Philips is monitoring a hearing aid leasing initiative it has launched in Spain, a pay-monthly scheme offering users a new device every three years



© Philips

Philips is using the Spanish market to try out a hearing aid leasing scheme for its Hear Link devices. If succesful, the local initiative could be extended to other territories. Users pay a feed for 36 months, after which they either pay off the device to own it, or renew the device and the deal.

This new financing plan, launched in June in Spain and christened "planazo" by Philips Hearing Solutions, "streamlines sales and cuts the renewal time" say sources at the company, who underline that they are "the first manufacturer to offer independent customers the possibility of including this service in their centre".

This local initiative has been tried out on 50 hearing care professionals, and is being well received, the company declares, with many audiologists reaching out to the bank to find out more details. HCPs who take up the tool decide themselves how to leverage and promote it to users.

Paying a monthly feed for 36 months covers the cost of the hearing aids, credit interests, checks in the hearing centre, maintenance of hearing aids, and coverage against theft, loss, and breakage.

At the end of 36 months, there are two options for the user: hearing aid renewal, whereby the user continues to pay the fee for another 36 months; and purchasing the aid already leased by paying off the outstanding balance on the device.

The deal has been made as simple as possible to sort out, says Philips: The credit is worked directly with the Spanish online bank, ABANCA, with no need for the HCP to contact the Philips Hearing Solutions team. The full amount for the patient's hearing aids will be received by the HCP in 24 to 48 hours.

A sample run-through of the plan works like this, says Philips: a patient buys hearing aids for €3,600; the hearing centre uses the ABANCA simulator to calculate the patient's credit fee for the price of the hearing aids; the user pays €99 for 36 months; after 36 months, ABANCA calls the centre to find out what the user is opting for, either buying new hearing aids and paying €99 each month for a further three years (with the clinic taking care of the final fee of €489), or keeping the hearing aids, with ABANCA issuing the charge of €489 directly to the user.

"At this moment, we want to gain some experience with the project in Spain. Depending on the success, we will decide whether to expand this offer to other territories or not," commented the Philips Hearing Solutions source.

The Philips Hear Link hearing aid is the result of a licensing deal signed in 2018 between the consumer electronics giant and Demant, parent company of Oticon. Towards the end of the last century, Philips was a top four brand in hearing care, but its position slipped before the company was sold to Beltone in the year 2000.

Source: Philips Hearing Solutions