Most paychecks prefer to pay with credit

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What do payment preferences tell us about differences among healthcare consumers? Simply put, those with a strong financial footing are sticking with the familiar – credit cards primarily – while paycheck-stressed consumers and younger generations are trying new ways to pay, primarily mobile wallets.

In The Connected Economy™: Patients Prefer Consistency in Payments study, a collaboration between PYMNTS and CareCredit, a survey of nearly 2,800 consumers found wide variation in how different demographic cohorts at different levels of health finance pay for their care.

Get the report: The Connected Economy™: Patients Prefer Payment Consistency

Data shows that 72% of consumers who don’t live paycheck to paycheck used a credit or debit card to make a healthcare-related payment in Q2, as did 37% of consumers who live paycheck to paycheck with problems paying their bills. Nearly 70% (69.4%) of those who don’t live between checks paid with a credit card in Q2, as did more than 65% of paycheck-to-paycheck consumers who can manage their bills.

The picture is changing as we move to younger demographics who may not have access to credit cards and are generally more willing to try new payment form factors like digital wallets.

In Q2, half (50%) of millennials used a mobile wallet to pay for healthcare services, followed by 42% of Gen Z. By comparison, only 8% of baby boomers used a digital wallet.

We note that patients who are financially challenged and living paycheck to paycheck tend to be younger, so the fact that Gen Z and millennial cohorts are leading when ‘It’s about embracing payment technologies other than hard-to-obtain credit cards adds up.

The study states that “Given the growing popularity of these advanced payment methods among younger generations, it makes sense that healthcare professionals anticipate a future where these payment options are readily available.”

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