The Rise of 'Buy Now, Pay Later'
The outbreak of COVID-19 has been an unprecedented shock for social and economic life globally.
As the global community tries to stay healthy and cope with shutdowns imposed by their governments, it is still unclear what the long-term implications of COVID-19 will be for the dental industry.
One apparent impact of COVID-19 is a paradigm shift in the way people pay for goods and services. Not only is the physical transaction required to be safe and ‘clean’, but the offering of flexible payment options has also become a customer expectation. The combination of reduced income and the need for often expensive essential services, such as dental procedures, means the availability of alternative payment solutions will play a crucial role in a patient’s decision-making process in life beyond the COVID-19 crisis. Financially astute people want to manage their cash flows smartly, across all essential parts of their life: their health and the wellbeing of their families (including their pets), investments in their home, mobility and education.
The payment option ‘Buy now, pay later’ is offered by partners like Openpay. With Openpay, patients can arrange flexible payment plans of up to $10,000 and for up to 18 months. Openpay’s ‘Buy now, pay smarter’ product requires customers to pay a fee for plan management and set-up on high-value purchases, but is always interest-free. In 2020, the average transaction value for dental practices offering Openpay is $1,792.
‘Buy now, pay later’ payment providers may emerge from COVID-19 as the partners of choice by patients who need to manage their budgets and keep control of their health. This trend is likely to continue and accelerate post COVID-19, and its aftermath is a strong opportunity for the dental industry to proactively take the lead to redefine and deliver new ways to pay.