The Healthcare Payment Card Ecosystem: Version 2.0

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15 October 2007


San Francisco, CA, USA October 15, 2007

Consumer payments in the healthcare market are on the verge of an evolution toward more sophisticated functionality, increased automation, and greater integration of healthcare information.

The last five years have seen the birth and expansion of an entirely new payment card sector focusing solely on healthcare. These flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA), and health reimbursement account (HRA) cards offer a degree of functionality that did not exist even 10 years ago. Healthcare payment cards represent a major growth area for banks, card processors, health insurance companies, and program administrators.

Despite the relative youth of the market, however, a new generation of cards is on the horizon. In a new report, , Celent examines the external forces shaping this evolution and details the levels of functionality healthcare payment cards will need to support in 2008 and beyond.

"The healthcare payment card ecosystem has historically placed priority on convenience," states Red Gillen, senior analyst at Celent and author of the report. "However, there is now a need to bundle information with payments The next-generation, Version 2.0, card ecosystem will bring increasingly sophisticated functionality, higher levels of automation, and most importantly, greater integration of healthcare data. This will lead to four important market developments: the second coming of FSA cards, smarter multipurse cards, standardization of multifunction cards, and the coupling of cards with real time and right time claims adjudication."

This 51-page report report has 24 figures and six tables. A table of contents is available online.

Members of Celent's Healthcare Banking research service can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left. Non-members should contact for more information.