We, as consumers, have long had the ability to purchase goods and services in instalments. Whether buying Christmas gifts at Kmart on lay-by or bringing home that latest television set on a store-card, most of us have been exposed to instalment-based purchases at one time or the other. However, recent years have seen a massive change in this landscape; enter electronic instalment payment arrangements commonly known as Buy Now Pay Later(BNPL). Although the Australian consumer market was initially sceptical of BNPL schemes, the exponential growth of this sector in recent years has firmly indicated that it is here to stay.
How can you make use of this new technology to grow your practice? The answer lies in understanding the potential benefits BNPL can add to your practice growth strategy. This article looks at five main benefits to help you make the most of this new business tool.
1. Attract new patients
Having a BNPL option in your payment method portfolio increases the chances of attracting new patients. Patients who did not consider going to the dentist in fear of a large lump sum of out-of-pocket fee can now reassess their options. Anew patient is likely to choose your practice over your competitors because you have flexible payment options.
2. Reduce Debtors
Traditionally, patients who could not afford the full payment on the day agreed to pay later, thus causing practice staff to follow up on those debts with reminders and phone calls. Even if a patient entered an instalment plan arrangement with the practice, it meant the practice was carrying the debt until the instalment plan was complete. BNPL allows you to receive the payment upfront meaning that the burden of carrying patient debts is no longer yours.
3. Increase Treatment Plan Acceptance
Incomplete treatments are often an unrealised potential gold mine that every practice sits on. No matter how good your patient education systems and treatment presentation methods, treatment plan acceptance ultimately comes down to affordability. Offering BNPL options to patients takes the immediate affordability factor off the table, allowing them to make informed decisions wholly based on the clinical merits of the treatment.
4. Increase Average Treatment Value
With the immediate affordability factor removed from the equation, patients can now decide on the best course of treatment for their dental needs with your guidance. A patient who would have previously opted for an extraction due to their bank balance may now consider a root canal and a crown that they will pay off with flexible payment options. As dental services providers, you can now confidently bring all available treatment options to the patient’s attention and recommend the most suitable course.
5. Increase cash flow
All the benefits combined above means your cashflow will dramatically improve. Thanks to the concept of time value of money, the funds deposited into your account today will be worth much more than the same amount of funds paid to you sometime in the future. Less debt will also mean you will be able to reduce your administration overheads following up debtors.
With the above benefits in mind, you should now be able to select the best BNPL provider for you and grow your practice while increasing your cashflow. As with any business activity, your instinct and discretion are your best tools in guiding you when choosing which patients to offer BNPL payment options.
Want to offer interest-free payment options to your patients? Click here to find out more about National Dental Plan.
About the Author
Sean Perera joined Centaur Software in 2021 as the Product Manager for Dental4Windows and brings with him 17 years of dental technology experience in both small business and enterprise dental arenas. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from RMIT University and a Master of Business Administration from Swinburne University.
Sean is a passionate data analyst who loves everything data. Outside work, Sean spends all his time doting on his little daughter Amelia.