How Contactless and Digital Payments Improve the Patient Experience


Spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, contactless and digital payment systems are a useful tool when improving the overall patient experience at your practice.

How Contactless and Digital Payments Improve the Patient Experience

How Contactless and Digital Payments Improve the Patient Experience. Photo courtesy of HBS/

The COVID-19 health crisis was stressful for dental practices, forcing providers to examine and implement procedures that deliver safe and healthy interactions between staff and patients. Offices turned to personal protective equipment (PPE), air filtration systems, increased sanitation, and temperature checks to build trust with patients and to help keep them safe from contact with the virus.

The pandemic also transformed the ways that consumers pay, influenced by the rapid adoption of digital and contactless payment methods in shops, grocery stores, restaurants, and service segments. As a result, patients—especially Millennials and GenZers—expect similar digital-first experiences in how they pay for healthcare and are increasingly demanding better experiences aligned with their preferences.

In this article, I’ll share insights about 3 key areas of payment acceptance that allow patients and staff to have a positive experience while streamlining billing and operations:

  • How to accept quick and stress-free in-person payments
  • How to implement efficient and secure remote payments
  • How to save time, improve cash flow, and boost productivity

You’ll learn how modern, secure, cloud-connected technology will have doctors, staff and patients smiling in no time.

Healthy Payment Acceptance Practices

Use of contactless payments soared across every shopping experience as people avoided cash and opted to pay with the simple tap of their credit card, debit card, or the mobile wallet app on their smartphone or wearable. In 2020, in-person mobile payments grew by 29% according to research firm eMarketer, and this trendline will accelerate as consumers add gift cards, loyalty cards, membership IDs, and soon drivers licenses to the items carried in their digital wallets.

Mailing invoices and waiting for payments to come in is inefficient especially when a balance is due following insurance reimbursement. Forward-thinking practice managers are implementing safe and easy remote payment methods that help improve cash flow by replacing traditional paper-based invoicing with on-demand remittance. Consider adopting convenient remote methods that remove the friction of tracking down payments and help you get paid faster.

Dental offices develop long-term—often multi-generational—relationships with families in their communities by being a trusted provider of essential services. Many practices offer financing options; however, procedures such as orthodontics, implants, and cosmetic surgery are expensive and likely not covered by plans such as government insurance. Denying service to long-term patients who are financially struggling can further put them in harm’s way and result in a loss of their business.

We recently worked with New York Family Dentistry to help them securely store customer and card details in the cloud, which streamlines the management of recurring payments. Staff can easily set up customer profiles and payment plans during the initial visit, and our system automatically processes future payments according to a schedule.

Success Story: “Procedures like Invisalign or implants are costly, so having the ability to easily set up a recurring payment plan and charge payments when due saves time, improves cash flow and reduces write-offs for unpaid balances.”
Sabrina Harrison, Director of People + Projects at New York Family Dentistry

Productivity Tools That Keep Staff Smiling

The pandemic also highlighted vulnerabilities in managing front-office and back-office operations, especially with some staff working remotely. On-site, paper-based, manual processes are time-consuming and inefficient and can lead to costly mistakes, particularly for multi-location practices.

Productivity-boosting solutions can streamline processes related to managing patient payments. Upgrading to a cloud-connected payment solution allows staff more time to focus on tasks that extend a better patient experience. Going digital can improve your front-office management practices by pairing a cloud-connected portal with a payment terminal. Lastly, integrating payments with your Practice Management System eliminates double entry and consolidates patient data.

As technology changes the way we make payments, it has become increasingly important to keep up with the demands of the time. After all, a happy patient will return and investing in technology in the practice will pay for itself.

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