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TSG Analysis
Jun 2017

The Integrated Opportunity: First Data's Acquisition of CardConnect

The world around us has become increasingly connected, and as such purchasing behaviors of consumers are evolving as well as the tactics merchants are pursuing to take advantage of this reality. For payment providers, the need has been clear: a frictionless, efficient and integrated solution for merchants. Unfortunately, for many incumbents with legacy technology, supporting digital and physical payments across multiple channels has been a hurdle. However, major acquirers understand that we live in a software economy and an integrated payment technology approach can win new customers and help retain existing ones. As such, there is a gold rush within the acquiring community to acquire integrated payment assets. Hence, First Data’s acquisition of CardConnect for $750 million which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017. This deal follows other integrated plays such as the TSYS acquisition of Transfirst, PayPal’s acquisition of Braintree and the billions that Vantiv has spent on acquiring integrated technology. More so, private equity firm GTCR recently announced the acquisition of Sage’s North American Payment Solutions business to build out an SMB integrated offering.

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TSG Press
Jun 2017

TSG in Digital Transactions: In Yet Another ISV Play, GTCR Buys Sage Payment Solutions for $260 Million

Finally, the rumors can stop. Sage Payment Solutions, the U.S. merchant-services arm of Sage Group plc, has been sold to GTCR LLC, a Chicago-based private-equity firm, for $260 million, GTCR announced Friday. Reports of a possible sale of the company, which counts approximately 100,000 merchants in its portfolio, originally surfaced in January.

That growth could come via providing services to software developers. It was one of the first merchant acquirers to actively court independent software vendors, says Peter Michaud, director of project management at The Strawhecker Group, an Omaha, Neb.-based payments consultancy.

“Through Sage Group’s [enterprise resource planning] products and other ISV partners, Sage Payment Solutions is positioned to expand into new ISV verticals and partnerships,” Michaud says in an email to Digital Transactions News. The merchant acquirer also supports the ISO and bank channel.

Strength in integrated payments is a valuable asset lately, as borne out most recently with First Data Corp.’s deal to buy CardConnect Corp., an ISV, for $750 million. “As with recent acquisitions in the payment industry, technology and ISV integration is highly valued,” Michaud says. “The investment commitment in the platform reveals that GTCR sees an opportunity to use technology to drive both revenue growth and operational efficiencies at Sage Payment Solutions.”

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TSG Press
May 2017

TSG in Digital Transactions: North American Bancard Buys Total Merchant Services As Acquirer Consolidation Continues

Two powerhouse independent sales organizations are joining together. North American Bancard Holdings LLC is buying Total Merchant Services Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

The acquisition, one of many NAB has completed in recent years, marks a significant increase in processing volume, transactions, and merchant locations for the company, says Peter Michaud, director of project management at The Strawhecker Group, an Omaha, Neb.-based payments advisory firm.

The result will be a greater economy of scale for the merged company. “The new entity will process over $50 billion annually from over half a million merchant locations, establishing it firmly as one of the top 10 merchant acquirers (by merchant count) in The Strawhecker Group’s Directory of U.S. Acquirers,” Michaud says in an email to Digital Transactions News. “In addition, this acquisition will expand their offering in the health-care, home/repair, and beauty/fitness verticals, which are high growth, underpenetrated markets.”

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TSG Press
May 2017

TSG Advises Card Payment Services (CPS) in its Acquisition by Cayan

Recently Cayan announced their acquisition of Card Payment Services (CPS). The Strawhecker Group is pleased to announce its role as strategic and financial adviser to CPS in this transaction.

“TSG proved to be a valuable partner in the strategic decision process, and saw the value we have built though our unique portfolio and ISV relationships.  Most importantly they were able to demonstrate our value and through their extensive industry relationships, allowed us to selectively market our company which resulted in our agreement with Cayan.”
Andrew Caine, President CPS

“By introducing CPS as an acquisition candidate to Cayan, TSG helped us enhance our vertically focused strategy. TSG highlighted the strengths of CPS while understanding our goal of servicing under-penetrated niche markets. This transaction highlights TSG’s expertise in the payments and merchant acquiring space and its leadership position as the “trusted adviser” to the highest tier of payments companies.”
Henry Helgeson, CEO and Founder, Cayan

TSG Press
May 2017

Now Available: Consumer Card Brand Sentiment Survey Results

The Strawhecker Group's (TSG) latest eReport, Consumer Card Brand Sentiment Survey Results, provides the findings of a market study that gauges consumer sentiment of major U.S. card brands, and related technologies, in terms of trust and usage.

