Improving customer experience with easy, secure remote transactions

Thanks to e-signatures and remote payments, a network of veterinary hospitals in Greater Montreal streamlined its operations and cash flow and laid the groundwork to overcome the biggest challenge many businesses have ever faced: COVID-19.

Groupe Vétéri Médic Inc. (GVMI) is a network that includes two veterinary centres and ten animal hospitals in and around Montreal. As a member of VCA Canada, a nationwide network of more than 120 animal hospitals, GVMI is a regional leader in veterinary care for dogs, cats, and exotic animals. Its experienced and caring team of 750 employees offers general medicine and emergency services for its patients, in addition to retail services providing a full range of accessories and nutrition products for pets.

A new solution to an old problem

All businesses, no matter what they do, share one major concern: making sure they get paid, especially service businesses that require deposits. Customers sometimes refuse to pay a balance or dispute their charge, which can have a major impact on cash flow and operations. GVMI is no exception. In 2018, it decided to do something about it. It needed an easy and efficient solution for approving estimates, authorizing care, and capturing payment information. The answer: eZsign.

Not only is eZsign Canada’s most trusted electronic signature solution, it features seamless integration with Moneris, Canada’s number-one payment processor. This combination allows businesses to collect signatures and payment details in a single step.

When an owner drops a patient off at a GVMI hospital, the vet assesses the patient and writes up an estimate. GVMI’s policy is to collect a 75% deposit before providing care. After the owner pays the deposit, the vet treats the patient. If the patient’s condition changes, or if the vet discovers another issue requiring additional care, GVMI seeks approval and collects deposits along the way, which can result in several deposit payments before the final payment.

Before using eZsign with Moneris payment integration, owners often needed to come to the hospital to sign authorizations, and GVMI staff had to call them to obtain consent for additional care and process additional payments. As you can imagine, this was a time-consuming and error-prone process that didn’t leave a very good paper trail. The result was decreased efficiency, more disputed payments, and higher unpaid balances—all of which impacted operations.

“We often have estimates that are for two, three, four thousand dollars or more, so if a customer refuses to pay or disputes the charge, it can have a major impact on our business,” said Benoît Alary, Director of Operations at GVMI.

Now, the process includes a valuable new step: GVMI uses eZsign to authorize treatment and collect deposits. Owners view and sign estimates and enter their payment information right on their mobile devices, allowing GVMI to debit their cards automatically. Not only does this save GVMI more than $30,000 a year in previously disputed payments, it has greatly improved their customer service: fewer owner trips, less hassle, and no surprise bills. It’s a win–win for hospitals, owners, and patients.

Thanks to its robust security features, eZsign electronic signatures are non-repudiable, meaning it is next to impossible to dispute them, giving businesses peace of mind when asking for authorizations or payment details.

“Capturing payments using eZsign has allowed us to reduce the number of credit card disputes and non-payments because customers sign the authorization at the same time,” said Alary. “It’s a great way to collect payments from our customers, and we use it at all the hospitals and centres in our Group, even those that don’t use e-signatures yet.”

Custom API

GVMI also works with an existing patient management system that is an integral part of their workflow. To allow them to use eZsign with their existing system, eZsign programmed a custom API to link them together, so employees can send e-signature requests without switching applications. This helps the team work even more efficiently.

“We’ve seen positive impacts in several areas thanks to eZsign,” said Alary.

“By making remote transactions easy and secure, we can provide better service to our customers and make our receptionists’ lives a whole lot easier. From an operational standpoint, eZsign lets us communicate more efficiently with our customers.”


GVMI had already been using eZsign for two years before confronting the COVID-19 pandemic. When restrictions went into effect in 2020 and other businesses were scrambling to find the tools they needed to stay open, GVMI already had an efficient way to gather customer signatures and payment information remotely, allowing them to work (almost) as usual. “Honestly, we were lucky that we already had this payment method because we could send customers everything, and they could pay deposits and sign treatment authorizations from their cars,” said Natalie Talbot, General Manager at Centre vétérinaire Laval. “This is a lot safer for our employees and easier for everyone, because we don’t have to interact face to face with owners, just our patients.”

Better workflow, better service

GVMI has been very pleased with eZsign. “It’s a solution that could be easily adapted to other animal hospitals and other businesses in general,” confirmed Alary. With the eZsign API and Moneris payment integration, GVMI’s operations are simpler, more secure, and more streamlined. More reliable payments mean better service for their customers and patients and a better bottom line for the group.

If you’re ready to add e-signatures to your business process, let us show you what eZsign can do. Sign up for our free 10-day Individual trial or contact our team to discuss how we can serve your Enterprise e-signature and payment capture needs.