Visa Acquires Germany’s POS Payment Gateway Payworks

Visa will create a fully white-labelled omnichannel payment management platform for merchants and acquirers after acquiring Payworks, reports Jane Connolly of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

The news follows a 2018 strategic partnership and investment Visa made in Payworks, a Munich-based provider of next-generation payment gateway software for point of sale (POS).

Visa will integrate its CyberSource digital payment management platform with Payworks’ cloud-based software for in-store payment processing, allowing merchants and acquirers to accept face-to-face transactions across multiple POS terminal types.

The platform will provide a unified payment experience for in-store, in-app and online purchases.

“For the past two years, we have partnered closely with Payworks to deliver cutting-edge integrated commerce solutions for CyberSource’s clients worldwide,” said Carleigh Jaques, SVP, global head of digital merchant products at Visa. “As these solutions become mainstream, aligning more closely with Payworks and combining our businesses is a natural extension of our relationship.”

Christian Deger, CEO and co-founder of Payworks, added: “Integrated commerce is an accelerating opportunity for Payworks and its clients. By combining our POS technology with CyberSource’s digital commerce capabilities, we can bring our joint solution to merchants and acquirers across the globe at an accelerated pace. We are excited about joining the Visa family and integrating our capabilities to deliver innovative, differentiated integrated-commerce solutions.”

Research has shown that creating an omnichannel fulfilment strategy is among the top priorities for 94% of retailers.

Payworks demonstrated its platform at FinovateEurope 2014. Headquartered in Munich and founded in 2012, the company began this year with the launch of the first Android-based smart terminal, which was added to its portfolio of pre-certified payment terminals on its Pulse gateway.

This April, the company extended its partnership with worldwide POS software provider Lightspeed. In May, Payworks inked a deal with Hubtel to give merchants in Ghana and Kenya broader access to Payworks’ all-in-one, Android-based smart terminals.

Urban FT Acquires Remote Deposit Capture Innovator CFC Technology Group

Fintech solution provider Urban FT has bought Minneapolis, Minnesota-based remote deposit capture (RDC) specialist CFC Technology Group.

The purchase, the Urban FT said in a statement today, will further support its position as a leading digital banking and payments provider – particularly for the community banks and credit unions that represent a sizable portion of its customer base. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“Urban FT is focused on tilting the playing field for community-based financial institutions,” said company CEO Richard Steggall, “which is representative in our growth as revolutionary pioneers, empowering institutions that choose to give a damn about the people and the communities they serve.” Steggall added that the acquisition marked Urban FT’s expansion into merchant-based banking territory, and bolstered its “ability to provide end-to-end digital payment solutions.”

Since inception in 1998, CFC Technology has worked with more than 800 institutions and thousands of merchant customers. A specialist in remote deposit capture, mobile banking, and business continuity solutions, CFC Technology is a frequent partner of community banks and credit unions, providing services in more than 25 states.

Headquartered in New York City, Urban FT demonstrated its Urban FT Workshop, a real-time, multi-tier mobile app management platform for the financial services industry, at FinovateFall 2016. Founded in 2012, the company now has more than $3 billion in annualized processing volume and 700+ clients.

Earlier this year, the Urban FT launched its agent bank program Community Access. The program provides financial and mobile banking tools for the retail and commercial customers of community banks. Last fall, the company’s co-founder Mark Kilpatrick was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30.

Urban FT has raised $3 million in funding. CFC Technology represents the company’s latest acquisition, having purchased fellow Finovate alum Wipit in 2015 and iParse in 2017. Urban FT inked an agreement last year in which Digiliti Money – a subsidiary of Digiliti Money Group (formerly Cachet Financial Solutions) – would merge into Urban FT’s affiliate, FinTech Imaging Solutions.

Temenos Acquires Explainable AI Platform Logical Glue

Explainable AI – which enables human analysts who aren’t data scientists to understand how artificial intelligence-based solutions reach their conclusions – is at the center of the prize that is Temenos’ acquisition of explainable AI innovator Logical Glue. Temenos announced today that it will integrate the Logical Glue XAI platform into its cloud-native, cloud-agnostic banking solution, and will be available with all Temenos products.

Many view Explainable AI as a critical component in making artificial intelligence work in heavily-regulated industries like banking and finance. Temenos CEO Max Chuard called the technology “a game changer” for customers, adding: “It will give them greater transparency and explainability of AI automated decisions and recommendations helping them harness AI technology to create seamless customer journeys and automate manual processes while meeting the growing regulatory demands.”

