Published in Non-Clinical

Sunbit—Buy Now, Pay Later: Not Just for eCommerce

This post is sponsored by Sunbit
8 min read

Join Jaclyn Garlich, OD, FAAO and Robert Nunziato, Head of Strategy of Sunbit, to discuss how to implement their "buy now, pay later" technology for optometry practices.

Sunbit is the preferred buy now, pay-over-time solution of service providers and retailers fulfilling the needs of thousands of local communities.
The Sunbit technology is offered in-store and online at over 12,000 locations—including auto dealership service centers, optical practices, dentist offices, and specialty healthcare services.
A buy now, pay later (BNPL) technology company built for local, everyday needs, Sunbit eases the stress of buying everyday things by offering fast, fair and transparent payment options to people everywhere.
With 90 percent of customers approved through a simple, 30-second approval process, Sunbit is easy to use in-store, online, and on-the-go.

People-focused technology experts

Sunbit believes that building great relationships is core to its success, which is why it is guided by people-focused values:
  • Trustworthy—Committed to acting in everyone’s best interest.
  • Inclusive—Solutions are designed to provide value to the widest range of people.
  • Transparent—Products offered through Sunbit technology are clear, straightforward and easy to understand.
With experts in machine learning, software, retail, and financial services, Sunbit is trailblazing new technology that helps lenders open the door to fair financing for people from all walks of life.

Walking hand-in-hand with partners

Sunbit walks hand-in-hand with its partners, offering easy setup and key tools for success, including:
  • Partner Success Team—Sunbit assigns a dedicated Account Manager and Partner Success Manager that visits either in-person or virtually to train and certify employees to offer Sunbit technology and provides ongoing support to drive business and customer satisfaction with Sunbit.
  • Marketing and Training Resources—Sunbit provides marketing resources to help partners get the word out in offices and through websites, social media, email marketing, and digital ads. Access is also provided to Sunbit’s learn management system for refresher training and new employee certification.
  • Actionable Insights—Through the partner portal, earnings can be viewed at any time, as well as in-depth reporting about store performance. Insights are provided at the associate level, store level and group level for multiple locations.

Sunbit for optometry

Robert Nunziato, Head of Strategy of Sunbit, said the aim of Sunbit’s BNPL technology is to remove friction from payments in any brick and mortar setting—and specifically in the optical industry.
“Our goal is to help sell more eyewear, sell multiple pairs of glasses, reduce exam-only patients, and in general modernize the practice,” he said. “We're a financing technology, but we're more than that. We're a modern version of it.”
Nunziato said Sunbit mirrors the BNPL technology many are familiar with—but offers additional benefits.
“We have a higher approval rate and give more access to more patients in a way that is fundamentally different and game-changing as a business,” he explained.
Since its launch, Nunziato said the company’s vision has been to focus on providing financing for non-discretionary industries, starting with the automotive sector.
“We realized in those industries, because it's a non-discretionary purchase, we can approve more people,” he said.
In that light, they viewed optical as a natural jumping-off point into the healthcare industry.
“We're trying to give more access to more patients and ultimately also help the doctors sell more,” he said. “That's our goal as a company.”

Removing cost barriers

Nunziato said the cost of vision products is a common concern for people.
“We hear it in different versions, but we hear it all the time,” he said.
When Sunbit moved into optical, Nunziato said they surveyed over a thousand eyecare professionals, and found that more than half said they encountered patients who objected to cost.1
But in a separate survey, when patients were asked what upgrades they would choose if given a payment plan option, 78% of people indicated they would upgrade their lenses or purchase more eyewear.2
“So we understand that, more often than not, patients would be more likely to purchase more if plans were offered,” Nunziato said.
Referencing the lack of financial resources many patients have—as well as the price challenges providers face from online competitors—he said Sunbit’s goal is to help provide options that match and mirror online offerings and increase the average order value in the practice.
Additionally, cash-strapped consumers may find traditional financing as their only option—a process that is cumbersome, time-consuming, and has a negative impact on credit scores.
“That's where we're trying to fit in, on both sides of the spectrum,” Nunziato explained. “Offering a fast, easy tool that balances discounts online, and also something that gives access to patients who historically just don't have the funds.”

Simplifying the application process

Nunziato said Sunbit’s offering for optical practices includes an application process for patients that’s simple and quick.
“We remove the friction and give people those same payment plans, but we also do it with a higher approval rate than other finance,” he explained.
Describing the checkout process, he said someone in the office can present the plan to the patient and make use of the tablet Sunbit provides to scan the back of the patient’s ID.
“Within thirty seconds, the patient can be approved for a payment plan or for an amount they can use for eyewear, up to six thousand dollars,” Nunziato said. “Ninety percent of people get approved quick and easy with no hard credit check.”
He said once an amount is approved, it can be split up into three, six, or twelve monthly payments—with three months interest free.

Driving revenue and improving the patient experience

Describing Sunbit’s value proposition, he said their offering helps increase practice revenue and improve the patient experience.
“Everyone wants to do those two things, but for those two things to happen in parallel is rare. Usually it's one at the expense of the other,” Nunziato said. “However, we're giving a tool to the practice that modernizes the office and serves as an amenity for the patient.”
Additionally, he said the Sunbit offering helps to reduce walkout, since patients are less likely to search for discounted options online when they know a payment plan is available.
“So, those three things in parallel—increasing the average order value, reducing walkouts, and also improving the patient experience—I think that's what we offer to a practice that helps them drive new revenue and overall satisfaction,” Nunziato said.
  1. Eye Care Professional (ECP) Survey Helps Frame Importance of a Frictionless Checkout in Order to Increase Revenue and Retain Customers. February 8, 2021.
  2. Patients want more, but money gets in the way. Research shows eyewear customers are more likely to upgrade with access to buy now, pay-over-time options.
Jaclyn Garlich, OD, FAAO
About Jaclyn Garlich, OD, FAAO

Dr. Garlich is the owner of Envision Optometry located in Boston’s financial district. She is a graduate of the New England College of Optometry. After optometry school, she furthered her training by completing a residency in primary care and ocular disease at the St. Louis Veterans Affairs. She obtained her Fellowship of the American Academy of Optometry in 2011 and has a strong interest in treating dry eye.

Dr. Garlich is the founder and editor of 20/20 Glance, an optometry newsletter that educates thousands of optometrists on the latest advances in our profession. She is also the recipient of the Eyecare Business Magazine Game Changers award in 2019 for her leadership work in the optometry community. Dr. Garlich also serves as a Major in the Air National Guard.

Jaclyn Garlich, OD, FAAO
Robert Nunziato
About Robert Nunziato

Robert Nunziato is the Sunbit technology, sales, and operations manager experienced in data gathering, analytics and B2B sales and partnerships. He has an outstanding ability to develop innovative customer programs that support business strategy and aggressive growth objectives.

Robert Nunziato
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