How Contactless Payments are Redefining Patient Experience in Healthcare

As hospitals, doctors, surgeries, and even local pharmacies adopt contactless payment machines, we come one step closer to streamlining the patient experience. The benefits being offered by contactless payment are unparalleled.

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Digitalization continues to transform the healthcare industry. However, when it comes to settling up for your trip to the doctor’s office, could healthcare digitization also affect how we pay for treatment? 

As we welcome more digital payment methods than ever before into the healthcare industry, it has never been easier to settle a bill, make pharmacy payments on the go, and avoid large-scale cash transactions. 

This is all thanks to the introduction of contactless payments. As hospitals, doctors, surgeries, and even local pharmacies adopt contactless payment machines, we come one step closer to streamlining the patient experience. 

With this in mind, let’s understand how contactless payments redefine the patient experience in 2024.

Speedy Payment Processing

The most obvious reason the healthcare industry favors contactless payments is that they significantly reduce the time it takes to complete a transaction.

This allows for faster payments and frees up employees to focus on patient care rather than lengthy administrative tasks such as processing and recording large cash payments.

In fact, some hospitals are now introducing payment kiosks that facilitate a self-serve payment process. This enables all staff members to focus on providing excellent in-patient care while the checkout process is fuss-free. 

Improved Payment Flexibility

Gone are the days of cash payments only. Contactless payment systems allow customers to choose from a number of payment options, including credit/debit cards and even payment devices such as smartphones or wearables.

This is perfect for tech-savvy patients who prefer to tap on the go rather than carry around numerous forms of payment cards and/or cash. 

Bolstering Patient Safety

Contactless payments are exactly as they are described: Contactless. In a post-Covid healthcare setting, reducing physical interaction minimizes the risk of spreading germs and catching infections, which is crucial in a hospital or doctor’s office. 

Using a mobile wallet such as Google or Apple Pay makes it easy for patients to pay their medical bills without touching a credit card or cash terminal. 

This is a game-changer for immunocompromised patients who frequent hospital environments and instantly improves their safety in a healthcare setting. 

Enhanced Billing Accuracy

Digital transactions are less likely to be affected by human errors, such as miscounting and mistakes during the manual billing process. 

Constantless payments allow for swift transactions that are electronically recorded. This ensures that all billing is accurate, and the data can be used to aid patients in disputing future charges and paying future bills. 

(Image Source: Flickr)

For example, the Mayo Clinic uses a smart POS system that automatically syncs all contactless payments with a patient’s electronic health records for accurate documentation and a record of historical payments.   

Telehealth Support

Telehealth services are on the rise. These refer to healthcare services that you can access via a smartphone or desktop device. Whether you want to view your blood test results or talk to a remote GP, telehealth is revolutionizing a digital healthcare system.

Contactless payments take this to the next level. Patients can now pay for consultations, treatments, and much more, all within a telehealth platform. 

Better still, physical contactless payments made in person are also shown on telehealth apps, making it simple for patients to track exactly how much they have paid and what they still owe.

Enhanced Patient Privacy

Patient privacy is essential, and this extends to any payment data collected when settling healthcare bills. 

Contactless payment methods are not only end-to-end encrypted, but they don’t require any other personal information to be shared at the point of sale. 

Better still, modern POS systems are regularly updated with the latest security features and antivirus software that protects any payment data from potential cyber breaches. 

No Administrative Costs

Contactless payment systems help healthcare providers save money on manual bill processing and the time spent on inputting data from paper-based transactions. 

This lower overhead is reflected in the reduction of patient administration fees, and excess saved funds can be redirected into improving the patient experience. 

Streamlined Check-In 

Contactless payments streamline the registration process for new patients.

Healthcare providers that integrate contactless payments within their digital check-in process allow patients to complete both their registration and their billing simultaneously, providing them with peace of mind as they begin treatments.

Healthcare insurance company Kaiser Permanente takes this one step further with its mobile app. 

(Image Source: Kaiser Permanente)

With the ability to pay bills online before even entering the hospital, it takes ‘contactless payments’ to the next level. 

Simplifying Recurring Payments

Many patients visiting a healthcare institution for chronic or ongoing conditions face regular payments as they check in and out of hospital clinics. 

Constantless payments and automatic billing can simplify recurring payments by allowing patients to schedule bill payments and access their payment plan via a patient portal. 

This saves them from queuing up at the desk post-treatment and makes for a more comfortable, fuss-free experience. 

Enhanced Patient Engagement

Last but not least, let’s discuss patient engagement. Integrating contactless payments with a patient portal or a mobile platform provides users with more opportunities to interact with their healthcare app and view their payment plan history and any upcoming billing.

Take the Johns Hopkins Medicine’s MyChart app, for example. This platform encourages its users to take a more active role in managing their healthcare billing.

(Image Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine

The MyChart app allows its users to automate their billing, view previous contactless payments, and even manage future appointments with their healthcare provider. This promotes a patient base that is well-informed about healthcare billing and engaged in charge of their treatments.  

A Streamlined Future

In the modern healthcare sector, we now enjoy virtual booking systems, AR-powered training, and smart machines that aim to automate the diagnostic process.

However, contactless payments will also significantly improve the patient experience as we embrace healthcare digitalization.

“Payments have an impact at every part of the healthcare ecosystem from patient care to complex business-to-business (B2B) relationships,” says Rob Abrams, Head of Payments Industry Solutions at J.P. Morgan. “Making payments faster, simpler, and more transparent can help the system work better for everyone involved.”

As healthcare providers work to make the billing process easier for their patients, we’re ready for a contactless future that prioritizes speedy and secure payments worldwide.

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