Logical Glue provides a purpose-built, Machine Learning as a Service platform that does the work of data scientists at speed and scale. The company’s technology, demonstrated live at FinovateEurope 2016, enables users to leverage raw data to build highly accurate predictive models, see how those models can be applied to real-world business challenges, and then apply those models to the new data in real-time.

“With our patented, cutting-edge XAI platform and our highly experienced machine learning experts, we are helping financial institutions harness the explosive power of XAI and helping them master AI decision-making,” said Logical Glue co-founder and Chief Science Officer Hani Hagras.

Founded in 2012, Logical Glue is headquartered in London, U.K. In May, Logical Glue announced a partnership with managing digital agent Azur to help the company improve its risk analysis. Two years ago, Logical Glue secured an investment from U.K. entrepreneur Tom Singh, founder of fashion retailer New Look. “Logical Glue provides a straightforward and accessible machine learning platform for lenders and insurance providers,” Singh said in a statement when the investment was announced. “(The technology delivers) faster and more accurate decisions that will underpin increased productivity and profitability.”

Temenos demonstrated its Connect Mobile Banking solution at FinovateEurope 2015. The company is also an alum of our developers conference, presenting its B2B Financial Apps Marketplace at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2015. Based in Geneva, Switzerland and founded in 1993, Temenos notes that more than 3,000 firms around the world – including 41 of the top 50 banks – are daily users of its banking, payments, fund, and wealth management solutions.

InComm Makes Third Acquisition this Year with Purchase of Meridian Loyalty

Prepaid payments innovator InComm is continuing its shopping spree this week. The Atlanta-based company announced it has agreed to buy Meridian Loyalty, a loyalty and incentives company that creates engagement tools for large corporations. The amount of the acquisition was undisclosed.

The move not only offers InComm access to Missouri-based Meridian Loyalty’s global database of Fortune 500 clients, it also will bolster InComm’s incentives product offerings that include B2C, B2B, and employee programs. Specifically, Meridian Loyalty’s technology will help InComm reach beyond its stored value products and offer holistic, brand-focused services such as travel and merchandise redemptions.

Explaining the purchase, InComm CEO Brooks Smith said that it’s moving the company towards “helping [its] customers maximize the performance of their programs.” Sam Toumayan, President and Owner of Meridian Loyalty, added, “… [O]ur point of view has been rewards-agnostic from day one. We’re incredibly excited to be joining the InComm team and finding innovative ways to drive positive client outcomes.”

InComm offers more than 500,000 points of retail distribution with 1,000+ brand partners in more than 30 countries. The company debuted CorFire Mobile Commerce at FinovateFall 2011. More recently, InComm showed off the Cashtie API at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2014. Last month, the company purchased Hallmark Business Connections, a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards that provides employee incentive programs. In March InComm acquired Linq3 Technologies, an Atlanta, Georgia-based digital lottery company.

NCR Acquires D3 Banking Technology

As seems to be the trend this year, D3 Banking Technology has found itself a buyer–and it’s a big one. The digital banking services company announced this week it has been acquired by ATM giant NCR for an undisclosed amount.

Georgia-based NCR, which owns 27% of the global ATM market, anticipates that adding D3’s digital banking expertise will help it move its own digital banking services into new markets. Most notably, NCR plans to expand from cloud-based tools for community financial institutions into on-premise solutions for large banks.

“D3 has a well-earned reputation for innovation and product excellence and delivers one of the most advanced digital platforms for large banks,” said Michael D. Hayford, president and CEO of NCR. “NCR’s Digital First Banking solutions help financial institutions connect with consumers whenever, wherever, and this acquisition helps NCR provide banks of all sizes with an exceptional digital experience.”

D3 CEO Mark Vipond called NCR “a great fit” for D3 and said that the timing of the deal is right. “This transaction enables us to capitalize on new market opportunities and bring top-tier capabilities to our mutual and future clients,” he added.

For NCR, the purchase comes at an interesting time. The $3.7 billion company put itself up for sale in May of this year. And, according to the New York post, two firms have bid on NCR but have recently left the negotiating table. A deal has yet to be finalized.

Since it was founded in 1997, D3 Banking has raised $35 million. The Nebraska-based company debuted its small business banking capabilities at FinovateFall 2015.

NCR, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “NCR,” has roots dating back to 1884, when the company was founded as the National Cash Register Company. NCR most recently demoed its VR collaboration for ATMs at FinovateSpring 2017.

