Last week, JPMorgan Chase announced its plans to acquire InstaMed, a technology and payments platform focused on the U.S. healthcare industry.
The companies are not disclosing the terms of the agreement, but CNBC has reported that Chase is spending more than $500 million on the company, which operates as a payment facilitator. This acquisition is the largest for Chase since the bank bought Bear Stearns and the assets of Washington Mutual during 2008, CNBC said.
At that time, WePay Chief Strategy Officer Rich Aberman described the acquisition as being focused on beefing up a strategic capability, rather than boosting transaction volume.
“Chase is looking to where they think the market’s going to go, thinking about payments as a strategic play – not just for acquiring, but for other financial services – and they are buying a technology and a team to really do something disruptive and transformative over the next 5 to 10 years,” he told PaymentFacilitator.
The company has positioned the InstaMed acquisition similarly – as providing it with capabilities to help meet the needs of a sector that presents significant opportunity.
In an interview with PaymentFacilitator last year, InstaMed cofounder Chris Seib described the healthcare industry as fragmented, resulting in a confusing payments experience that contrasts with the more seamless experience consumers are coming to expect. To address that experience, the company has built its own platform from the ground up.
“Our platform allows us the flexibility to bring new and innovative solutions to the market because we own the pieces. We’re not partnering with someone else to create the capability, and that’s a unique advantage for us,” Seib said.
In its announcement, Chase said that healthcare spending in the U.S. totals $3 trillion annually in a market that is “challenged by significant transaction friction and inefficiency.”
“We’ve made significant investments in our Wholesale Payments business over the years and this acquisition will give us a unique advantage in one of the fastest growing sectors. With InstaMed, we combine the strength and scale of JPMorgan Chase’s payments capabilities with a leading healthcare payments solution for consumers, providers and payers,” Takis Georgakopoulos, global head of Wholesale Payments for the company said in last week’s press release.