March 4, 2021

Say Hello to Efficiency—and Goodbye to Delinquencies—when Using Credit and Debit Cards to Pay for Senior Living Expenses

Millions of elderly Americans and their families choose senior living communities every year. Research commissioned by Visa found that 67 percent of seniors—or their adult children who often pay for their parents’ senior living costs—said they would choose a senior living facility that accepts credit cards over another that does not, even if that means paying a 2 percent processing fee. And 52 percent said they would consider using a debit card with a $10 processing fee.

Why do consumers prefer to pay for senior living costs with credit and debit cards? No doubt for the same reasons consumers use cards to pay for other major expenses: convenience, simplicity, and flexibility. And payments made with rewards cards generate cash back or other rewards. A cardholder fee is a small price to pay for those who value these pay-by-card benefits.

Beyond gaining serious competitive and sales advantages, senior living operators also can improve business operations and reduce operating costs by accepting payments with credit and debit cards.

Today, an enormous number of checks totaling billions in annual revenue must be processed for the payment of senior living and related expenses. That represents a tremendous lag time for senior living providers who might wait as long as 60 days for money to be deposited into their bank accounts—and that’s assuming residents, or their surrogates, pay on time. Payments made with credit or debit cards eliminate that payment time lag, which means better cash flow with real-time payouts and fewer delinquencies.

Another benefit with credit card payments: no person-to-person interaction in facilities where COVID-19 is forcing lockdowns. Instead of walking to the business office to pay their monthly rent and other service fees in person, seniors can safely meet their financial obligation by linking a credit card to their senior living account.

If this sounds too good to be true, it’s not. In fact, global payments technology company Visa has created a program for senior living providers that helps mitigate the cost of accepting credit cards. It gives providers the flexibility to charge a cardholder fee to consumers to offset the acceptance costs. This makes it easier for senior living providers to offer a highly desired payment option and to stand out from competitors in a meaningful way to consumers.

Of course, certain limitations apply for commercial cards and anonymous prepaid cash transactions or transactions not processed by Visa. And cardholders must use care in protecting their card and notifying their issuing financial institution immediately of any unauthorized use. Download our guide to learn more about the program and how RevSpring Merchant Services and portal can facilitate these payments.