not worth the hassle. Additionally, you could end up having to fork out much more money when you consider the costs of withdrawing and depositing cash and other sneaky bank charges.
Having the right digital payment solution in place can be the difference between having a constant stream of patients and a practice with only the sound of tumbleweeds to keep you company. The key to enhancing your patient database is signing up with a reliable and reputable merchant service provider.
Finding your perfect payment solution
The healthcare industry is quite broad and encompasses several different types of specialities and varied organisation sizes, so there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. However, there are some crucial features of payment solutions that almost all healthcare professionals would appreciate, such as the following.
Healthcare providers have much more sensitive data to secure than most businesses. Patients are required to share very personal and sensitive information with their medical providers in order to receive the best possible care. This can include medical records, laboratory tests, and financial information.
Nowadays, there’s a great deal of focus on modern features such as end-to-end encryption, credit card tokenisation and hosted payment pages. The payment solution you opt for needs to offer state-of-the-art protection that’ll secure your patients’ information and help you build trust.
2. Remote payments
In recent years, there has been a rise in virtual consultations, which means that healthcare professionals also need to adopt remote payment solutions in the form of virtual terminals or even websites linked to a payment gateway, just like how ecommerce businesses operate.
Another remote payment method is the nifty payment link, like iK Pay Link. With iK Pay Link, you can simply create a secure link on the free iKhokha app, share it with the person you’re requesting money from on any social media or messaging platform, and sit back and relax while you wait for your money to hit your account!
3. Hardware and POS
In terms of the device itself, think about what your ideal machine would look like and what features it would have. Would you like it to be a portable card machine or one that’s plugged in permanently? Perhaps a sleek tablet mobile processing option?
Think about what would work best for your office requirements, what’s simple to operate and what would help your staff streamline processes and reduce backlogs.
There are tons of other cool features to look out for, like the ones you can find in iKhokha card machines. These include WiFi connectivity, a built-in receipt printer, all-day battery life and VAT auto-calculation functionality.
As with any business expense, you have to consider what’s budget-friendly at the end of the day. Think about whether the solution you’re considering is going to be worth the cost and actually help your organisation improve the patient experience while supporting smooth-running systems and processes.
Remember that if you’re looking into card machines, the cost factor doesn’t only apply to the actual device, but also to transactional costs charged for every transaction you perform using it. Be sure to weigh your options to avoid any surprises after investing in your payment solutions.
5. Customer service
When considering your payment solution options, make sure you have a look at reviews to get an idea of the quality of customer service you can expect. It can be quite frustrating when you’re dealing with a faulty device or other challenges that prevent it from working at its best, and you don’t want to be left in the lurch when you require help from a support team. So, it’s good to hear about other users’ experiences first before signing up.
HelloPeter is the ideal platform for all things customer service related in South Africa. Users review their experiences dealing with companies based on how long it took to receive a response and whether the assistance received was helpful.
Ready to reap the benefits of technology in your healthcare practice?
Having the right technology in place is the key to taking your organisation to the next level in terms of both patient happiness and revenue. If you’re a healthcare provider looking for a sleek, functional, and affordable card machine to take your practice to the next level, check out the iK Shop!