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Payment industry acquisitions shoot toward record year

Payments Dive

The payments industry is poised for a record-breaking year in acquisitions as fintech startups and COVID-19 drive business change for large legacy players.

Merger and acquisition research firm Dealogic recorded 125 acquisitions through early September, before a recent spate of acquisitions over the past week, including acquisitions announced by card giant Mastercard, payments processor Global Payments and digital behemoth PayPal. That puts the industry on track to easily surpass the 133 acquisitions recorded for 2020. 

“Activity this year has significantly jumped,” said Zach Spellman, a project manager for The Strawhecker Group, a payments industry consulting firm that tracks acquisitions. He echoed the outlook for a record-breaking year. “I think Covid has had a large impact.”

While the number of acquisitions is likely to be a record, the annual value of acquisitions is looking less likely, with just $48.9 billion in deals logged so far, compared to the prior record in 2019 of $136.2 billion. That year, several dueling legacy payment processors, including FIS, Fiserv and Global Payments, closed multi-billion-dollar transactions.