Welcome to the Fifth issue of Verdict Payments
Third mega deal as Global Payments snaps up TSYS
So now we know-the Global Payments/TSYS rumours were true.
Global Payments is to acquire TSYS for $21.5bn in an all-stock deal.
We are not yet through May and already this year has witnessed three mega mergers in the payments sector.
First off, Fiserv agreed a $39bn deal to acquire First Data in January. That deal ranked as the largest payments acquisition since the spin-off of PayPal from eBay in 2015.
But not for long. Along came FIS to snap up Worldpay for $43bn in March.
There is little chance that this third mega deal represents the last major acquisition in the sector.
One wonders just how long core processing provider Jack Henry will retain its independence?
On a personal level, there is a tinge of sadness at the wave of consolidation.
In my teens of years experience across cards, banking and payments, few vendors have been as media friendly or helpful as TSYS and First Data.
The reasons for the sector consolidation make perfect sense. Payments is a scale business. With the acceleration of innovation in both mature and emerging markets, the deals look attractive on paper. In particular, the combination of Global Payments and TSYS brings together strength in cards processing, mobile and online payments with TSYS focus on helping banks and card issuers accept and clear payments.
TSYS is especially strong in digital P2P payments and B2B payments via its NetSpend unit.
The tie-up also helps in taking on the growing challenge of the likes of Square.
On the merchant acquiring side, Square has been winning market share in the retail and restaurants sector.
Now comes the tricky bit for Global Payments, Fiserv and FIS: to execute the deals, wring out the forecast cost savings and benefit from enhanced cross-sell opportunities from combined client bases.
It also begs the question as to the value of Square. The Square share price is ahead by a modest 12% for the year to date. Indeed, the Square share price, currently $64, is down a whopping 34% since it peaked at $100 last September.