FIS Inc. announced the acquisition of Brussels-based payment technology company Clear2Pay for €375 ($493.3) million in early September. While the company announced the investment would bolster global payment capabilities and enhance enterprise payments solutions, the most interesting aspect of the acquisition may be the fact that FIS offers a real-time funds transfer service called PayNet while Clear2Pay has been involved with major payment system shifts such as SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) and UK Faster Payments. The strategy behind this acquisition may be focused on the further development of a real-time funds transfer network to compete with NACHA.
The PayNet services falls under FIS’ payment network solutions and provides the ability for financial institutions to process instant person-to-person, account-to-account and wire transfers. The service offers real-time funds transfers riding on the EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) rails that support ATMs and debit cards. They even position the product as a way to expedite bill payments replacing ACH. General Manager of PayNet, Peter Gordon, said there will be 500 banks on the network by the end of this year and by that time all of its banking core systems will be equipped to handle real-time transactions.