The reasons your practice needs to begin taking online payments keep growing. More and more of your patients are accessing bill pay options online. Waiting to make online payments available to them will be seen as a failure to meet their expectations.
Below are some statistics from two years ago showing the amount of payments being made online. In the last two years these numbers have only grown.
- Approximately 8.2 billion bills—or 56 percent of all bills—are paid online via a biller, bank or third-party website.
- Nearly three quarters (72%) of online bill payments are made on a billers’ websites, growing 18 percent since 2010.
- Only 32 percent of bills are set up on a recurring basis and the remaining 68 percent are made as one-time payments.
If you’ve thought about adding online payments to your website but just get confused when considering the options; here are a few places to start.
- Check with your practice management system vendor. Many practice management systems have integrated online portals that allow you to take payments from your website or their hosted page. The downside is that integrated systems often charge a premium for transactions and give few options.
- Check into authorize.net or similar gateway that may hook up to your existing merchant account. There are many vendors who have online gateways that may integrate with your payment processor. There are likely additional fees so be careful to chose wisely.
- Check with your payment processor. Your present merchant services provider may have a ready-to-go solution. If you are happy with them, why not give them a chance.
- Check into a stand alone solution like Easy Pay. Find a vendor with a virtual terminal and online portal that can be set up on any website. You’ll have the terminal to use in your practice and an online portal for your patients. Be careful to make sure the reporting all goes to one place to make the accounting simple.
What ever solution you find, your patients will need to be informed and instructed how to use it. While you are shopping, think about how you will implement the solution and inform your patients. Pay special attention to how you will direct them to the portal and what incentives you can give them to use it for payment.
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