Contactless payment preferences have grown exponentially over the past few years. Not only do consumers rely on these touch-free payment methods, but they also prefer digital and mobile banking. However, this large digital shift has left older generations in the shadows –those who are not so quick to adopt these technologies.
When determining patient financial engagement strategies for the future, it’s critical for healthcare organizations to not only consider the payment and billing preferences of patients but also, to take into account the generational groups their patients represent. Taking the time to market payment options appropriately could mean getting patient revenue in the door much faster than before.
Payment Preferences by Generation
Unsurprisingly, there are key differences between generations when it comes to payment preferences and expectations. However, it is important to note that preferences are not completely distinct from one generation to another, and preferences do overlap across age groups.
For example, despite widespread adoption of contactless payment options, security remains a primary concern for consumers across the board. A recent FIS global study showed that 60% of respondents across generations see contactless payments to be easy and convenient. However, a closer look at the generations reveals:
- Millennials are the most open to new payment methods (64% vs. 44% of Baby Boomers)
- Gen X is the most security-conscious
Over half of the respondents in this study expect that secure payment practices are being demonstrated in order for them to confidently use contactless or mobile wallets for a transaction.
When it comes to payment methods and adoption, millennials use the widest range of alternate payment methods and are also the most likely to continue using these methods in the coming years. Alternatively, baby boomers use the least number of alternative payment methods. The study also showed that Gen X and baby boomers tend to be more skeptical about paying by voice or via subscription. In fact, less than 1% of baby boomer respondents used a voice payment option.
While many assume that baby boomers are set in their ways and only use cash to pay, this generation prefers credit cards more than any other age group. Gen X tends to be the most reluctant and skeptical when it comes to payments, with their biggest fear centered around identity theft and card fraud.
Best Practices for Improving Collection Rates Across Generational Groups
By adjusting your patient payment strategies based on generational preferences, your organization has the opportunity to see significant improvements in patient satisfaction and collection rates.
- Communication – Take the time to understand each patient’s communication preferences. This could include text messages, emails, and patient portal notifications. In many cases, patients prefer more than one option.
- Education – If your organization is making the switch from paper billing via mail to electronic billing, or you are wanting more patients to adopt digital methods of payment, then it is crucial to provide ample education about such transitions. Oftentimes, patients simply want more information before they commit to a change.
- Safety and Security – Issues around payment security are one of the top reasons consumers are hesitant to adopt digital and contactless payment methods. For this reason, it’s crucial to inform your patients of your security measures. Being fully compliant with both PCI DSS and HIPAA regulations will keep your patients’ payment data and PHI safe and secure.
A Patient Payment Solution that Drives Results
Offering a simplified patient financial experience is important now more than ever. HealthPay24’s patient payment solution enables providers to build trust and loyalty early in the customer journey, creating peace of mind for consumers. Meeting patients across all generations with flexible payment options that fit their lifestyle is a key component to getting revenue in the door faster.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can enhance the consumer financial experience in your healthcare organization.