Weave and Sunbit launch BNPL product for healthcare costs

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Weave and Sunbit have launched a buy now, pay later (BNPL) product that will help consumers pay for their health care. (iStock)

Weave, a customer communications platform, and Sunbit, a buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform, recently partnered to provide BNPL options to small healthcare practices.

The financial product will allow patients to pay for their healthcare treatments over time in installments, according to a joint press release. The companies have stated that the BNPL option does not have any kind of fees.

“Collecting payments is one of the most important interactions with patients in a small healthcare practice,” said Branden Neish, chief product officer at Weave. “Combining Weave’s communications platform with Sunbit’s Buy Now, Pay Later technology creates a solution that helps practices deliver a better patient experience while generating more fundraising revenue each month.”

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Majority of patients approved for BNPL, companies say

Sunbit said the majority of patients who apply for this BNPL product are approved and can split their healthcare costs into smaller payments.

“Too many patients are delaying needed dental work, new eyeglasses or pet surgery because of the upfront cost,” said Oded Vakrat, head of platform partnerships at Sunbit. “We are excited to partner with Weave so practices can focus on delivering top-notch care to more patients who no longer have to worry about how they will pay. With Sunbit technology, 90% of patients are approved, and they can divide their costs into manageable payments.”

Typically, BNPL providers – such as Affirm, Klarna and Paypal – partner with retailers to allow shoppers to split the cost of their online purchases into installments at checkout. These interest-free payments are usually due a few weeks after purchase.

BNPL is rapidly gaining momentum as an alternative payment option, with its global transaction value reaching $120 billion in 2021, according to a recent report from GlobalData. And the sector is expected to continue to grow — Projected GlobalData the BNPL market could reach $576 billion by 2026.

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Regulators weigh BNPL security

Regulators have become increasingly suspicious of the BNPL market as its popularity grows. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently launched an investigation into the use and security of BNPL programs.

One suggestion for BNPL providers is to convert their offerings to include a short-term personal loan option, TTV Capital partner Sean Banks said recently during the FinTech South Conference in Atlanta, Ga.

Some providers have considered increasing the number of installments from four to six or 12. But while these longer installment loans may be safer, banks have said BNPL providers are likely to keep the shorter term.

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