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Which Companies Could Be M&A Targets In Growing Healthcare Payments Sector?

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The healthcare payments business may sound incredibly niche, but it's not. And one such executive outlined what assets his company may look to acquire as the space grows. 

President of Wex Health, a division of the $8.9 billion (by market cap) Wex Inc. (WEX) - Get WEX Inc. Report , Robert Deshaies, told TheStreet his company may soon look to acquire various types of tech companies that could compliment its relatively new product: digital payment solutions for healthcare consumers. 

Wex is primarily a payment solutions company for government fleets, but has recently expanded into the healthcare payments space. This space may sound like a small development immaterial to the way people do things, but actually Americans are expected to spend more than $5 trillion on healthcare by 2024, and they've indicated in recent studies they're intent on making those payments digitally and with less friction. This makes healthcare payments a trend to keep an eye on. 

Mergers and acquisitions have been somewhat of a theme in the business. In May, JPMorgan acquired InstaMed for $500 million. InstaMed processed more than $94 billion worth of payments in 2018, and JPMorgan has been looking to exposed to the trend of late. Wex Health bought Evolution1 for $530 million in 2014, as Wex was looking to leverage its technology to move into health payments solutions. Evolution1 is now Wex Health. In late 2018, Wex bought Noventis. 

For more deals in the future, "It would be things like artificial intelligence, so that would really help with engagement from a consumer, so they could help make the best choices as they work forward in planning, in savings, and to make sure they're spending competitive rates," said Deshaies. "It could be in security. Security, privacy and fraud are really big on the minds of consumers today." He said Wex is "continually evaluating" new opportunities.  

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