Partnerships / Acquisitions

TSYS Buys iMobile3, Bolstering SMB Reach

Three months ago, the “build vs. buy” debate got a fair amount of digital ink in these digital pages, focused on merchant services.

“You go big, or you go home,” Philip McHugh, senior executive vice president and president, Merchant Solutions, TSYS, told PYMNTS about the competitive mindset within that space.

For TSYS, the “going big” has been rendered through a string of acquisitions, both large and small, eyeing integrated payments. Perhaps the headline deal of the past several months has been the 2017 agreement to buy Cayan in a $1.05 billion transaction. McHugh told Karen Webster back in March that the firm would target growth in its customer base comprised of smaller firms.

To that end, TSYS said Thursday that it has bought iMobile3, based in Jacksonville, Fla., which is billed as a provider of private labeled small business solutions within the payments space. The company offers mobile and tablet point-of-sale products, the companies said in a release.

The iMobile3 Marketplace is described as a “fully customizable suite of applications” that can be used across digital marketing and business analytics processes, curated specifically for every partner. All partners and merchants have the ability to offer and utilize the value-added, revenue-driving solutions they want, such as digital marketing and business analytics.

The acquired company sells to acquirers, financial institutions and independent sales organizations (ISOs) across North America.

In a statement Thursday, McHugh noted that “the acquisition of iMobile3 continues to propel TSYS forward to reach our goal of becoming the No. 1 payments solutions provider to small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S.”

The terms of the acquisition have not yet been disclosed.

In the interview with PYMNTS back in March, McHugh predicted that within a two-year timeframe, TSYS is likely to operate against a backdrop where a larger percentage of its business will be tied to software solutions rather than being focused on processing. He did note, however, that TSYS has developed a platform that makes processing a core competence that delivers growth and margins.

“We will have dedicated teams focused on integrated [payments] sales, either through a traditional model or payment facilitators model … what we want to do is make our integrated solutions, be it ProPay or Cayan … available to our partners through an ISV, ISO or FI.”

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