Unimed Creates its Own Fintech
Unimed Participações – the investment arm of the Unimed system – has created its own financial technology, offering new solutions to its members and beneficiaries and trying to monetize the more than R$80 billion that is traded annually in its system.
Created as a joint venture between Unimed Participações (which will own 60% of the company) and Q2 Bank, Unimed Pay is a fintech founded in 2020 by entrepreneurs Gabriel Borges, Eliézer Pimentel and Kaio Nascimento.
The idea of creating the joint venture was to save time. “If we start a fintech company from scratch, it will take us at least two years to mature and develop the technology,” Adelson Chagas, director of Unimed Participações, told Brazil Journal. “We were looking for a company that already had the technology ready to scale.”
Unimed is investing R$3 million at the start of the joint venture and will invest an additional R$2 million at the end of the first year, when the bank will also have to contribute funds proportional to its share in the second quarter.
Unimed Participações has 220 shareholders: Unimed Nacional and various regional Unimed. Its investment resources come from the results of companies already affiliated to the holding company or from requests for capital. The business plan foresees that Unimed Pay will generate a net profit of R$20 million in the first five years (R$10 million in the fifth year, R$10 million divided by the first four), and that the return on investment will occur in 3.5 years.
“But that’s a very conservative projection,” Adelson said. “If everything goes well, the result could be much better.” Unimed Pay will start with two products. The first is a card machine which will be offered to collaborating doctors and authorized service providers in the network (laboratories, hospitals).
This little machine will come with a camera attached to the back. When a beneficiary of Unimed health plans goes to see a cooperating doctor, the machine will read the biometric data of the customer’s face to prevent fraud. When the service is validated, the device will already create a medical credit with Unimed.
The second product is waiting for debts: thanks to the device itself, the doctor or the service provider will be able to anticipate this balance and receive the debt immediately – paying – instead of having to wait 30 days as is the case today. today. In a second step, Unimed also plans to create a complete digital wallet, which will be offered to 18.7 million beneficiaries.
Within this wallet, customers will be able to pay monthly plan fees, get reimbursed for consultations, make transfers and even order credit and debit cards. Unimed Pay is Adelson’s interest – but Unimed Participações already has other companies in its portfolio, as well as plans to create new businesses.
Today, Unimed Participações owns Seguros Unimed, which operates Unimed health plans in life and pension insurance, property and casualty insurance, dentistry and cooperative asset management. The holding company also owns a digital brokerage firm, an ADM developer, and is a manager of group subscription plans that rival administrators like Qualicorp.