Westpac buys stake in Lantern Pay to help deliver NDIS
Customers of the federal government’s $22 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme will be able to pay for health services through a new platform to be rolled out by Westpac Banking Corp, which has taken a 10 per cent equity stake in payments firm InLoop.
InLoop is the parent company of Lantern Pay, which has created a “digital wallet”, or mobile application, that lets customers of government-backed medical services schemes monitor budgets. Lantern Pay pays service providers up front before claiming the payments back from the government.
The deal is an example of the policy shift towards “consumer-directed care” in government medical schemes including the NDIS, which puts customers in control of spending and encourages the private sector to invest to help deliver the services to customers.
Geoff Austen, the managing director of InLoop, said as the government services delivery model shifts from one of “procurement” to one about “enabling” services, the company realised the government’s own systems and processes were not able to keep up. “There was an opportunity here to empower that move,” he said.
The other strategic investor in InLoop is Macquarie Group, which already owns 33 per cent of the company. The senior head of strategy at Westpac Institutional Bank, Rob Jarrett, is joining the InLoop board, on which Glen Butler, a division director of Macquarie Capital, also sits.
Neither InLoop nor Westpac would disclose the valuation or dollar amount of the equity investment. It was made by Westpac directly rather than through its venture capital arm Reinventure Group.
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