How an Australian practice recovered AU$46,000 in potential lost revenue

A win-win for vet practices, pet owners and pets alike with Openpay’s interest free buy-now-pay-later plans

Greenhills Vet Hospital


Many veterinarians find it easier to discuss patient life and death over dollars and cents. Even after showing compassion and explanations of the full value of a pricey treatment, at the end of the day the bottom line is the pet owner’s bottom line. With no Australian national health services for animals and low pet insurance uptake, more and more pet owners are feeling the financial strain of providing necessary care for their four-legged companions.

ezyVet caught up with Greenhills Vet Hospitals’ Practice Manager, Abby Richards and Nurse Manager, Zoe King about the challenges they had when navigating difficult conversations around the vet bill, and how offering a smarter way to pay alleviates much of the client’s upfront cost. Based two hours north of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia, Greenhills provides a wide range of general and specialist services including surgical procedures which often come as an unforeseen cost to the pet owner.

Greenhills Vet Hospital staff
Abby Richards, Practice Manager & Zoe King, Vet Nurse

A touchy subject

Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest challenges Greenhills faced with vet bills came from last-minute emergency surgeries where pet owners are not able to afford to pay a big bill upfront at very short notice. Zoe explains, "Stressed clients who have an emergency rush straight in, and the last thing on their mind is how they're going to pay. They just want their animal to be helped."

Another challenge Greenhills had was helping pet owners keep on top of the costs of regular medication and special foods, all products essential to ongoing care. It is not uncommon for pet owners to decline or delay recommended treatment due to costs.

No more tricky conversations and bad debt

Openpay has helped Greenhills retain clients who would have otherwise not gone ahead with the treatment. Greenhill’s biggest transaction so far has been for a feline needing orthopaedic surgery with the bill reaching nearly AU$3,000. By offering Openpay as a payment option, it was a no brainer for the pet owners to get their beloved pet the treatment she needed. Abby mentions, “Because it’s so easy for us and for our clients, we have seen an increase in the number of transactions since offering Openpay. Clients have chosen to go with our practice because we offer this payment option.”

A merchant fee is applied to every Openpay plan, however, Abby notes that from a business standpoint, it is more cost-effective than losing work altogether.

“In the four months since the integration was turned on, we have so far completed 107 plans, to a value of AU$46,249 – business which we could have otherwise lost.”

Abby RIchards

Practice Manager, Greenhills Vet Hospital

From an accounting perspective, Openpay takes on the role of administration accounts and collections on behalf of the practice. This has helped Greenhills prevent bad debt from incurring and taken away the administrative heavy task of chasing up unpaid accounts. Being fully integrated with ezyVet also allows for easier bill finalisation, invoice reconciliation, and balancing. Furthermore, Greenhills is able to maintain a fluid cash flow with the removal of cash collection risk and Openpay’s transfer of the full vet bill the next business day, minus a small merchant fee paid to Openpay.

So, how did they manage financial assistance for clients before? Greenhills had been using another payment plan provider however the high merchant fees and high consumer interest rates of up to 20% meant it wasn’t financially viable for the business or an attractive payment method for clients. Their other option was to send accounts, which they preferred to avoid as it led to cumbersome debt collection issues.

Setting up a smarter way to pay

When Openpay emerged as ezyVet’s preferred Buy Now Pay Later partner, Greenhills jumped onboard knowing that their clients would be more inclined to go ahead with treatment and extra purchases if they are able to pay it off over a longer period at no added cost.

Clients pay 10% or 20% of the total bill on the day and can spread the rest off over 2 to 24 months, interest-free. Compared to paying the vet bill with a credit card, which can incur high-interest fees if not paid off in time, Openpay allows the consumer more flexible and longer payment terms.

Abby says, “In the four months since the integration was turned on, we have so far completed 107 plans, to a value of AU$46,249 – business which we could have otherwise lost.” Averaged out, each payment plan came to AU$432, which can still be a high amount for pet owners, especially if it is an unexpected cost.

Greenhills Vet Hospital Staff
Greenhills' nursing team, Receptionist Sarah with a sleepy patient

“Clients love it. We love it. Because payments can be a bit of a touchy subject, Openpay makes life a lot easier for us when we offer that payment option.”

Zoe King

Vet Nurse, Greenhills Vet Hospital

Keeping up with the changing landscape in payment methods

There has been an increasing shift in consumer trends and behaviour around finance. Even before COVID-19, the use of cash has been rapidly declining throughout Australia; credit cards are also experiencing a decline. Australians are looking at different ways to pay for their goods and services, and wanting greater financial controls like payment flexibility at no added cost.

The ezyVet and Openpay integration aims to support veterinary practices streamline payment plan management, help pet owners with vet bill affordability to ensure their pets get the care they need when they need it. Zoe sums up the discussion with, “Clients love it. We love it. Because payments can be a bit of a touchy subject, Openpay makes life a lot easier for us when we offer that payment option.”