Jack Henry Acquires Geezeo

Two of Finovate’s earliest alums – Jack Henry and Geezeo – are joining forces in an acquisition announced today. The deal will enable Jack Henry to sell Geezeo’s financial management solutions to its core bank and credit union customers, as well as offer Geezeo’s technology to its non-core clientele working with the company’s ProfitStars division.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“We’ve already enjoyed a long relationship with Jack Henry & Associates, so we’re thrilled by this acquisition,” said Shawn Ward, Geezeo co-founder and CEO. “We look forward to what comes next as Jack Henry continues to build best-in-class digital platforms for financial institutions.”

Jack Henry made its Finovate debut in 2010. Geezeo’s first Finovate appearance was even earlier, at FinovateFall in 2007. The two companies have been “strong business partners” for years, according to Jack Henry VP Ron Moses who praised Geezeo as a company that “takes personal financial management (PFM) to the next level” – in part by leveraging data to build better relationships between FIs and their customers.

“The result is better control for consumers and businesses over their daily and long-term finances so they can achieve greater financial confidence,” Moses said.

Jack Henry sees Geezeo as a company that has effectively evolved beyond its origins as a PFM solution provider into a “critical data partner” for banks, credit unions, financial service providers, and other fintechs. The company seamlessly integrates its technology into client digital banking platforms to help support better customer engagement, drive more effective cross-selling, and leverage data to provide deeper insights into customer preferences.

Founded in 2006, Geezeo demonstrated its PFM technology at FinovateFall 2014. In addition to partners like Alliant, Suncoast Credit Union, and Regions, Geezeo announced last fall that Best Innovation Group would use its SDK to add PFM functionality to their Financial Innovation Voice Experience (FIVE) voice banking platform. Also last year, Geezeo released its Responsive Tiles product that gives credit unions and banks a new way to readily incorporate PFM into mobile and online digital banking platforms.

A three-time winner of Forbes Best Large Employers award, Jack Henry & Associates is the primary technology partner for more than a 1,000 financial institutions ranging from credit unions and community banks to billion-dollar mid-tier banks and multi-bank holding companies. Founded in 1976 and headquartered in Monett, Missouri, Jack Henry trades on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker symbol JKHY and has a market capitalization of $10 billion. The company demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall 2015.

Tieto Buys EVRY in $1.5 Billion Deal

Nordic IT company EVRY announced this week it is planning to sell to Finnish IT company Tieto in a deal worth $1.5 billion.

Tieto’s goal in the deal is to create a Nordic digital consultancy software offering, cloud solutions, robotics, and other services. The new group is slated to have 24,000 employees and annual revenues of $3.4 billion (€3 billion).

“This combination announced today will create a company well positioned to be a leading provider of digital transformation across the Nordics for the benefit of our customers, employees, shareholders and the society,” said Kimmo Alkio, President and CEO of Tieto. “I believe we will create exciting opportunities for professional and personal growth for employees in both companies – and a strong value proposition for our customers. I foresee a very exciting journey ahead.”

In order to close, the deal requires support from two-thirds of the shareholders in each firm. The deal is expected to close in the last quarter of this year but negotiations may drag into the first quarter of 2020.

The new company will be called TietoEVRY and will serve thousands of clients across 90 countries. Alkio will be CEO of the combined company, while EVRY’s current CEO Per Hove will continue in his role until the deal closes. TietoEVRY will be headquartered in Espoo, Finland.

EVRY certainly has lots of promise. This week’s announcement comes six months after the company landed an eight year, $75 million contract with Handelsbanken in Finland, and seven months after partnering with Bankgirot in a seven-year deal worth $77 million.

EVRY demonstrated its PFM solution, Spendific, at FinovateEurope 2015. EVRY arrives at today’s deal with more than 10,000 customers across the private and public sectors and 8,800 employees across nine countries. The company is listed on the Oslo stock exchange under the ticker “EVRY AS” and has a market capitalization of $1.2 billion.

When Stockholm Met Silicon Valley: Trustly to Merge with PayWithMyBank

In a marriage between payments innovators from Sweden and Silicon Valley, Trustly has announced that it has agreed to merge with U.S.-based PayWithMyBank. The merger comes a little over a year after Nordic Capital announced taking a majority stake in Stockholm’s online banking payments provider.

“This transformative merger creates the first and only online banking payments network with transatlantic coverage and accelerates our path towards global coverage,” Trustly CEO Oscar Berglund said. He credited PayWithMyBank for being an online banking pioneer going back to 2000. “Together we’re thrilled to be able to offer merchants and billers a unique alternative to card payments,” Berglund said, “allowing them to accept payments from 600 million consumers across Europe and the U.S.”

According to Trustly spokesperson Meredith Popolo, the two companies will continue to operate under their own brands “for now.”

