Richard Scarborough looks at the popularity of patient finance and how dental practices can benefit from offering it.
Plugging in to the spending habits of consumers can help to increase treatment uptake and grow your profits.
By paying attention to changing trends in how people choose to buy goods and spend their money in shops, you can make sure you provide the options that are most attractive to your patients.
The increase in online spending and the digital checkout has given point of sale financing greater accessibility. As consumers grow more accustomed to this way of paying, it becomes more relevant to dental practices.
There’s obviously differences between buying a new car and paying for something like implants or teeth straightening. Dentistry can have an impact on someone’s health or confidence. However, they all come with a price tag and are a transaction between provider and buyer.
So, given the potentially life-changing results of your services, it is worth ensuring you offer payment methods that are in line with your patients’ expectations. This will ensure that it isn’t a barrier to them saying yes.
Research shows that using credit and finance options remains a popular payment method. This is despite a slight dip recently amid the political uncertainty around Brexit.
Figures from June 2019 show that 91% of new car buyers paid on finance over the past 12 months.
Statistics from the British Retail Consortium revealed UK consumers spent more money on credit cards than cash last year. Credit and charge cards accounted for £81.9bn of retail sales in 2018. They were the second most popular form of payment, coming behind debit cards but ahead of cash. So, as a business that offers some fairly costly services, having an option for patient finance over several months could be the thing that allows them to go ahead with treatment.
And, of course, the more help you can give patients to go ahead with treatment, the more satisfied they will be. And, the more likely they will be to refer others to you – the better it is for your practice.
Patient finance options, such as those provided by Medenta, also offer other benefits to businesses. Things such as improved cash flow as the practice receives the full payment upfront from the lender rather than from the patient each time they attend appointments.
Ultimately, tuning in to the desires of your patients when it comes to preferred payment methods is just as important as understanding their treatment needs. Cost is a perceived barrier to treatment uptake. Finance removes that obstacle and provides a way forward. Which is good for both your patient and your business.