Payment Types Covered:

  • Card Brands (American Express, Discover, Mastercard, PayPal, Visa)
  • Mobile Wallets (Android Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal Samsung Pay, Starbucks)
  • Online Buy Buttons (Masterpass, PayPal One Touch, Visa, Other)

Learn more.

TSG Analysis
May 2017

Consumer Card Brand & Payment Method Sentiment Survey Results

The Strawhecker Group has recently completed a market survey in order to gauge consumer sentiment of major U.S. card brands, and related technologies, in terms of trust and usage.

Click here to download a selection of results.

TSG Analysis
May 2017

TRANSACT Special Report: U.S. Economic Indicators

The Electronic Transactions Association, in partnership with The Strawhecker Group, is pleased to release this TRANSACT special report on the U.S. economy, focused within the context of the electronic payments ecosystem. This report is a member benefit provided to the ETA's 500+ worldwide member companies.

Report Contents:

  • U.S. Macroeconomic Outlook
  • Payment Network Size & Growth
  • Performance of Public Payments Companies
  • Payments Versus Sports: Perspective in Valuations
  • Consumer Survey Results 

Click here to read the report.

TSG Analysis
May 2017

TSG & ETA Release 'Why are Electronic Payments Important?' Infographic

The Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), in coordination with The Strawhecker Group (TSG) has developed a new version of the infographic titled Why Are Electronic Payments Important?

This communication piece illuminates the crucial role that the electronic payments industry plays in driving healthy economic growth and sustainability throughout the U.S.

Click here to see the infographic.

Several points that are illustrated in the infographic include:

  • 70% of U.S. consumer spending is done electronically, underscoring the importance of the companies that make electronic payments possible
  • The U.S. electronic payments industry is served by over 3,000 companies, from fintech start-ups to the world’s largest corporations (Apple, JPMorgan Chase) 
  • Annual card network U.S. processing volume is now over $5 trillion, which includes American Express, Discover, Mastercard, PayPal, and Visa volume
  • There are ETA member company headquarters in 41 U.S. states and 14 countries

TSG Press
Apr 2017

TSG in Digital Transactions: Despite Hundreds of Players, Just a Few Processors Dominate the Acquiring Industry

Consulting firm The Strawhecker Group is out with its 2016 rankings of U.S. merchant acquirers, and they show that 240 acquirers and independent sales organizations processed more than $5 trillion in payment volume. The 10 biggest acquirers accounted for 80% of that volume.

Topping the list is JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Chase Commerce Solutions, which posted $1 trillion in U.S. volume last year. Next was First Data Corp.’s direct acquiring business, with $770 billion.

The next eight were: Bank of America Merchant Services, $730 billion; Vantiv Inc., $550 billion; U.S. Bancorp’s Elavon, $320 billion; Wells Fargo Merchant Services, $275 billion; Global Payments Inc. (excluding its Heartland Payment Systems and OpenEdge units), $200 billion; Citigroup Inc.’s Citi Merchant Services, $200 billion; Heartland, $130 billion; and TSYS Merchant Solutions/TransFirst, $120 billion.

First Data, however, is the clear leader when all of its sprawling acquiring businesses, including joint ventures with some of the nation’s largest banks, are added together. The Atlanta-based firm processes for BofA, Wells Fargo, Citi, SunTrust, PNC, and through them, scores of ISOs, many of them billion-dollar-plus entities in themselves. Combined, those five bank partnerships alone generated $1.31 billion in volume last year, putting First Data’s estimated total volume at more than $2 trillion.

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TSG Press
Apr 2017

TSG in Digital Transactions: The Battle of the Contactless POS Technologies

The overall goals of the contactless-payment provider play a key role in which technology to use, says Jared Drieling, business intelligence manager at The Strawhecker Group, an Omaha, Neb.-based payments consultancy.

A service like Chase Pay, which incorporates technology from the QR code-based CurrentC mobile-payments service developed by the Merchant Customer Exchange LLC consortium, is a closed-loop system, he says, while the Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay services have a different goal. “They view their mobile wallets as another prong to get mobile users onto their operating systems,” Drieling says.

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