First Data Moves Into Open Source Payments

Global payments provider First Data is now positioning itself in the world of open source technologies.

The company announced the acquisition of open source storefront platform Spree Commerce over the weekend, but the terms have yet to be disclosed, TechCrunch reported.

In a blog post confirming the acquisition, Spree Commerce CEO Sean Schofield said the company will remain focused on eCommerce technology solutions and that it is already working on new products for First Data.

“We will be taking advantage of First Data’s financial and technical resources to bring the Spree technology to a worldwide audience,” Schofield explained.

“First Data recognizes the important role of open source technology. They are fully supportive of our open source efforts, and the Spree project will remain open source.”

According to Schofield, First Data has a global distribution network, including more than 6 million business locations. In 2014, the company was responsible for 74 billion transactions, accounting for $1.7 trillion in U.S. payment volume and 28 percent of all eCommerce processing worldwide.

TechCrunch confirmed that not all of Spree Commerce’s services will be continued as a result of the acquisition. The company’s eCommerce integration platform Wombat will no longer be operational.

“Unfortunately, and with heavy hearts, today we must announce that Wombat operations will be ceasing in Spring next year (March 31, 2016) so that the company can focus on other strategic opportunities,” the company said in a memo to customers reported by TechCrunch.

The company previously raised $6.5 million from investors, including AOL, True Ventures, Vegas Tech Fund, Thrive and others.

Earlier this year, First Data filed a registration statement with the SEC and could go public as early as this year.

While there’s no set date for First Data’s public appearance, CEO Frank Bisignano remained optimistic that the company was headed in the right direction as company revenues trend upward.

“We are pleased with our second quarter results, which showed solid constant currency revenue growth,” Bisignano said in a prepared earnings release.

“During the quarter we further strengthened our capital structure, rolled out the Clover Mini integrated POS solution and acquired Transaction Wireless, a leading digital gift card distribution platform. We incurred $19 million in restructuring costs during the quarter to fund part of our recently announced strategic expense management initiative and remain focused on achieving our objective of $200 million in annualized savings by mid-2016,” Bisignano added.

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