As veterinary care advances, it also becomes less accessible for many pet parents. As a pet care practice owner or manager, you want to make your services and procedures accessible to the average pet owner, though you still need to make enough money to keep your business afloat. Vet financing is an excellent way to help pet owners access expensive veterinary medical procedures and care using an affordable payment plan.
At Weave, we offer a comprehensive platform for veterinary clinics that combines your practice management software with great client communication and engagement. Our Buy Now, Pay-over-time program partners with Sunbit, so you can offer veterinary financing to help pet owners afford medical expenses while improving your practice’s cash flow and incoming new patient rates, (click here to read about our Buy Now, Pay-over-time payment integration).
Benefits of Offering Vet Financing Options at Your Practice
Providing financing to help your customers handle their vet bills offers comprehensive benefits for your practice, pet patients, and owners. Pet financing options typically include credit card plans, pet insurance, fulfillment plans, and loan options. Regardless of the type of veterinary financing you choose to offer, your practice and customers can enjoy the following benefits:
Increasing Accessibility for Pet Owners
The average routine vet visit costs between $50 and $250, while procedures like dental care, bloodwork, vaccines, and prescriptions can increase that average to $1,500. According to a recent survey, 35% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts, which means a large number of pet owners do not have the resources to cover standard wellness checkups, dental cleanings, lab work, and so forth.
Offering an easy financing option with convenient monthly payments to your customers helps make veterinary expenses more accessible. For example, rather than spending $240 upfront, which could be a quarter of their savings accounts, clients can spend $20 per month for the next year.
Approximately 28% of pets cannot receive access to veterinary care due to finances and other accessibility issues. While pet care practices may not be able to reduce their pricing, they can offer a credit process that allows both ends to win. With financing, the practice can still offer life-saving care to animals that shouldn’t prolong treatment, while the client can better manage the bill in more affordable chunks.
Providing Additional Options During Emergencies
Emergency care can cost vet owners thousands. According to cost averages, emergency surgery can cost up to $5,000, with a couple of days of hospitalization adding an average of $1,700. Tack on x-ray costs, prescriptions, treatments, and blood work, and the pet parent may end up with a $10,000 bill or more.
When emergency situations arise and pet owners hear large figures, they often have to make stressful, on-the-spot decisions. Everyone wants the best for their pet, but securing thousands of dollars for an unexpected treatment isn’t feasible for many Americans. Offering a flexible payment option at your office, like monthly payment plans, loan financing, pet insurance, credit card plans, or financial assistance, can help customers make the best decisions for their pets during the emergency, so they can worry about the finances later.
Health and Well-being for Pets Receiving Care Sooner
In humans and pets alike, delayed access to healthcare reduces patient outcomes and can increase fatality rates. The sooner pets can see their providers, the sooner they can receive a diagnosis, medical advice, and treatment plan for their issue.
Often, customers put off scheduling appointments with providers when their pets display symptoms because of the high costs. For example, if an owner’s dog recently has a new growth on their back, the pet owner may wait to see if it resolves on its own. In cases of cancer, prompt diagnosis can save the pet’s life.
Offering recurring and new clients a pet financing option can help them make the right decision when their pet is sick. Whether you allow them to pay off the bill with minimum monthly payments, a healthcare credit card agreement, or a loan, customers will feel less intimidated by smaller gradual payments rather than one large fee. Any participating healthcare office that offers financing can become the go-to practice for all local pet owners seeking treatment from providers with accessible costs.
Credit lines and financing become more widely available across all industries each year. Today, shoppers can go online and purchase a $50 shirt at just over $4 a month for the next year. Many major retailers and organizations partner with organizations like Affirm, Klarna, and Afterpay to provide simple, convenient experiences.
As small loan and credit card approval processes become the norm for everyday purchases, the modern consumer not only prefers financing but expects it. A point-of-sale financing survey shows that 60% of U.S. consumers will likely use some form of financing in the next six to 12 months. With average veterinary tickets reaching the thousands, the customers using financing on small purchases will likely want to use credit on hefty payments as well.
Participating healthcare providers with accessible financing, loan, or credit options can attract more clients because they meet modern consumer needs. By making your care more accessible to wider groups of people, you can attract pet owners of all different income brackets. When an owner’s pet needs a check-up, dental cleaning, or emergency surgery, they’ll most likely select the organization they can afford.
