Nearly half of healthcare professionals in Belgium (48%) do not offer their patients the possibility to pay for their consultations by card. A trend that is even more pronounced among general practitioners and specialists since almost three out of four doctors (73%) refuse payment by card.
This is what emerged from an Ipsos survey conducted in January 2018 on behalf of Mastercard with 232 health professionals in Belgium.
According to the study, only one out of two health professionals in Belgium (52%) accepts card payment. Yet, on average, 64% of physicians offering this service are paid through a payment terminal. Almost all the physicians surveyed (98%) accept, however, to be paid in cash.
This delay of the medical world in terms of electronic payment contrasts with the general habits of Belgians, since 64% of the population reported in 2017 that the debit card was their preferred means of payment.
According to the study, a majority of doctors (59%) forgo card payment because they assume that their patients prefer to pay in cash. Among the surveyed physicians who do not have a terminal, 50% say that their patients do not ask to pay by card and 69% mention that, “a cash dispenser is nearby.”
The study also highlighted the main disadvantages of handling cash for doctors, namely the insecurity of keeping large sums of money in their offices and transporting money, higher bookkeeping and more complex or significant unpaid payments.