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Thread: Buy now pay later

  1. #1
    Master OptiBoarder DanLiv's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Denver, CO
    Dispensing Optician

    Buy now pay later

    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    Yeah, and what's the difference between swiping a card once or twice, from a consumer standpoint? They can always challenge the charges. It's the cash-pay patient (that extinct species) that has exposure.
    Quote Originally Posted by CME4SPECS View Post
    One swipe could be this month's bill, the second on next month's. Big difference for some people.
    Quote Originally Posted by mervinek View Post
    From a consumer standpoint... swiping a card once verses twice only makes a difference if they are at the end of a billing cycle. For instance, if they get a $900 pair of glasses and half is on this statement and half is on the next month. I have no problem with that. No problem getting half and half.
    drk's Payment in Full discussion has turned on to something I've been thinking about recently, buy now pay later (BNPL). With costs everywhere being forced to rise (including eyewear), and with multiple-pair complete eyewear solution plans we are designing for our customers, we are noticing more people unable, unwilling, or delaying fulfilling all their vision needs. If we had more flexible payment options I think at least a few of those customers would be able and willing to fulfill their eyewear plans.

    We do have CareCredit, which is a fine service, but it's still just traditional credit. Those who need it can't get it, those who can get it don't need it, and others are just scared of more credit. We could definitely leverage it more by explicitly offering it to everyone ahead of their visit so they can consider it ahead of time and even pre-qualify, but the old fashioned unsexiness of that system is unappealing to buyers, and an unmotivating pitch by my staff.

    So I'm looking at buy now pay later options. The "soft" check that supposedly doesn't affect credit score might help, but it's still a credit application like CareCredit (though I think these services have lower score threshholds because their target demographic is the under-credited). Fees can be complex, both for customer and merchant, and I'm sure most of us have heard of unsavory and predatory billing practices employed by some of these services. I like the idea of BNPL, but these concerns have kept me away.

    I did find an interesting one Splitit. Instead of extending credit it uses a customers existing credit card and splits a charge into a monthly installment payment plan, for no extra fee to the buyer and a moderate fee to the merchant (a bit higher than CareCredit). The advantage is no new credit, so zero credit check, and no separate biller to pay, just their normal card bill.

    Does anyone have experience with BNPL or other payment plans for large purchases in their business? Has it helped your customers get what they need instead of postponing or omitting solutions?

  2. #2
    OptiBoardaholic KrystleClear's Avatar
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    Jun 2021
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Dispensing Optician
    At my previous optical, they participated in Care Credit. It was basically opening up a credit card for the patient to be used for medical expenses, and I was never comfortable doing that. They gave us pamphlets to give out, but I never felt comfortable about signing someone up for a credit card that is already not doing well financially. That's an option though. A lot of online retailers have Afterpay or something equivalent that lets you pay after the fact in installments, with interest of course. I am not sure if there is anything like that available for brick and mortars. I don't like doing it because the risk of patients just never paying, but, we will set up a payment plan for patients where they agree to pay a certain amount each month until the balance is paid. We never bring it up unless the patient is really in need or is asking, and if they don't pay, our biller sends it to collections. We have a little form for them to sign and I will send out a statement via snail mail each month. It's good for those patients who otherwise just can't afford glasses.

  3. #3
    OptiBoard Professional IIxIPariahIxII's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Dispensing Optician
    Given that the vast majority of people get paid biweekly, I find the BNPL works very well for both the patient and the practice when needed. In the past and present, we offer it to the patient whenever they need it. The only thing that can be a negative is if you don't have a no return/cancellation policy once the lenses have been ordered if it's ordered outside. In most cases, most people will call back and cancel pretty quickly. But if the lab has already started on it, they generally will still bill at least 50% of the lens fees. 99% of patients understand that and won't pull the trigger if they're unsure. But it absolutely makes a difference. Especially with patients who absolutely want the best of what is available but may not be able to cover all the cost. It generally takes a couple weeks for lenses to come in, and of course we'll hold on to them once we've notified them that they're ready. They come by, pickup and pay whenever they're ready. Care Credit also helps. And in cases where they still need to wait. I always let them know I can save the order and they can call back and order whenever they're ready. All of these go a long ways. Absolutely recommend

    EDIT: Don't make the half down half later your SOP. Keep it available for patients when they absolutely need it. Regardless of payment method. But maintain full payment up front as your norm.
    Last edited by IIxIPariahIxII; 07-05-2022 at 08:29 AM.

  4. #4
    OptiBoard Professional Excel-Lentes's Avatar
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    Oct 2001
    Hartford, CT
    Dispensing Optician
    I also use Care Credit. Not a bad program.

    My credit card system is from Square and they sent an email regarding a buy now pay later option yesterday. Sorry but I glossed over it so I don’t have much info. Maybe look into that.

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