Tyro has announced its acquisition of HealthTech start-up Medipass Solutions from majority shareholder NAB Ventures, underscoring an increasing push by financial businesses, both old and new, to expand their interests in Australia’s $130 billion healthcare market.
Medipass’s digital platform, which requires no cards or terminals to operate, connects patients, practitioners, and health funds to help streamline digitised payments, claims, and consultation arrangements.
Launched in 2016, the system is today used by 4,400 active healthcare providers nationwide.
Tyro, a business-specialist paytech, acquired Medipass from NAB’s tech investment arm, NAB Ventures, and other shareholders including chief executive Jonathan Davey and founder Peter Williams, for $22.5 million.
Aligned closely with HICAPS (NAB’s proprietary health payments and claims solution) and Medicare, Medipass’ current digital infrastructure integrates with 17 cloud-based practice management and booking systems.
Tyro believes Medipass’ existing market reach will complement, with limited overlap, its 42 integrated practice management systems and 9,300 health merchant customers it has established to date.
Healthcare, however, represents just a quarter of Tyro’s merchant base; with 36,700 customers, Tyro is Australia’s fifth largest merchant-acquiring bank by number of terminals in market (behind the big four banks), specialising in electronic payments.
Tyro holds that Medipass’ digital payments offering, combined with its own existing terminal payment solutions, will provide health practitioners a “unified commerce offering”, while broadening its existing claims options to include state and federal governments’ compensation schemes.
Going forward, Medipass’ 20-strong team will merge with Tyro’s health division under a new business unit led by chief executive Jonathan Davey, formerly a senior innovation executive at NAB.
Against the tide of NAB and pre-empting Tyro’s Medipass grab, rival CBA last week moved to acquire digital health service provider, Whitecoat. The move is no doubt a decisive step by Australia’s biggest bank to increase its market share in the healthcare sector.
Whitecoat is the largest digital health directory in Australia, enabling bookings with more than 300,000 service providers; like Medipass, Whitecoat also streamlines bookings, payments, and claims management.
For over a decade, NAB has reportedly been the biggest lender to healthcare service providers, partly because of its closed-loop, market-dominant HICAPS (Health Industry Claims and Payments Service), established in 1998.
Emerging technologies may change this, however. Recently, bank-agnostic rails for health payments and claims have been built by fintech LanternPay, as well as US-based IT company DXC, now used by CBA and ANZ.
In contrast to NAB and CBA’s fintech solutions, ANZ offers its own proprietary HealthPay capability while Westpac appears to be less aggressive in pursuing similar innovations in the health space. To date, the bank does not hold major stakes in notable HealthTech startups.