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Worldpay-Vantiv deal signals there’s plenty of appetite in the fintech sector

Worldpay, the leading payment solutions technology company, has been acquired by Vantiv. Vantiv provides payment processing services for merchants and financial groups. The $25 billion deal closed on the 16th of January, creating a payment giant uniquely positioned to target the very biggest names in global commerce.

Although Vantiv is the acquirer, the new combined group will be named Worldpay. Between them, the groups process over 40 billion transactions worldwide every year, spread across more than 300 payment types.

“By combining the expertise of our teams, we will provide further value to our customers, helping them prosper in the fast-changing and complex digital economy,” co-CEO of Wordplay Charles Drucker said in a statement. The new Worldpay will look to create “customer-centric innovation at scale, leveraging our combined operations, technology infrastructure and data and analytics capabilities”.

While the language of the deal is very much one of integration and synergies, it’s interesting to note that the new Worldpay will be run by two co-CEOs: Charles Drucker from Vantiv, and Philip Jansen from Worldpay. Speaking to The Street, the two said they realised this is an unconventional approach, but one merited by the fact that the payment industry is growing and changing so rapidly. The challenge now, they said, is to figure out how to grab that opportunity.

One of those opportunities might be blockchain technologies, said Jansen, although he was quick to add that it might be a little early for that still: “Cryptocurrencies could become a significant payment method in the future – but not in the immediate future. Our customers aren’t asking for it right now. But should [that happen], we have the technology to deal with the blockchain.”

As we wrote in an in-depth Insight story in November, fintech M&A has yet to see a lot of megadeals, but this is slowly starting to change. The Worldpay-Vantiv deal provides a fresh example of how payment technology is a race, and that serious money is being dedicated to securing market share in a rapidly developing space. We wouldn’t be surprised to see more like this in the coming months.

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