How to Collect Medical Bills If a Customer’s Card is Not Present?

The dependence on digital payment technologies increased significantly in the post-COVID era. Recent studies by the World Bank show how two-thirds of adults worldwide now make or receive digital payments. Bill Gates, the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the supporters of the Global Findex database, said, 

“By investing in digital public infrastructure and technologies for payment and ID systems and updating regulations to foster innovation and protect consumers, governments can build on the progress reported in the Findex and expand access to financial services for all who need them.”

This dependence on digital payments has affected all major sectors that drive global economic growth. However, we could argue that the healthcare sector saw a transformation unlike any other. Ever since COVID, people have been scared of going to hospitals. And rightly so. They want to minimize their exposure to high-risk locations and instead rely on virtual healthcare/support. 

The 2021 U.S. Bank Healthcare Payments Insight Report showed that 20% fewer patients paid their medical bills at the provider’s office. The same report showed how only 22% of people preferred paying their medical bills at the provider’s office on the day of service or appointment.

This brings us to an important question, how do hospitals collect medical bills from patients if they never visit the hospital or do not want to pay via cards?


The Old Ways of Collecting Medical Bill Payments

Unlike digital and card payment methods that got popular in the last two decades, medical bills have been around for centuries. Cash and checks were the most popular methods of paying bills in the years leading up to the 21st Century. Although few people use cash and checks today, these payment methods are not entirely eradicated yet. They are usually the most conventional go-to payment methods, especially when cards and digital payment methods do not work. According to a Federal Reserve study from 2020, 83% of adults in the U.S. owned at least one credit card.  

Most healthcare organizations accept payments in the following methods if the patient does not own a card. 

  • Mail-in Checks
  • Collect Checks in Person
  • Collect Cash

However, most modern businesses accept digital and online payments in a card-not-present transaction.  


Modern Ways of Collecting Medical Bill Payments

Modern chip-based cards with near-field communication (NFC) technologies are exceptionally convenient for medical bill payments. However, what if the patients do not have a card to pay their bills? Or, what if the patient does not want to visit the hospital to pay the medical bill? 

Tech-savvy payment processors help the banks of new-age healthcare organizations accept payments digitally without a physical card. They use several bill payment technologies to help patients carry out timely payments.

In a card not present (CNP) medical bill transaction, they use:

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Online ACH

ACH is the most affordable and secure way of paying bills.

Nacha-certified payment gateway providers help healthcare organizations make the most of ACH technology with online ACH payments. This method allows the patient to submit an eCheck for online payment processing. Some of the top benefits of the ACH payment technology include:

  • Low payment processing costs
  • Easy bulk and recurring payments
  • High security
  • Lower chances of human error
  • Fast processing time

Learn more about the benefits of ACH technology.

Hosted Payment Portal

Tech-savvy payment providers implement hosted payment portals to take care of the necessary PCI compliance and help the hospital accept payments securely. They create customizable hosted payment portals for the healthcare industry to help them accept payments via credit cards and ACH on a single platform. 

Studies by Elavon show how 67% of healthcare providers use online patient payment portals to accept medical bill payments. These healthcare providers have a competitive edge over the ones that still rely on legacy payment systems. Well-designed hosted payment portals can process credit card transactions even if the patients do not have the card physically present with them. 

Patients can pay via a hosted payment portal if they remember their critical bank account or credit card information, such as card number, PIN, and CVV. Some advanced payment processors go the extra mile with their bank account verification and check verification services to minimize ACH and credit card fraud.

Tokenization and encryption technologies offered by reliable hosted payment portal providers make online payments secure. Discover the most powerful hosted payment portal solutions for healthcare today.

SMS Payments

SMS payments work with the hosted payment portal solutions to help the customers pay on the go. Hospitals use this payment method to generate and share payment links with their patients automatically. They primarily use this payment method to remind their patients to pay on time. Reliable SMS payment technology lets patients pay their medical bills with just a few clicks on their mobile devices.

IVR Payments

IVR payments for the healthcare industry offer several core benefits such as:

  • 24x7 emergency services with registered nurses
  • Intelligent call routing
  • Answers to immediate FAQs
  • Multi-lingual support
  • And more

However, modern IVR solutions do a lot more. The most advanced IVR call centers also let the business process payments. They help the patients securely pay their bills on a phone call, avoiding the need to stand in long billing queues.  

Recurring Payments

The recurring payments feature on ACH technology helps healthcare organizations collect payments from patients on a recurring fixed schedule.

This feature is beneficial for appointment-based billing such as:

  • Periodic health check-ups
  • Consulting sessions
  • Regular psychotherapy and physiotherapy sessions

Banks that offer recurring payment technologies to hospitals have an excellent advantage over the ones that do not. 

Mobile Payments

Mobile payment technologies powered by mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay help businesses accept payments directly via mobile devices. Mobile payment technology adoption has increased significantly as the need for contactless payments has increased since COVID.

The U.S. Bank Healthcare Payments Insight Report 2021 shows that 58% of consumers would improve the perception of their medical service provider favorably with the availability of contactless payment devices.


How can iCG Help? works with healthcare organizations and banks that want to scale their operations with advanced payment processing technologies. We help established banks serve their commercial customers better with the latest payment technologies. Our integration allows banks that run on legacy software adopt innovative payment solutions within weeks. 

Banks that want to serve their commercial customers better without spending millions of dollars in payment technology development costs partner with us.

Become a partner today to adopt the best CNP medical payment technologies for your clients. 

Become a Partner’s innovative solutions help you accelerate payments simply, securely, and reliably.

We help businesses accept and process payments with our suite of next-gen customizable fintech solutions. Our automated technologies help you carry out ACH and credit card transactions on a single easy-to-use platform.