TSYS-TransFirst Acquisition Complete

TSYS announced on Friday (April 1) that its acquisition of merchant solutions provider TransFirst is complete. The merchant businesses of both companies will be combined under the TSYS brand, thus creating the third-largest integrated payments provider in the U.S. and the sixth-largest merchant acquirer in the U.S. based on revenue.

“The acquisition of TransFirst gives us the technology, scale and distribution capabilities that propel us to a leadership position within merchant acquiring, similar to the scale and strength we have in issuer processing and prepaid program management. Our position and strength in these three key areas of payments further diversifies our business and makes TSYS unique among its peers,” M. Troy Woods, chairman, president and CEO of TSYS, explained in a press release.

“We are excited to have John and his team on board and believe the growth and expansion of services to the business community will drive long-term shareholder value.”

TSYS first announced the impeding acquisition back in January, with plans to purchase TransFirst from Vista Equity Partners for roughly $2.4 billion. According to the initial announcement, TransFirst has a client base of more than 235,000 small and mid-sized business throughout the United States. The deal gives TSYS leverage into the omnichannel arena, and the combined entity will support more than 645,000 merchant outlets. Key areas of focus will include prepaid programs, issuer processing and merchant services.

John Shlonsky, TransFirst’s president and CEO, who will act in the role of senior executive vice president of TSYS going forward, told PYMNTS in February that helping merchants navigate an omnichannel world and the industry-wide impacts from EMV — while also constantly trying to thwart increasing cybersecurity and data breach threats – was one of the big drivers of the acquisition of TransFirst by TSYS.

“The challenge right now is that the payments space is changing, and when I think about the combined entity, I don’t just look at it as TransFirst and the TSYS merchant segment uniting. The goal here is how to combine products, including all of what TSYS has to offer in terms of issuing, international reach and new payment schemes and products, on the front end and the back end,” Shlonsky explained.

Shlonsky pointed out that the acquisition represents the extension of a long-term, 15-year partnership between TSYS and TransFirst with the goal of building a “reliable, secure way to bridge the gap between those two product sets but also be able to enhance those products so that end users have a better experience on how they want to make payments and how they want to accept payments.”


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