InstaMed Blog

Smartphones are everywhere. We’ve talked about the ubiquity of smartphones on the InstaMed blog before, but you only have to take a quick look around to see that most people spend a lot of time on their phones. In fact, you notice many people using mobile payments to make purchases at retail locations. You also probably manage some monthly bills or make purchases via your mobile device. Personally, I use my phone to order Starbucks and avoid the lines and pay for groceries.

Most industries have found a way to reach consumers on their phones. Since so many consumers always carry their phones and use them so frequently, companies have found that delivering a payment experience through a phone is a way to offer a convenient and frictionless payment experience.

A great example of a frictionless mobile payment experience is the Starbucks app. The Starbucks mobile app lets you use your phone to pay for purchases at Starbucks locations. It also lets you order coffee ahead, earn rewards points and make purchases within the app. More than 13 million consumers actively use the mobile app and mobile payments account for roughly 27% of transactions for Starbucks. The impressive volume of transactions is proof that consumers love the app.

Another example of a mobile app with wide consumer appeal is the Chick-fil-A app. Like the Starbucks app, the Chick-fil-A app lets you earn rewards, customize their orders and make in-app payments. However, the feature that really appeals to consumers is the ability to order ahead. Like the Starbucks app, this feature allows you to completely customize your order and pay for it ahead of time, eliminating the need to wait in a long line at the counter or drive-thru. But, Chick-fil-A takes the consumer experience a step further. To make sure your order is hot when you pick it up, the app lets consumers “check-in” at the restaurant. By checking in, you let Chick-fil-A know it’s time to prepare your food and guarantee that you receive your order hot and fresh when you arrive. The Chick-fil-A app has been wildly successful. When it was first released in 2016, the app was downloaded over a million times and was the most downloaded free app on iTunes – more than Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram!

So, what does this have to do with healthcare?

The success of the Starbucks and Chick-fil-A apps show that consumers appreciate convenient and frictionless experiences. If you think about it, ordering coffee or fast food wasn’t really that inconvenient before – maybe sometimes you encountered long lines, but for the most part it was a pretty fast and simple experience. Yet, by reaching consumers through their phones and delivering an even more convenient and engaging experience, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A and many other food and retail brands have gotten consumers to spend more and exhibit true brand loyalty. Healthcare can do this, too.

There is already technology available that lets healthcare organizations reach consumers through their phones to improve financial engagement. As a security officer, I want to talk about the security of mobile payments to show that bringing mobile technology to healthcare payments not only makes sense, but is also secure.

 How Mobile Payments Are Secure

Offering consumers the ability to pay and manage healthcare responsibility via mobile is a great way to improve patient financial engagement and deliver a convenient, frictionless experience. However, healthcare organizations need to implement mobile payments in a way that does not increase Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance scope and keeps consumer payment information secure.

  1. Keep Payment Data Off Your Network

In order to offer a convenient mobile payment experience, patients have to enter their credit card information into your website or mobile app from their phones. Healthcare organizations need to ensure that this payment card information stays off their networks in order to eliminate PCI scope and keep data secure.

Keeping payment data off your network has to do with how a payment functionality is embedded within your website or mobile app. For example, leveraging technology like the InstaMed Secure Token offers a completely seamless payment experience while keeping payment data from ever touching your organization’s servers, minimizing PCI scope.

  1. Make Sure It’s Integrated

If you’re offering mobile as a payment channel, you must ensure that it is integrated with your health IT system. Payments made from a mobile device should automatically post to your system so your staff doesn’t have to manually enter these payments, which can increase security risks and the likelihood of human error.

You also want to make sure you’re delivering an integrated experience for your patients as well. If a patient pays with their mobile device and saves a payment method on file, you want to make sure that the payment method is securely stored in a digital wallet so the patient can easily access it for future payments.

  1. Mobile Security at the POS

Just like the Starbucks app, you want to offer patients the option to pay with their phone at the front office, too. Make sure your POS devices are set up to support mobile payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Mobile wallets are becoming increasingly popular, and now – with a recent marketing campaign – Apple is even incentivizing consumers to lose their wallets and use Apple Pay.

By implementing mobile app payments, your consumers will be “Venti” happy – no need to swipe a credit card, and definitely no whip!

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