Alipay, Ant Credit Bring Online Credit Payments to China’s Hospitals

Alipay, Zhima Credit, Ant Credit Pay and Linking Cloud jointly launched Medical Service on Credit, a medical product designed to reduce the need to queue for services, on November 7.

Huashan Hospital in Shanghai is the first participating hospital. Credits can also be used for provisional medical fees in the event of an emergency.

Ant Credit Pay users whose Zhima credit score exceeds 650 will be entitled to use Medical Services on Credit in Outpatient Services. It is available in the Lifestyle section of the Alipay app. Users can add their personal information as outpatients and borrow up to 1,000 yuan on Ant Credit Pay to cover medical fees. After the users register their appointments online, they will be able to see doctors and pay for medications and relevant procedures. Ant Credit Pay automatically deducts the fees.

The product’s key feature is replacing offline wait times, allowing patients to receive treatment and pay at the same time. Patients will no long have to rush between doctor’s offices and cashiers, waiting in line each time. Medical Services on Credit may slash the average patient’s time spent at the hospital by 60 percent, said Hu Shjie, co-director of Information Department at Huashan Hospital.

Alipay had a pilot of a similar service in Guangzhou Women and Children’s Medical Center (at the hospital’s expense) in February 2016. Data from the trial showed a 75 percent reduction in hospital time. Medical Services on Credit is an updated version compared to what was previously implemented.

Wang Bo, general manager of Innovation and Smart Services at Ant Financial, said the pilot program is fairly demanding for hospitals’ information and financial management systems. Ant Credit Pay can remove the risks caused by patients’ defaults and reduce connection costs.

More than 10 hospitals in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Wuhan have adopted Medical Services on Credit.

Wang Bo said Medical Services on Credit will be integrated with inpatient procedures to provide medical services that can render credit for deposit. It may be integrated with Face ID technology by ZOLOZ, which will allow patients to access doctors using their Face IDs, he said.

This article originally appeared in 36kr and was translated by Pandaily.