Blog | May 24, 2022

Appealing to Generation Z Patients with a Personal, Accessible Financial Engagement Experience

Gen Z Patient Financial Engagement Technology

When much of Generation Z was entering adulthood in 2020, around 59% of 18–24-year-olds counted themselves as financially independent. Like the Millennial generation before them, Gen Z entered an uncertain and volatile economic landscape resulting from the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the world that Gen Z was entering, it comes as no surprise that this generation has a unique relationship with finances and financial institutions. As a recent article from the Wall Street Journal explains, Gen Z is wary of debt, especially credit card debt: “Watching older generations suffer under consumer debt has given many young people an ingrained fear of borrowing. They are wary of predatory practices and getting hit with unpredictable interest charges—so they gravitate toward systems that let them borrow without facing heavy interest, and ones that break down exactly what they will owe over the life of the loan.” 


Despite the fear of high-interest debt, Gen Z still has bills to pay. Whether this so-called “TikTok Generation” is facing the pressure of keeping up with the ever-changing fast-fashion trends or rising healthcare costs, there is still mounting pressure to take on debt. In the place of credit cards and personal loans, Gen Z is opting for “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) services for both their wants and needs. BNPL offers what Generation Z says they want: accessibility, convenience, and instant gratification. This generational appeal is strategically crafted, with some asserting that BNPL is specifically marketing “very heavily to an audience that is younger, that might not just have as much experience on how to use credit and what credit implications are or what it means to have multiple loans at one time”, according to Marisabel Torres, the California policy director of the Center for Responsible Lending.   


As inflation rises, BNPL services are also being increasingly used for necessities. An SFGate article reports that 56% of Americans surveyed would be interested in using a BNPL service for medical bills, and several companies offer BNPL services specifically for medical debt. What may seem like the perfect solution for Gen Z’s apprehension to credit card debt and rising healthcare costs is unfortunately not all that it seems. An Insider Intelligence study found that 39.4% of consumers use BNPL services to avoid credit card interest; however, many of these services charge up to 25% APR for those with low credit scores or little credit information. BNPL companies are largely unregulated, and often have unclear terms on how missed or overdue payments will be reported to credit agencies. Without regulations, it is likely that BNPL services will continue to market themselves and possibly create an undue burden on the financially inexperienced. 


Debt is not always avoidable, even for a generation who is wary of taking it on. Two years into a pandemic with rising healthcare costs, medical debt is almost ubiquitous, even among a young cohort. Until BNPL services are regulated, there is a need for services that can make medical debt manageable – all while providing Gen Z with the personalized, accessible, and convenient experience they want out of their healthcare financial experience. When the medical bills hit Gen Z, CarePayment is here to help.


Accepting 100% of patients without regard to credit quality, CarePayment offers 0.00% APR payment plans for medical bills. There is no impact on credit score and no application required. With a digital-first but not digital-only approach to communication, CarePayment appeals to Gen Z’s desire for personalized solutions tailored specifically for individual patients, as well as convenience and ease of access to their financial institutions. For more information on the CarePayment financial engagement platform, please contact us today.