In-house financing is starting to grab the attention of cosmetic surgeons, whether they’re looking to further personalize patient service at an established practice, or eager to build a new practice using the best technology available for safely managing installment payments on autopilot.
Largely, this change in perception is tied to game-changing improvements in technology. Specifically, state-of-the-art financing technology does three things that old-school billing systems can’t.
- Provide for seamless integration with system software, such as those used for billing, practice management, and patient-relationship curation and communications.
- Enable cloud storage for all functionality, including archiving, to streamline operations and ensure recoverability.
- Allow for customizable financing terms to reflect an individual patient’s creditworthiness or to compete head-on with term-limited “no interest” offers from third-party lenders.
Before the advent in recent years of these features, there was some rationale for not offering financing, or for referring clients in need of financing to a bank or other outside lender, says Dmitry Voronenko, CEO and co-founder of TurnKey Lender, a leading provider of white-label financing that’s active in more than 50 markets worldwide. “If a financing system can’t integrate with the existing technology infrastructure, it places the burden of data storage and disaster recovery on the practice, and makes customization impossible,” he explains. “That’s not worth much to a busy cosmetic surgeon.”
Wealthy patients aren’t averse to installment plans
Voronenko adds that “old-school practitioners also fear that offering financing will stigmatize their practice as catering to ‘down market’ clients.”
In fact, 60% of high-wealth families in the US use credit cards regularly (versus 70% in the general US population), incentivized by things like cash-back offers, travel points, fraud and purchase protection, and VIP lounge access at airports. In other words, sophisticated patients take a strategic view of credit, with some having amassed fortunes in business by leveraging credit to their advantage.
“Wealthy patients may not want or need credit in the way some of us need it for certain purchases,” according to Voronenko. “But they expect it as an option because it gives them the freedom to deploy funds as they see fit, often in keeping with personal-spending budgets that make monthly installments more palatable than immediate cash payments in full.”
But for plastic surgeons, in-house financing isn’t just an element of customer service. Rather, it facilitates a dynamic approach to financing that can enhance your practice. Among the benefits in play are:
- Ease of use. An excellent financing-software vendor will not require a physician or his staff to have prior experience in financial service or technology. A great vendor in this category will make you an expert at the click of a button by providing training, intuitive interfaces, and procedural options in plain view, facilitate “straight-through” processing (which eliminates repetitive busywork), and provide unambiguous messaging — all backed by customer-centric customer care and support that’s available 24/7. Meanwhile, patients can access an online portal where they can check their balances, update payment methods, and upload relevant documents.
- In-house control. Set the customizable terms and fees you like in a white-label environment with no need to share fee revenue with any outside entity.
- A financing-software vendor should provide a menu of functionalities to match the specific needs of your practice. If all you want from your financing software are capabilities around origination, you can have that. The same goes for any aspect of financing, whether it’s servicing, collections, communications — any distinct functionality you choose. This lets you save money out of the gate — and you’re free to add functionality at any point.
- Improved portfolio performance. TurnKey Lender reckons its software can help you boost your financing portfolio’s performance across the board. From decreasing bad debt by as much as 35%, trimming decision times by 15% to 30%, boosting profits on financing arrangements by as much as 40%, and increasing the lifetime value of some patient relationships by 25%.
- Fast and accurate decision management through artificial intelligence. Cosmetic surgery practices should hold out for time-tested AI that harnesses the power of deep neural networks and self-learning scoring models to evaluate borrowers in real-time and make confident credit decisions in seconds rather than days. A financing platform robust enough for the needs of a medical practice should also be flexible enough to take stock of alternative inputs beyond the usual application forms and credit-bureau scores to take into account aspects of personal financial behavior around spending debt-repayment habits.
- Security and confidentiality. These elements are vital to any medical practice, but especially to one centered on aesthetic plastic surgery, whose patients frequently desire anonymity, sometimes for intensely personal reasons. Plastic surgeons should work with in-house financing software whose maker is committed to protecting the security of patients and their data. The company’s information security policies should not just meet but exceed regulatory requirements and best practices. For example, TurnKey Lender has SOC 1 and SOC 2 Type II compliance reports and the globally-recognized ISO 27001 Certification.
As one prospective client, a cosmetic surgeon, recently told Voronenko, “We believe we could see an uptick in as much as 30% if we were to offer a solution for those who have a steady income, but lower or no credit scores” — provided the incoming system integrates with the practice’s current systems, the TurnKey Lender executive reports.
“That’s our offering in a nutshell,” says Voronenko. “Improved economic performance, seamless integration with existing systems, and the ability to assess candidates for in-house financing in terms that speak directly to their needs and preferences. Add to that the backing of a full-spectrum, scalable financing ecosystem, and you can understand why in-house financing is winning converts in the plastic-surgery space.”
Contact TurnKey Lender for a demo.