Just this week, we took a look at the rise in M&A activity among fintechs. The news that Trustly and PayWithMyBank will combine into a global payments entity with revenues of more than $120 million (€100 million) in 2018 serves as further evidence of this trend. The merger between payment specialists also supports the trend toward enabling consumers to pay directly from their bank accounts – cutting out the card networks altogether.

Trustly’s straightforward, three-step process makes it easy for consumers to shop and pay directly from their bank accounts. Via the Trustly option during checkout, users select their bank from a drop-down menu and log on as usual. Then they choose the account from which they want to pay, and confirm the payment with the authentication option of their choice. The technology helps merchants improve conversions and reduce churn while providing bank-grade security.

PayWithMyBank CEO Alexandre Gonthier pointed out that the idea to merge with Trustly was in some ways a function of demand. “Our large, U.S.-headquartered customers were all asking us to expand our consumer coverage globally beyond the U.S.,” Gonthier said. “So, joining forces with Trustly, the established leader in our space in Europe, was a natural strategic next step for PayWithMyBank, the emerging leader in the U.S.”

Redwood City, California-based PayWithMyBank was founded in 2012, and provides a high-UX conversion, high-payment authorization, low-cost, no-chargeback alternative to checks as well as other popular payment methods such as Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal. The firm’s client list includes Western Union, First Data, United Way, and a number of social media and telecommunications firms and utility companies.

As a result of the merger, Gonthier will serve as U.S. CEO, where he will oversee the U.S. market and report to Oscar Berglund, who will serve as Group CEO.

Founded in 2008, Trustly demonstrated the Direct Debit feature of its platform at FinovateEurope 2017. Direct Debit enables recurring charges and one-click payments on bank accounts, providing faster, safer transactions for customers and merchants.

More recently, Trustly announced a partnership with Collector Bank to bring instant payments to merchants in the Nordics. Last month, the company introduced its automated invoice payment solution, Pay Your Invoice, for both customers and merchants. With offices in Stockholm, Sliema, London, Orebro, Cologne, Barcelona, and Helsinki, the company celebrated adding its 300th employee this year.

InComm Buys Hallmark Cards Subsidiary

Prepaid payments company InComm has purchased Hallmark Business Connections, a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards that provides employee incentive programs. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Hallmark built Hallmark Business Connections as its business relationships unit. The subsidiary offers physical and digital greeting cards to promote employee engagement to celebrate career milestones, company achievements, workplace excellence, and personal growth. Hallmark Business Connections also sells customer engagement cards such as those for direct marketing, customer care, and member outreach.

Hallmark Business Connections customers, which include Wells Fargo, State Farm, and Zappos, span a range of industries. The company is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, with offices in Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota.

“Hallmark Business Connections has built on the iconic Hallmark greeting card brand to empower companies with the means to create personalized incentive programs that recognize employees for dedication to their organization,” said Brooks Smith, CEO of InComm. “By combining this business with InComm’s existing loyalty and incentives solutions, we are able to offer an unprecedented level of technology and expertise that will help companies create the most engaging incentive programs possible.”

This is InComm’s ninth acquisition after buying digital lottery company Linq3 Technologies in March. The purchase helps solidify the Atlanta-based company’s expansion from stored value reward cards into more comprehensive incentives programs.

InComm offers more than 500,000 points of retail distribution with 1,000+ brand partners in more than 30 countries. The company debuted CorFire Mobile Commerce at FinovateFall 2011. More recently, InComm showed off the Cashtie API at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2014. In May, the company expanded into wearables by making its MyVanilla Prepaid Mastercard compatible with Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay.

TSYS and Global Payments Announce Mega Merger

Merchant acquirer Global Payments has agreed to buy issuer processor firm Total System Services (TSYS) in a $21.5 billion deal, reports Jane Connolly of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

The two companies confirmed the deal today (May 28) in what will be the payment industry’s third “mega-merger” of 2019. The all-stock deal values TSYS at $119.86 per share, a rise of 20% since before news of the talks started to emerge.

Global Payments shareholders will own 52% of the combined company, while TSYS investors own 48%. TSYS CEO Troy Woods will become the chairman.

The combined entity will provide payment technology and software to more than 3.5 million small to medium-sized merchants and over 1,300 financial institutions worldwide.

It is expected that the deal, anticipated to close in the fourth quarter, will generate around $8.6 billion in adjusted net revenue annually plus network fees and make cost savings of $300 million.

The deal follows Fiserv’s $22 billion takeover of First Data and FIS’s acquisition of Worldpay for $34 billion earlier this year.

TSYS was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Columbus, Georgia. The company demonstrated its Authorization Controls solution at FinovateAsia 2013, showing how the technology enabled users to set their own default account parameters and authorization rules.