ASK FLO: Are New Payment Methods Inspired by Millennials?

In this blog series, our contact and payment guru “Communication Flo” answers many of the pressing questions in today’s call/contact center, accounts receivable and revenue cycle management industries.

Dear Flo:

I am not a millennial, but I know they’re a growing part of our population.  So, I understand why so many companies have to pay attention to them.  However, in the area of healthcare, is it really necessary to make them a central focus of our business? After all, I have to believe they’re HEALTHIER and probably don’t go to the doctor as much. Can we hold off on making drastic changes to our revenue cycle processes and consider making incremental adjustments as they get older? I just don’t know how many of our older patients want things like text messages from us.   

Looking forward to your response!


Old Fashioned Fan

Dear Old Fashioned ,

I’m so glad you asked this question. My response is…one second — okay, sorry about that.  I got a notification to pay my phone bill and had to take care of it. I was able to do this quickly because I paid it through text.  If I had to call it in, it might have taken longer. That would’ve have caused me to type a longer line of periods and dashes.

I’m not a millennial either, but I am a consumer that values convenience, especially when it comes to time. Here’s the simplest response I can give you about this:

1. You’re not the only person to wonder about this.

2. You’re not the only person in your generation who doesn’t share certain habits with the millennial generation.

3. You’re not a member of a generation that is universally content with old fashioned communication and payment methods.

Other generations like using their phones for more than calls

While millennials have their own style, don’t back yourself into a big generation-generalization corner (glad I wrote that and didn’t have to say it).
After all, they’re not the only ones using smartphones. The question I think you’re asking is – How is everyone using them?

  • 76% of Gen Xers and 64% of Baby Boomers wish more businesses would communicate with them via text (they even welcome your emojis in some messages)
  • 83% of Gen Xers and 67% of Baby Boomers prefer to get appointment reminders through texts.

This comes from a December Zipwhip and Survey Monkey study to find out how consumers of different age groups use their phones. With with names that include words like “Whip” and “Monkey,” how could you not pay attention? Okay, the word “Survey” is pretty important too, but not as fun.  In this study, Baby Boomers were listed as those who are 53-63 years old and Generation X  are folks who are 42-52- years old.

It's not just about's about communication, options and results.

Let’s focus on millennials. They use their phones for everything, including buying and communicating.  However, they have a history of not paying medical bills. The proposed solution to that problem is clearly communicating information like procedure costs or visits, insurance factors and payment options.

Don’t just assume the text part is the only layer to improve payment results.  Instead, figure out ways to encourage millennials to engage with the healthcare system.

I pointed out the phone use trends earlier because marketers and other companies are having to turn their old consumer communication models into a more personalized consumer experience. This is all about reaching today’s hyperconnected consumers

Why wouldn't people want this in the healthcare industry?

Today’s patient has several serious concerns about health insurance, payment responsibility, spam calls, threats from contact centers that violate compliance, healthcare law changes and other daily challenges.

Why wouldn’t they want a personalized approach to communication complimented with payment options that fit their lifestyle? Why wouldn’t we want to offer it to them? 

Will you have consumers that still want a phone call? Sure. However, are they the only people you want making payments?

Notice how I said people use their phones a lot, and that doesn’t just limit you to texting. If they’re able to access email or payment portal options, that’s good too.

I know that you’re a consumer too. So, I would be curious how you embrace new communication and payment trends. I’ll be honest with you, I had to have my niece show me how to do some things using my phone, but once I got it…I wanted that kind of convenience for everything!

The more options, the better the odds, and that goes for a lot of people in all generations. 

It’s all part of the consumerization of healthcare and daily life.

Hope that helps! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to ask my niece if it’s possible for my phone to operate my air fryer.

We Are Here to Help!

We may not be able to tell you how to sync your phone with an air fryer, but we can definitely help you optimize your revenue cycle with effective communication and payment solutions.


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