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Fiserv Tugs the Curtain Back a Bit on Early Gains From Its Big First Data Acquisition

Digital Transactions

Six months after closing on its $22 billion acquisition of First Data Corp., Fiserv Inc. dropped some tantalizing hints about early benefits the deal has generated for the combined company. First Data’s Clover app-based platform for merchant checkouts, for example, saw its gross payment volume grow fully 40% in 2019, Fiserv chief executive Jeff Yabuki told analysts on a conference call. He did not reveal the absolute numbers, but clearly singled out the POS device unit as a standout.

“It was a stellar performance,” Yabuki said of Clover as part of a discussion of Fiserv’s fourth-quarter results. “Not only is Clover an attractive vehicle, but one sees better [merchant] retention and happier clients.”

But the honor roll for First Data products didn’t end there. In the important integrated-payments market, the roster of connected independent software vendor partners increased 25% for the year, while ISVs added 25,000 new merchant locations for the company, Fiserv reported. Again, the company did not reveal the actual number of partners.

All in all, Yabuki said, the First Data acquisition, which was announced Jan. 16 and closed July 29, made 2019 “a watershed year for Fiserv.” He went on to laud the deal as a “market-defining transaction.”