Member Exclusive, Payments

Payments Briefing: PayZen wants to combat rising medical debt with ‘Care Now, Pay Later’ solution

  • This week, we explore how PayZen uses a variant of BNPL to tackle healthcare affordability in the US.
  • We also hear from Stax CEO Suneera Madhani on the gender gap in fintech.

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Payments Briefing: PayZen wants to combat rising medical debt with ‘Care Now, Pay Later’ solution

The BNPL space is becoming increasingly overcrowded, with a slew of new entrants across banking, payments and tech over the last few years. This is making it increasingly challenging for BNPL providers to differentiate their offerings, and is pushing them to innovate towards newer categories like travel, education, housing, and healthcare.

As US healthcare costs continue to mount, two major BNPL providers, Afterpay and Sezzle, recently signed healthcare-related deals that will allow consumers to pay some of their medical bills in four interest-free installments.

Healthcare could become an important sector for BNPL providers as consumers seek out flexible payments for high-value expenses. A recent survey by PYMNTS found that 43% of US adults (about 111 million consumers) want to use BNPL for ‘big ticket’ purchases – and among them, over 20% said they’d like to use it for medicine and prescription payments.

Afterpay and Sezzle are not the only firms to recognize the opportunity in using BNPL to tackle healthcare affordability and reach new customers. PayZen is a San Francisco-based startup that offers a ‘Care Now, Pay Later’ solution, which allows patients to pay their out-of-pocket medical bills over time in flexible installments.

The CNPL model uses AI and machine learning-based predictive modeling to generate personalized payment plans of up to 60 months, customized to each patient’s individual financial situation. This enables healthcare providers to offer affordable payment options to their patients by accurately determining each patient’s unique ability to pay.

PayZen’s co-founder and CEO, Itzik Cohen, says that patient payment responsibility in the US has more than doubled within the last two decades, and is expected to double again in the next ten years. As a result, medical debt has become a $300 billion problem – and nearly one in three Americans gets delayed medical care due to high costs.


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