Metavante Technologies hopes to
capitalise on a recent acquisition by increasing the reach of its
health payment card portfolio to grab a greater share of the
self-directed consumer market. The Milwaukee-based technology
provider is building on a system developed by BenSoft, a software
provider Metavante bought in January 2008. Its newly re-launched
product, BenSoft, combines the older BenSoft RepayMe system with
Metavante’s payment card and processing offerings in a product that
uses a single interface.

Metavante normally offers healthcare
accounts with a combined payment card that can determine
automatically which account to charge for a health-related
purchase. What was missing was a system to help administrators
manage these otherwise disparate accounts in one place.

John Reynolds, president of Metavante Health
Care Payment Systems, said the acquisition of BenSoft was
recognition the client base was largely third-party administrators
and their clients, who needed tighter integration between the card
and the software used to process the transactions and perform
back-office functions.

“With more than 6 million cards out there on a
multi-purse [up to seven account types, from health savings
accounts to flexible spending to dependent care], we saw a chance
to improve the customer experience as well as the administrator
experience,” Reynolds said.

Greater systems

Meanwhile, Metavante built a
consortium, the Special Interest Group for Inventory Information
Approval System Standards, consisting of some of the largest
retailers (Wal-Mart, Target, CVS) and financial processors that
have created standards for allowing stock keeping unit-level detail
for authorisation of covered insurance benefits at retail

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So, if a consumer went to Target and
bought a covered pharmaceutical item, there would be no need to
submit that receipt for reimbursement – it would simply be taken
off the customer’s payment.

BenSoft’s RepayMe software provided a
web-based tool for individuals who participate in various benefit
programmes to easily obtain reimbursement for eligible expenses
covered by their benefit plans. It was designed specifically or
third-party administrators, health plans and self-administrating
employers seeking a cost-effective solution for flexible spending
accounts, health reimbursement accounts, health savings accounts
and transportation (parking) accounts. Metavante added it to its
suite of products, and the result is BenSoft.

The new system provides a single dashboard
view of the card transaction history of the customer as well as
health plan information, and integrates a host of back-end
processes that employers have had to stitch together from a wide
range of separate vendors. By combining the technology into a
single offering, Metavante is able to reduce its price and lessen
the admin burden of accepting a payment card for insurer-eligible
health care payments.

Metavante says that BenSoft can help
administrators reduce costs, improve operational efficiency and
ultimately help consumers make more effective healthcare


In addition to pulling together all of a
consumer’s benefits account information securely behind the scenes,
BenSoft plugs into Metavante’s WealthCare Portal, which makes all
of the pertinent health care account information, dependent care
and even transportation and medical parking account information
available to consumers in a single web-portal view. It also
provides web-based health and wealth education and decision-support
tools for consumers and employers.

The WealthCare Portal creates a more tightly
integrated view of all benefit accounts (including health savings
accounts) for the consumer, a combined on-boarding process for
health plan enrolment and benefit account opening, along with
health information, prescription drug info, quality of care data,
and healthcare finance calculators to help project personal health
costs and savings needs.

The integrated BenSoft functions help
consumers make better-informed healthcare choices and also offer
views of benefit account balances and transaction histories
associated with the WealthCare card, Metavante’s benefit debit
card. With more than five million of its multi-purse benefit debit
WealthCare Cards in consumers’ hands, Metavante sees BenSoft as a
way to further expand its portfolio.

Reynolds said some employers simply have to
fully replace their health plans with a high-deductible plan, and
others need to offer it as a menu of choice, so encouraging
self-directed healthcare and healthy lifestyle becomes paramount.
The WealthCare portal assembles all of that information in one
space, with everything from detailed medical information to online
financial modelling tools that allow the consumer to input data
about their age, weight and health conditions to calculate what
sorts of future expenditures that consumer could expect.

Removing barriers

Reynolds said by tying all the platforms into
a single online base, on-boarding for new consumers is nearly
instantaneous. And the programme’s pricing encourages card

“From a fee perspective, for the member, it is
a single fee monthly inclusive of the software and the card,” he
said. “In the past, because of the separation of these different
pieces, the decision about offering a card was one that sometimes
was a little bit of a harder economic decision for some
administrators to make. Now, effectively, we are taking that
barrier down by including the card in the way that we price this.
It is removing a barrier for card issuance, and the more cards we
can drive on to system, the more inefficiency we drive from the

Reynolds said BenSoft already has over 150
third-party administrators driving more than 600,000 accounts, and
it has been “very successful” in the market.

“It is a great selling point in a tough
economic market,” he said. “RepayMe brings the account
administration intellectual capital and software, while Metavante
contributes its payments platform, known as Benefit Payment System,
and our WealthCare Card. The BenSoft solution combines two
technologies, creating a compelling efficiency play.”