ACI to buy Distra for $49m to expand agile social and mobile payments platform

14 September 2012

ACI Worldwide is buying the payments software provider Distra for US$48.75m in an effort to better integrate and improve its existing payments solutions covering branch, voice, card and merchant payments, as well as to enhance its capabilities in the mobile, corporate and social media spheres. ACI has more than 1,650 financial institution clients and enables US$12 trillion in payments each day, processing transactions for 14 of the leading global retailers and 24 of the world’s 25 largest banks.

It is hoped the integration of ACI and Distra technologies will enable financial institutions and other payment processors to enhance the flexibility and performance of their existing payments infrastructure to address market needs, especially the growing mobile, social channels and payment services hubs, where future growth is being targeted. In addition, ACI says the acquisition, which will close this month, will enable ACI’s payments products to integrate more tightly with customers’ enterprise architectures, reducing their total cost of ownership.

The Distra Universal Payments Platform is thought to be the key driver for the acquisition as the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)-based payments platform is flexible across lots of different payments channels, giving the expanded firm greater agility and quicker product launch times for clients.

“Financial services institutions are increasingly pursuing enterprise payments strategies that will allow them to process payments in any form via any channel,” said Andy Schmidt, CEB TowerGroup research director. “To achieve this, their payments infrastructures must follow a standards-based, SOA type approach that is flexible enough to accept new formats and support the rapid development and deployment of new products, scalable enough to withstand the ongoing increase in non-cash payment volumes globally, and reliable enough to function on a 24x7 basis.”

According to Tony Scotto, executive vice president of global development at ACI Worldwide, “a critical element of achieving this vision is an enterprise payments services bus that can support the integration of multiple payment applications in a highly scalable and reliable manner. The Universal Payments Platform will help accelerate ACI’s ability to achieve enterprise payments.”

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