ACI Worldwide made news last week when it acquired PAY.ON for the purpose of bolstering exposure to alternative payments methods and card acquirers across more than 160 countries. Strengthening its global presence, of course, will help ACI to facilitate increasingly important cross-border business along multiple channels.
Mike Braatz, Senior Vice President, Merchant and Risk Solutions at ACI, recently spoke with PYMNTS about what drew ACI to acquire PAY.ON, what it brings to the company’s portfolio of solutions and its role in global expansion.
“The acquisition of PAY.ON really represents the continued journey of our Universal Payments strategy, particularly in the merchant payments market,” Braatz remarks.
Given that eCommerce and mobile commerce are important aspects of ACI’s strategy to provide “an omnichannel payments experience” for its customers, Braatz says that “what PAY.ON provides with its leading eCommerce payment gateway service is really an important part of that overall solution portfolio.”
ACI plans to use PAY.ON’s eCommerce platform as the “eCommerce lynchpin” of its omnichannel offering, combining it with the in-store payment solutions and card-not-present fraud solutions that are already part of the company’s portfolio.
As eCommerce is growing globally — and particularly fast in certain parts of the world, such as Europe, Asia and Latin America — so are cross-border payments. That creates the need for alternative or country-specific payment types.
Being able to offer those as part of ACI’s solution to its customers in over 70 countries is, says Braatz, “a really important part of this acquisition and our overall strategy.”
“Cross-border payments is a really important part of the payments strategy for most of our customers,” he observes, “but particularly the large merchants that have global aspirations or already have global operations and want to enable their customers to make purchases cross-border or have designs on new markets.”
“One of the things that attracted us to PAY.ON,” he continues, “was its connectivity to more than 300 different payment methods and a large number of card acquirers in 160 countries globally. They’re one of a very, very small number of eCommerce gateway providers to support that wide of a variety and that global of coverage in terms of the payment methods they support.”
Braatz describes the acquisition as “a natural extension of a very conscious move we made a couple years ago to get more directly into the eCommerce market,” which included ACI acquiring Retail Decisions (ReD) just over a year ago.
The company’s successful experience with ReD got ACI directly into the eCommerce fraud prevention market, which, says Braatz, “strengthened our focus on expanding our eCommerce capabilities.”
“And that’s what made now the right time for PAY.ON,” he adds.
The growth of eCommerce has of course led to a rise in eCommerce fraud worldwide — and Braatz lets it be known that ACI is staying on top of that issue.
“Fraud prevention and fraud monitoring solutions are a strategic part of our portfolio,” he says. “Not only do we provide Universal Payments solutions, but we want to ensure that our customers can operate those solutions in a secure environment — and a big part of the security equation is strong fraud prevention.”
As EMV creates a shift in fraud from offline to online, Braatz emphasizes the importance and need for a fraud prevention capability for businesses to be “tightly intertwined” with its payments capability.
“The fact that PAY.ON was already pre-integrated with the ReD fraud solutions,” he notes, “was another factor that just made this a natural fit for us.”
Braatz additionally shares that the PAY.ON acquisition will affect no operational change for ACI, given the fact that PAY.ON is a SaaS-based platform, which he says “aligns nicely” with ACI’s strategy of increasingly offering its own solutions in that manner to its customers.
“Our plan is to integrate operations relatively quickly,” offers Braatz.
Integration, he says, speaks to ACI’s overall plan for the immediate future. With the company’s strategy being “growth-oriented,” Braatz says that “the best opportunities for growth involve offering the fullest plate of omnichannel solutions we can for our merchant customers.”
For now, ACI’s focus will be on making sure that its in-store payment solutions, security and fraud solutions, and the eCommerce and mobile commerce offerings (that Braatz says the PAY.ON acquisition has “really rounded out”) are “well inserted into a seamless offering for our customers, and helping our customers expand their businesses globally.”
“I think we’re very well-positioned,” concludes Braatz, “with PAY.ON as part of ACI, to do that.”