Increasing Revenue for Your Veterinary Practice
Veterinary care financing can improve your practice’s cash flow by increasing new patient rates and collection fulfillment. For example, practices using our Buy Now, Pay-over-time financing platform at Weave show impressive improvements in incremental production. One client produced $104,000 in the first month alone, while another produced $1 million in eight months. Additionally, according to our partner Sunbit, over 85% of customers are approved for financing, allowing practices to offer this service.
Many financing platforms, like our partner, Sunbit, ensure that your practice receives payments regardless of customer fulfillment. The company requires that pet owners complete a financing application that involves just a soft credit score check to receive a financing offer. Upon acceptance, the client will receive a line of credit they must pay back, though your office will receive the funding from the lender regardless of the customer’s fulfillment.
Rather than tracking down clients and waiting on fulfillment, your office can get paid for every service immediately and in full. Even in-house pet financing plans allow your practice to receive gradual payments over time, which improves your consistent cash flow rates. Between attracting more clients and improving fulfillment rates, your veterinary care office can increase its revenue, allowing you to offer more comprehensive and advanced pet care.
Types of Financing Options
We’ve briefly touched on the different types of financing options you can offer at your vet clinic, though understanding how each works will help you decide which is right for your office. The primary types of financing include payment plans for pet care, credit lines, and pet insurance. Each option offers varying advantages for your practice and clients.
Payment plans allow pet owners to fulfill their payments in smaller chunks over set periods. Typically, most plans involve monthly payments for six to 12 months, though larger bills may have more extended periods. You have two primary options for offering fulfillment plans: in-house financing and integrated platforms.
With in-house financing, your office creates all of the application approval documents, fulfillment plans, and fulfillment requirements. Your office team would be in charge of ensuring that clients make each payment on time and in full. In-house financing requires no other platforms, but it may put you at risk of incomplete funding fulfillment.
Integrated platforms handle all of the applications, documents, and payments for you. The platforms typically check each client’s credit score and qualifying details before approving the financing plan. Once approved, the platform will handle payment collections to ensure that your practice gets paid, relieving you of this burden and letting you focus on providing a great client experience.
A couple of popular platforms include the following:
- Weave’s Buy Now, Pay-over-time, powered by Sunbit
More than 85% of customers can be approved in seconds
Weave and Sunbit have partnered to help you drive more business and serve more customers with Buy Now, Pay-over-time flexible payment options.Schedule Demo
Credit lines allow pet owners to withdraw funds up to a limit as needed and pay them back over time. Popular credit lines include loan financing and credit cards. When clients open credit lines, your practice receives immediate funding from the lender to cover the bill in full, while the client can pay this total back over time in smaller and more affordable chunks.
Offering loan and credit card options through your practice makes the process easier on both ends. Rather than requiring clients to apply for a loan on their own time, you can integrate the financing process within your own system for more streamlined transactions. Many companies offer this feature for veterinary practices, such as the CareCredit card.
Unlike a traditional loan, many of these companies offer financing for poor credit score borrowers or clients with short credit histories. You can find the exact credit limit and score requirements under the CareCredit FAQs. According to figures provided by our partner Sunbit, Weave’s Buy Now, Pay-over-time program accepts over 85% of customers with 30-second approvals with no hard credit checks, so pets don’t have to wait to receive the care they need.
Pet insurance works similarly to human health insurance, allowing owners to pay a monthly fee for a policy that covers certain treatments. Unlike a loan or credit line, pet insurance offers preventative financing, allowing people to cover future costly pet bills before they occur. Most pet insurers only cover expensive procedures rather than routine visits, so clients will still need to pay for wellness check-ups, but they can save on the treatments that cost thousands.
Like other healthcare organizations, you can partner with various pet insurance companies so that clients with policies can receive coverage for your services. A few of the most popular pet insurance companies include the following:
- Pets Best
You can also research additional coverage options from major practices within the PetVet Care Centers Network to view which insurers your clients may use. Offering extensive coverage options plus a financing program, like a loan integration, can help you make care as accessible as possible.
How To Implement Financing Options in Your Veterinary Office
You can implement flexible and affordable bill collection options at your veterinary office by partnering with a finance company or offering in-house payment plans. With our Buy Now, Pay-over-time program at Weave, you can integrate financing directly into your payment processing system for immediate fulfillment, streamlined transactions, and improved client satisfaction.
When you’re ready to integrate advanced vet financing at your practice, we’re your go-to platform. Contact Weave today at (866) 308-2039 or schedule a demo to see how our veterinary financing can work for your office.