In 2019, KPJ in Malaysia operated 24/7 and received medical bill payments in various forms including cash, open account payment, credit card and guarantee letter from insurance companies. Although it was still common practice for patients or next-of-kin to make physical cash payments, it nonetheless troubled patients that they needed to withdraw such large sums of money. The practice further caused delays at the payment counter, as hospitals’ cashiers needed to count the cash and arrange for the bank transfer.
Some transactions were initiated by the next-of-kin while others simply lacked a payment reference. As a result, staff needed to contact the payor directly to confirm the identity of the respective patient corresponding to the payment – creating extra, time-consuming work.
Then, in 2020, as the pandemic continued to spread across the region and the world, KPJ became one of the approved private hospitals to conduct COVID-19 swab testing in Malaysia. It became imperative that the company implement a contactless payment solution that would promote social distancing, keeping both staff and patients safe.
Working with HSBC, its international banking partner, KPJ implemented JomPAY Collection, an integrated receivables solution in parallel with the bank’s online banking portal.
When the pandemic hit, KPJ once again turned to its bank for assistance, who helped implement the nationwide DuitNow QR that is capable of directly connecting to the online banking portal, providing both convenience and safety to its users.
Best practice and innovation
With the JomPAY solution rolled out across 23 hospitals, 2.8 million patients or next-of-kin can make payments to KPJ via JomPAY.
As social distancing practices and movement control orders grew with the pandemic, KPJ wanted to establish a contactless payment option for its patients. The company implemented DuitNow QR, Malaysia’s National QR standard payment system, established by PayNet under Bank Negara Malaysia‘s interoperable credit transfer framework. Through DuitNow QR interoperability, any compliant QR Code can take payments from a participant’s bank/e-Wallet. A DuitNow QR code has been placed:
- On site in hospitals, at the designated area for COVID-19 swab testing or at the drive-thru area.
- Online, by posting the QR code on its social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram beside the respective hospital website. It is also promoted in the various health packages offered by KPJ.
Individuals can make the payment upfront for the COVID-19 swab test by scanning the DuitNow QR available on social media and fill in the necessary details. As DuitNow QR is using a real-time payment (RTP) platform, KPJ receives the payment instantly. As a result, the company can contact the individual to secure an appointment for swab testing. Then, on the agreed date, the patient simply goes straight to the drive-thru counter and the swab testing is conducted. The patient never needs to leave his/her car and the hospital staff do not need to handle payments. By using the DuitNow QR online, the entire process takes an average time of five minutes and patients receive their test results within 24 hours.
- Greatly improved process and customer service.
- Bank costs reduced.
- Improved reconciliation.
- Responds to social distancing.
- Leverages technology for ease and convenience.
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