Two Big Acquisitions Close, Ushering in an Era of Even Bigger Payment Processors

The lineup of processing giants at the top of the payments industry has been reduced by two this week. 

First, Fiserv announced on Monday that it had completed its acquisition of First Data. The combined company is now Fiserv.

“The completion of this transformative combination is a major milestone in the evolution of our companies,” Jeffery Yabuki, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Fiserv, said in a press release

“We have continued to identify ways in which we can deliver differentiated value to clients, associates and shareholders, and are excited to work together on fulfilling the promise of the combination. We are confident that our people are the best in the industry and will push the boundaries of excellence and innovation for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.”

When they announced their plans to combine in January, Fiserv and First Data said that they intend to invest $500 million over five years to build on their technology solutions. They also expect to enable more payments capabilities on what will be an end-to-end platform to serve clients from issuance through acceptance, the companies said.

The First Data / Fiserv announcement kicked off a series of high-profile payments industry mergers that included FIS / Worldpay in March and Global Payments / TSYS in May.

On Wednesday, FIS closed its acquisition of Worldpay.

“The global payments industry is moving at an accelerated speed and it is vital that large providers such as FIS stay ahead,” Rivka Gewirtz Little, research director for Global Payment Strategies at IDC Financial Insights, said in the announcement.

“The combination of FIS and Worldpay enhances FIS’ overall acquiring and payment offerings, positioning the company to offer best-in-class enterprise banking, payments, capital markets, and global eCommerce capabilities to financial institutions and businesses worldwide.”

In their own initial announcement, FIS and Worldpay said their combination would also help Worldpay expand into new markets through a wider distribution footprint.

As PaymentFacilitator has previously reported, the consolidation of large payment processors has the potential to lead to greater opportunity for payment facilitators in particular, as the big guys may be inclined to focus more on scale and shareholder value and less on their ability to manage relationships with smaller merchants.

“As these companies get bigger, they will naturally focus on larger business opportunities and increasingly concede smaller ones to third parties by enabling PFs and other integration deals. Specialized product offerings and niche-oriented distribution are not part of the program for a scale business,” Rick Oglesby told PaymentFacilitator in March.

The increased scale of large payment processors might also lead to lower costs for PFs, he said.

“As the major processors consolidate and add scale, PF sponsorship and processing will be available at lower costs which increases the potential margin available to PFs,” he said.