The age of social distancing, brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, has incentivized businesses to discover new ways to minimize the amount of human contact that goes on in their offices. These ways include having employees work from home, reducing the number of clients on site at a given time, and implementing curbside waiting rooms and wellness forms.

As businesses have attempted to set up proper social distancing, they’ve also had to maintain effective communication with customers. Consolidated lines of communication make it easier to call, text, and email clients in spite of social distancing protocol. It’s also important that businesses keep a personal touch in their communication by utilizing customer insights and scheduling software.

Social distancing after appointments is just as crucial as before and during client visits to your office. Much of the post-appointment conversation between administrative staff and customers involves handling payments. Depending on how your office deals with payments, you can simultaneously protect customers and staff from COVID-19 threats and optimize your existing payment platform.

In fact, optimizing your payments in the age of social distancing is synonymous with protecting people with contactless payment options. This blog post discusses how adding contactless payments, prioritizing them over credit cards, and using analytics are some of the best ways to improve your office’s payment processing in the new normal.

The statistics included in this article come from an independent survey commissioned by Weave this year to understand the payment preferences of 750 different healthcare providers and patients.

1.Adding Contactless Payments

The first step for accepting payments in the age of social distancing is adding a contactless payment. What is a contactless payment? A contactless payment is a payment method that doesn’t involve a physical exchange, such as traditional methods like cash, checks, and the swiping of credit cards.

Contactless payments can involve mobile wallets, which are offered through companies including Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung. They can also take place with a simple text message. At Weave, we refer to our text payment feature as Text to Pay.

The respondents in the survey recently commissioned by Weave had a lot to say about contactless payments. Let’s take a look at why both providers and patients want to use contactless payments.

Employees and Contactless Payments

Healthcare practices are finding that contactless payments are necessary if they want to set themselves apart on the market. 70% of the healthcare employees interviewed said contactless payments are now a competitive advantage. Those practices hoping to remain viable in the present and thrive in the future need Text to Pay.

High-growth practices are significantly more interested in contactless payments than low-growth practices. In the survey commissioned by Weave, high-growth practices were 40% more likely to say Text to Pay improves the patient experience. High-growth practices understand that contactless payments protect their customers and make their service more satisfactory.

The overwhelming majority of practices recognize how contactless payments are uniquely capable of promoting good social distancing. 73% of the healthcare providers in the survey said contactless payments support social distancing. Because social distancing has become standard practice in the healthcare industry almost overnight, it’s crucial that offices build social distancing into their payment processing.

The demand for contactless payments stems directly from the COVID-19 crisis. According to 71% of the healthcare employees in the study, coronavirus has increased patient interest in contactless payment options. Taking action by offering Text to Pay is a great way to meet this increased demand.

Right now, only 19% of practices feel like they’re using texting to its fullest potential. The younger generation of clients prefers text options in their communication with healthcare providers, and this communication shouldn’t be limited to scheduling appointments and answering patient questions. Text payments increase employee productivity and protect everyone in your office through social distancing.