Healthcare payment provider PaySpan has released the United Benefits Card, a payments card that's designed to also replace member ID cards, paper checks and other cards used in healthcare, such as wellness incentive cards.

The new prepaid MasterCard is meant to automate a plan member's health benefits "wallet," and centralize different healthcare-related transactions.

"The goal of the Unified Benefits Card is to empower the convergence of administrative, financial and clinical data into an easy to use and trusted instrument to facilitate better communication and commerce between healthcare stakeholders," said PaySpan CEO Kevin Arner in a release. "The same service efficiency, value and cost savings that payers and providers have experienced through our payer and provider solutions, powered by MasterCard, can now be realized by patients, payers and providers in our consumer solution offering."

The use of technology to automate parts of the healthcare payments is on the rise. Wex and Alegeus recently released a virtual card for healthcare claims, and PayZang introduced mobile payments for healthcare providers. Another company, Simplee, incorporates personal financial management-style tools into healthcare payments.

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