The Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) alternative payment method is the hottest trend in payments right now. Amazon announced a major partnership with Affirm, Square will acquire Australian BNPL provider AfterPay, and now PayPal will acquire Paidy for $2.7 billion. All of this activity occurred in about a 40 day span.
Equifax finalized a deal to purchase Kount for $650 million, following suit after TransUnion acquired iovation in 2018 and Experian acquired 41st Parameter in 2013. Kount will maintain their headquarters in Boise, Idaho, as it becomes a part of Equifax’s United States Information Solutions (USIS) company. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.
Following a series of accounting fraud scandals that resulted in the insolvency of German processor and payments provider Wirecard AG, Banco Santander will be acquiring their payment technology assets for €100 million.
The acquisition only includes the assets related to merchant services and payment processing with the approximately 500 employees who manage the assets, who will now join GETNET, Banco Santander’s global merchant services team.
Bank account authentication, funds confirmation and KYC provider GIACT will be acquired by Refinitiv, a financial technology and data vendor owned by London Stock Exchange Group. GIACT’s data and technology will complement Refinitiv’s due diligence, risk and compliance services while broadening the company’s digital fraud prevention and identity services.
The acquisition of GIACT both strengthens Refinitiv’s existing service offerings with stronger US data assets and broadens their service offerings and capabilities to additional industries.
LexisNexis prepares to fund two acquisitions totaling $855 million as parent company RELX looks to buy two major names in the identity authentication and risk management space. This includes the acquisition of ID Analytics from NortonLifeLock in January followed by the purchase of email authentication vendor Emailage, announced in mid-February. Both deals are expected to close in the first quarter of this year.
Founded in 2000, PayNet provides a range of services and data products for leasing and commercial lending companies to make better credit granting and other decisions by understanding the credit history and risks of small and medium businesses. Equifax announced their acquisition of the company, for an undisclosed amount, on April 24.
PayNet and employees are now part of Equifax’s United States Information Solutions, the credit bureau’s largest business unit.
PayPal completes their fifth acquisition in the past 12 months, this time purchasing machine learning fraud prevention provider Simility for $120 million. PayPal COO Bill Ready says each of these five recent acquisitions are part of the company’s effort to strengthen the services they provide to merchants.
Simility was founded in 2014, they are based in Palo Alto and provide advanced risk analytic and modeling solutions for fraud prevention in the Customer Not Present (CNP) channel. Major clients include eBay/StubHub, Dick’s Sporting Goods and OfferUp. The fraud prevention provider had previously raised $25 million, including PayPal as one of their early investors.
Vantiv, the largest acquirer in the U.S. based on transaction processing volume, is now a significant global competitor as well, following the $9.9 billion dollar acquisition of UK-based WorldPay, who has over 400,000 processing clients across 146 countries.
It was announced on July 5th that Vantiv would acquire global processor WorldPay for $9.9 (£7.7) billion in the form of cash, a converted rate of shares to Vantiv and a cash dividend with total value representing an 18.9 percent premium compared to the closing price for WorldPay on Monday July 3rd.
At the end of May, First Data announced they had reached agreement to acquire another large, publicly traded payment processor, CardConnect, for $750 million. This occurred just two weeks after the privately held North American Bancard Holdings LLC agreed to acquire Total Merchant Services Inc., for an undisclosed amount, to become the 7th largest processor by merchant locations in North America.
At the end of March, MasterCard announced they had entered into an agreement to acquire NuData Security, the behavioral biometric and behavioral monitoring vendor based in Vancouver, Canada, for an undisclosed amount. A pioneer in the behavioral monitoring space, NuData offers MasterCard valuable technology and patents related to performing authentication covertly across all types of devices. This was the third major acquisition of a risk management solution provider by a card association in less than six months, and the second time that has happened in the past six years.
Maybe it’s coincidence, but things tend to come in three’s. After Visa acquired CardinalCommerce and American Express acquired InAuth, each in December, 2016, MasterCard announced a major risk management acquisition before the end of the first quarter. It’s not the first time the three have acquired major risk vendors around the same time. In 2010 Visa acquired CyberSource for $2 billion, MasterCard purchased DataCash for $520 million, and American Express acquired Accertify for $150 million. While terms from each of these acquisitions were public, the financial terms have not been disclosed for the three more recent deals announced by these card associations.