56 million… what do you think that number represents? The number of albums Prince sold in his lifetime? How many years it’s been since dinosaurs walked the Earth? How much the most expensive apartment in New York costs? Not quite (over 100 million, 65 million years ago, and $115M, if you were curious).

56 million is the number of adults who regularly pay their bills late.

Roughly 1 in 4 U.S. adults habitually do not pay their bills on time. Among those aged 18 to 34, the number jumps up to nearly 50%. Late fees, credit score penalties, general stress… there’s plenty of reasons why paying a bill late is a bad idea. Sure, we’ve all missed a student loan payment due to memory lapse or forgot to change our Netflix account to our new credit card, but to consistently miss payments on major bills is concerning. Why is this? Lack of money? Laziness?

Well, not necessarily. Per a study by The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, it may come down to something called “Consumer Comprehension”. Simply put, users don’t understand their statements. 54% of Americans are confused by their medical bills, and 62% of patients don’t understand their patient responsibility or the out of pocket expenses they owe. It’s the leading reason why 43 million Americans have unpaid medical bills. Not only that, but the payment process itself can often be confusing and overly complicated, deterring users from completing the process. In fact, Forbes found that it takes, on average, 150 taps to make a payment on a mobile device.

So you, if you want to improve your on-time collection rates, making the payment process as seamless and simple as possible, is key.

You know… something like this…

via GIPHY

When it comes to improving the user experience, QR Codes are a quick, simple, and cost-efficient way to get the results you want while requiring the user to take as few steps as possible.

What’s a QR Code?

While you may have heard about them in passing, a QR code can be difficult to define. In short, a QR code (Quick Response Code) is a square-shaped barcode system that can be scanned with a smartphone or other mobile device with a camera that has a QR code decoder application (which are largely free). After a scan, which takes no more than a second or two after unlocking the device, the QR code will open an item, be it a link to a website, an image, contact information that can be saved directly to a phone, or the like. With lighting fast readability, convenience, and ease of use, QR codes can be one of the fastest ways to get information to either an individual or mass audience.

Great, awesome… but how can that help patients paying their bill?

By affixing a QR code to a paper or electronic bill or statement, patients can scan the code with their mobile device and be instantly directed to a customized payment entry page. Such a payment option allows for fast payment turn-around and on-time payments, and can even reduce the need for collections.

Addition of the QR code payment system as another option for your patients to pay their bills not only is an efficient method that can increase payment performance, it is a convenience that patients will appreciate. They simply take a picture of the code, are taken to a payment page, and verify the amount to pay. Within moments of opening the bill, they can scan the code, be taken to the payment portal, approve the transaction, and be on their way, all in less than five minutes and without much action on their end.

QR code payments make the payment process much simpler for patients. By minimizing the steps it takes for a patient to complete the billing and payment process, you make doing business with the patient a hassle-free process which leaves a positive impression. After all, no one likes a hassle. That’s why, when it comes to online forms, each additional field reduces the likelihood of conversion by 7%, detailed out in this case study. A QR code on your statement is like having all of those fields be filled out automatically: by only requiring as little as possible from your users, they are much more likely to perform a certain action.

While it may seem that QR codes would favor a younger audience, this isn’t the case. According to a study by Statista, nearly 30% of all QR code usage was performed by users over the age of 45, and 18% by users over the age of 55. This means that QR codes are just something that those dang Millennials do, but an accessibility tool that helps to drastically cut down on user error.

QR codes also offer the opportunity to personalize the billing process. By customizing the payment entry page or providing relevant information or messages to your patient, you have another opportunity to interact, making a connection and leaving a strong personal impression that sticks with them long after the bill is paid.

The easiest and most convenient option to complete a task, such as paying a bill, is the one most will choose. That’s why we’ve seen QR codes do great things for our clients, including improvements to on-time payment collections, reduction in user error, a better user experience, higher customer satisfaction, and providing a competitive edge. Amazing how a little box can do so many things.

Learn more about how our solutions can save you time and money!

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Michael Bell is the Chief Marketing Officer for MailMyStatements. Mike is a dynamic, innovative thinker, a healthcare technology advocate, a consumer, a patient, and an avid golfer.

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@staroneconsult 

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