The Present and Future of Clinical Trial Payments

Within the ever-evolving state of the healthcare industry, the clinical trial payments sector stands at the forefront of needing payment innovation.

Beyond the medical procedures, tests and groundbreaking research, the financial backbone of clinical trials plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of healthcare. Modernizing the way clinical research stipends, compensation, and reimbursements are delivered can positively impact the future of clinical trial sites. Electronic payments and payment processes can both increase a trial site’s organizational well-being and offer patients an overall positive experience throughout a trial.

The Present State of Clinical Trial Payments

The traditional payment methods in clinical trials often involve a tedious pile of paperwork, delayed payments to patients, and time-consuming follow-ups. This can include the time spent writing, processing, and mailing paper checks to countless individuals more than one time during a research trial period. Once a check is finally mailed, it could take days for it to arrive in a patient’s mailbox. Multiply this by the number of trial participants and the number of trials conducted each year…and that is A LOT of time and unnecessary expense!


Sites need operationally reliable platforms to deliver stipend and reimbursement payments to patients. Offering anything less than an excellent payment experience can affect patient persistence, ultimately affecting trial participation and results.


Additionally, a common payment method that all patients are familiar with (and all sites can administer) is crucial. Clinical trials follow strict protocols throughout research processes, so being equally disciplined in the patient payment process just makes sense. Card-based and other digital payment methods do just this for patients across the spectrum of financial backgrounds and sophistication.

Why Payment Modernization in Clinical Trials Matters

Trial sites, burdened by administrative tasks, can immediately benefit from streamlined, modern payment processes. Quick and secure payments mean more time and resources can be devoted to the core purpose of the trials—research and patient care. From participant stipends to reimbursements, sites can access the benefits of real-time money movement throughout the clinical trial period. Additionally, with modernized payment methods to clinical trial patients, all check replacement, reconciliation, and escheatment responsibility is eliminated for trial sites.

Patient-Centricity and Financial Ease

Patients participating in clinical trials are sometimes navigating challenging health situations. For them, timely and efficient compensation is not just a matter of convenience; it’s a part of their everyday finances. Modernizing clinical trial payments acknowledges the importance of patient-centricity. By ensuring a smooth financial process, patients can concentrate on their well-being, contributing positively to the overall success of the trials.  


Imagine a patient enrolled in a clinical trial receiving their compensation immediately and without complications. This not only contributes to the trial patient’s overall satisfaction but also aids in building trust between the patient and the trial site. A positive and modern clinical trial payment experience encourages continued participation and promotes word-of-mouth referrals, ultimately benefiting the trial site’s recruitment and retention efforts.

The Future Potential of Clinical Research Payments

Transitioning from traditional to electronic payment methods not only accelerates the payment process but also reduces the chances of errors and discrepancies. Modernizing payments within the clinical trial industry is not merely an option; it’s a necessity for the future. The shift to electronic payment methods not only streamlines processes for trial sites but also has a profound impact on the patient experience. As we embrace these changes, we pave the way for a future where clinical trials are not only groundbreaking in their research but also allow for a positive patient experience. After all, the journey toward medical advancements begins with a single step—often taken by a willing patient in the form of a trial participant who deserves a seamless and supportive experience.

Modernize Your Clinical Trials Payment Experience

*Poongothai S, Anjana RM, Aarthy R, Unnikrishnan R, Narayan KMV, Ali MK, Karkuzhali K, Mohan V. Strategies for participant retention in long term clinical trials: A participant -centric approaches. Perspect Clin Res. 2023 Jan-Mar;14(1):3-9. doi: 10.4103/picr.picr_161_21. Epub 2022 Jul 23. PMID: 36909219; PMCID: PMC10003583.