Smart healthcare company Navia Life Care has debuted a new process for instant loans called Aarogya Pay, designed to offer buy now, pay later (BNPL) options to patients, the Free Press Journal reported Friday (May 20).
The company is looking to help patients access medical treatments by offering instant loans at zero interest, which can be paid back in installments.
Navia Life Care said Aarogya Pay is intended to help patients manage the sharp rise in medical costs, particularly where health insurance policies fall short. In a statement cited in the report, the company said people have often had to run “pillar to post” to find the immediate funds needed to start treatment.
Aarogya Pay is fully digital and will make use of QR codes at the doctor’s offices. By scanning the code, users can then use Aarogya Pay to get loans with a pre-approved credit limit, which can be used for “medical procedures, treatments, consultations, medicine purchases, and lab tests,” per the report.
The report noted that patients will also have to complete a virtual know your customer (KYC) check to know their loan eligibility.
According to Navia Life Care co-founder Gaurav Gupta, the idea for the BNPL solution came from India’s low insurance penetration for healthcare, “which leads to high out-of-pocket expenditure for patients.”
“This in turn leads to poor care quality as patients push their treatments to later dates,” he said. “Aarogya Pay aims to change this by providing a Buy Now Pay Later/ instant zero-cost EMI option to patients.”
Fellow co-founder Nupur Khandelwal said the project was “ambitious,” and said the company is aiming for “transactions worth Rs. 100 crore on the Aarogya Pay platform in the next 6 months,” according to the report.
As BNPL and other digital tech gains popularity, younger millennial and Gen Z consumers have been some of the biggest groups to embrace the option.
For example, a March study found that 38% of millennial consumers had used mobile wallets to pay for purchases in the month leading up to the survey. This demographic was also more likely to buy things with a debit card instead of a credit card.