How Vets Can Help Pet Parents Pay for Unexpected Costs
Most pet parents are caught off guard when their pet gets sick. Even with pet insurance, a larger health issue can cost them thousands.
So how can veterinarians help their clients pay for care, without putting their practice at risk?
Many traditional care financing options come with downsides for providers. But now there’s also a promising alternative financing option for vets that you should know about.
Helping Patients Through Difficult Times
According to a 2013 Federal Reserve Board survey, more than 47% of Americans would struggle to find even $400 in an emergency. Despite slight improvements over the years, a recent Bankrate survey found that nearly 4 in 10 Americans would have to borrow money to front a $1,000 emergency bill.
Of course, the 2020 pandemic only added to these financial woes. A CNBC survey found that more than 14% of Americans have now exhausted their emergency savings.
Given all that, it makes sense that pet owners are looking for alternative payment options and pet care financing. According to Google search data from Keywords Everywhere, the term “vets that accept payment plans near me” currently nets over 1,000 searches per month, with “emergency vet care no money” landing at least 880 searches monthly.
Traditional Pet Care Financing
In the past, vets have only had the following 3 options to offer cash-strapped clients:
- In-house payment plans from their practice
- Referrals to third-party banks and lenders
- CareCredit and other forms of healthcare credit
While these options can work for some, the truth is that they all come with complications for vets. Particularly in-house payment plans, which many veterinarians try to avoid.
Why Do Vets Avoid In-House Payment Plans?
There are many reasons vets don’t like in-house payment plans. For one thing, they force you to act as a banker for your clients (and chase down late payers.) That eats up a lot of time that could be spent building your practice.
For another, vets maintain many different services under the same roof, ranging from radiology to dentistry. Cash flow is a constant concern. When your clients don’t pay on time, your practice absorbs the shock more than it would at the average practice for humans.
What About CareCredit?
CareCredit has been a giant in the healthcare and veterinary financing world for years now. But although some clients like it, many others are wary of opening a new line of credit just for healthcare bills. Those with average credit scores may not be able to open up a new credit card at all.
Here are a few things to keep in mind about CareCredit:
- It’s expensive for clients. For clients with tight budgets, the cost of CareCredit may just be too much. The standard interest rate is 26.99%.
- It’s expensive for providers, too. For every transaction through CareCredit, service providers will pay anywhere from 15% to 39%. That can make it difficult to accept this payment option.
- The odd of approval vary. Even when clients are okay with the high APR, there’s also the problem of credit denials. Only those with credit scores over 620 can expect approvals.
An Alternative Financing Option for Vets
Thanks to innovations in the financial tech world, however, you don’t have to watch struggling clients walk out the door anymore. According to one study, more than 55% of consumers have now used a “Buy Now, Pay Later” style installment plan, up from 50% last year. That same payment method can make it easier for pet parents to make low monthly payments on services.
QuickFee recently introduced a revolutionary product in this market. It’s called QuickFee Installments (QFI) and it’s designed to help service providers reach more of the people who need them.
Using smart pre-authorization technology, QuickFee Installments splits your client’s bill into interest-free monthly payments. Your client only has to pay the first installment on Day 1. Meanwhile, you receive the full payment within 2 business days.
Key benefits to using QuickFee Installments at your practice:
- It’s free to offer. Vets who provide QFI pay nothing – there are no membership fees. When a client chooses a payment plan, it will only cost you 4.99% of their total bill.
- No credit applications. QuickFee Installments allows your client to take advantage of their available credit limit. That means they can skip the application process and avoid rejections. Clients can also earn points and rewards from their favorite programs.
- The setup couldn’t be simpler. It takes about 2 minutes to sign up for a membership. Then you’ll receive a custom payment link that you can display on emails or at point-of-sale (Pro-tip: Many of our merchants will use a QR code for easy scanning!)
In these tough times, it’s especially important to give your clients the flexibility they need when emergency strikes. QuickFee is committed to helping you do that with a range of payment solutions built for service providers.
Want to learn more about our payment products? Contact our team today for a quick demo!