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Faye Hall | Customer Engagement Manager, FIS
June 29, 2020
How can people working from home take online payments?
When all around you seems to be crumbling into chaos and your business is pitched into uncertainty, the last thing you want is more problems. You want to be dealing with companies and people who will lighten your load by solving your problems for you, not creating new ones. For Sally-Anne Laing, one such business is Worldpay.
Sally-Anne is practice manager for Sapphire Eyecare, a private company specializing in surgical treatment for a range of eye conditions, including vitreoretinal problems, cataracts and macular degeneration. In most cases, patients can be seen and treated within just one or two weeks of getting in touch. Consultations and surgeries take place at five medical centers in the south of England, including the Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital in Southampton, which also serves as Sapphire’s head office.
Until recently that is.
The focus of the UK entire health system is now on dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. All elective and non-urgent procedures have been cancelled and NHS England has taken over private hospitals, leaving nowhere for Sapphire Eyecare to treat patients.
It was an abrupt interruption to the business which Sally-Anne joined just 18 months ago. It’s been an exhilarating time during which a managing director was appointed and the business rebranded to give it a fresh and modern appeal. But, like all of us, Sapphire Eyecare has had to adjust to the current COVID-19 environment.
“Medically speaking, everything has stopped,” Sally-Anne says. “It’s very upsetting. Many of our patients are deeply affected by the suspension. Although their problems are not life-threatening, an eye operation can mean the difference between being able to drive or not, and even in the current lockdown that can mean not being able to get to the supermarket. It’s been distressing having to break the news to people that their operation has been cancelled.”
On the business side of things, no consultations and no operations means no revenues. Income from outstanding balances are still due and are, therefore, a crucial part of the company’s survival strategy until the virus is beaten and something akin to normality returns to the health system. So, Sally-Anne took the Worldpay card payment machine home with her so that she could continue accepting payments over the phone until furlough kicked in.
Sally-Anne explains: “Although a lot of treatment costs are covered by private health insurance, it’s common for there to be an excess which the patient has to settle. This they can do by transferring the money or by calling us to make a payment over the phone. Many patients are much happier doing it this way because they find it reassuring to hear us tell them that the payment has gone through and that their account with us is clear.
“Not surprisingly, you can’t simply take your wi-fi card payment machine from the office to your home and start taking payments – so we needed to find an alternative payment solution.”
Sally-Anne rang the Worldpay help desk to find out what needed to be done to get her up and running again.
“Worldpay’s support team are super,” she says. “You don’t have to wait, they know what they’re doing and they solve problems quickly. They’re also polite and courteous. Whatever you ask Worldpay for, they’re on it straight away and make things happen. Nothing is ever a problem – or at least that’s how they make you feel. The other day I recommended Worldpay to another practice manager and without hesitation. Worldpay are superb.”
So, within a matter of minutes, Sally-Anne was able to take payments through the Worldpay Virtual Terminal.
“With all that’s going on, it goes against the grain to be focusing on money but it is necessary as a business need. We want to ensure that once these uncertain times have passed, we are immediately able to give our patients the treatments they so desperately need. It’s difficult explaining why we can’t help them at the moment. But the minute this is over we will be ready with the best surgeons, treatments and facilities available, and a concern for their care and comfort, something which Sapphire Eyecare prides itself on.”
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