What makes an effective patient payment system?

  • 4Minutes

Before we start exploring what makes an effective patient payment system, it’s worth understanding why this need exists.

The clinical trial industry’s most significant issue is the effective recruitment, retention, and ongoing engagement of trial participants.    

It’s well documented that up to 80% of trials fail to enroll on time, as many as 30% of patients cite financial concerns as a barrier to participation and, once enrolled, up to 40% of patients drop out before the trial is complete. 

The patient should be our focus, yet the pressures and challenges that sites, sponsors, and CROs face to keep trials moving distract us from this goal. 

Unintuitive payment systems, awkward reimbursement platforms, and unnecessary financial processing further complicate the clinical trials balancing act for sites, sponsors and CROs, while the financial burden of participating in a trial is a major challenge for patients hoping to enroll.

We believe that eliminating patients’ financial frustrations, whilst releasing sites and sponsors from the burden of complex payment approval processes and difficult-to-use systems, is key to making the trial experience smoother and more seamless. It also enables the industry to focus on what matters – finding cures for the world’s diseases.

The sponsor / CRO bigger picture juggling act

Sponsors and CROs are dealing with bigger-picture challenges daily. On the patient side, they must ensure that those enrolled are a fair reflection of the patient population, and that participants are retained and kept engaged. On the data side, informed decisions are reliant on the quality and accuracy of the results recorded. Financially, tracking spend across all suppliers is a monumental task, and all of this is undertaken while regulatory and ethical compliance is monitored and met at every turn.

Sites are at risk of being distracted from patient care

Complying with complex study protocols and strict regulations while collecting accurate data from a patient population that needs understanding and empathy all takes time. Often, that time isn’t available due to squeezed funding and stretched staff.

Sites are overburdened and under-resourced.

  A simple-to-use patient payment system that allows focus on the patient, provides data at your fingertips, and enables decision-making at a bigger picture level, helps relieve this burden.

Sponsors / CROs

As well as reducing the administrative burden on your site partners, SkyePay provides detailed insight into payment and funding statuses. With complete transparency around funds, patient payments and transactional reporting, SkyePay is easy to implement, simple to use and ensures seamless financial management and reporting.

The multiple payment options support participants from all socio-economic groups, and the fast approval processes ensure that patients feel no financial burden.   

From a compliance and data perspective, SkyePay has privacy baked in, with data stored to meet the requirements of the country of study. The lack of Protected Health Information capture, or anything patient-facing, also allows for easier Institutional Review Board approval.


A central data source for all payments, SkyePay is a simple-to-use, site-focused payment system that can be set up with no training required. Receipts can be photographed, scanned, and uploaded, , funds processed, and payments made directly to patients – all in under two minutes. Sponsors and CROs also have their own access to SkyePay, streamlining the approval process for payments outside of policy, and reducing email and phone call traffic.

This reduction in financial administration enables you to spend more time with patients, keeping them engaged and encouraging vital trial retention.

Skyelarke, is a healthcare technology company that understands people. We’ve designed a patient payment system that breaks down all the barriers to participation in medical research to make clinical trials accessible to everyone. 

SkyePay gives you access to:

  • Multiple payment options for patients – cards, virtual cards, and bank transfers with faster payments 
  • Dedicated support – personal, not a generic helpdesk
  • Configurable stipend, expense, and drive payments
  • Restful API – allowing you to integrate with other systems
  • Privacy by design – with patient data hosted in their location
  • Security by design – Cyber Essentials Plus certified for peace of mind
  • Fast set up – no lengthy onboarding or configuration

By getting your patient payments right, you can boost recruitment, and encourage retention and engagement – ultimately saving you time and money.

Using SkyePay from Skyelarke makes the effective completion of a trial a rule rather than an exception.

SkyePay from Skyelarke is a patient payment system so simple anyone can use it; built by and for the clinical research industry. Find out more about how we’re revolutionizing patient payments here.


Skyelarke is the most intuitive, comprehensive and affordable system for automated patient payments.