Core banking provider Fiserv's purchase of competitor Open Solutions made waves in the financial technology world today.
In a conference call Monday evening, Fiserv CEO Jeff Yabuki explained what the Brookfield, Wisc. software company hopes to get out of this acquisition, which between the purchase price of $55 million and Open Solutions' $960 million worth of debt was a net outlay for Fiserv of $850 million.
Yabuki noted that through this deal, Fiserv will grow its base of core banking clients by taking on Open Solutions' 800 core account processing relationships and its real-time core processing platform, DNA. "The crown jewel of Open Solutions is DNA," he said. "The DNA platform was largely rewritten in 2006 to use modern architecture and collaborative capabilities. If you believe real time is going to catch fire on the bank side, we stand to do very well with that."
Alongside DNA, Glastonbury, Conn.-based Open Solutions provides DNAcreator, a developers' toolkit that lets banks and credit unions create their own apps for the DNA platform; and DNAappstore, an Apple-inspired app store for programs created with DNAcreator. Yabuki also pointed out that the DNA platform is globalized, with support for local regulations and languages. "There are 40,000 community banks around the world," he noted.
Yabuki gave props to Open Solutions management, which is led by CEO Louis Hernandez. "We've been very impressed by the people at Open Solutions," he said. "These are people who since 1982 have been pushing to change the way the account processing model works. This is a group of people who are religious about and excited about this. While we have competed for several years, we think there are synergies here and that we will be able to deliver a broad value proposition to the thrift and bank space." All told, 1,400 employees of Open Solutions will be joining Fiserv, he said.
While Fiserv customers will have access to Open Solutions' real-time core processing platform and applications toolkits, Open Solutions clients will gain access to Fiserv's ancillary products, such as mobile and online banking, and Popmoney mobile payments software, Yabuki said.
Yabuki acknowledged that DNA has been burdened by a huge debt load since its move to go private in 2007, but said that in the first quarter Fiserv will pay off that debt and, it is hoped, open opportunities. "There have been a number of prospects waiting for this issue to clear," he said. He also said he believed OSI has suffered in sales to new clients due to a lack of add-on products, which Fiserv will now provide. Examples include Fiserv's CheckFree RXP electronic bill payment service, ACCEL/Exchange payments network, debit processing services, Popmoney social payments service, Corillian Online banking, and Mobiliti mobile banking.
Yabuki outlined how Fiserv plans to merge its new Acumen platform, which provides core banking to credit unions in the U.S. and Canada, with Open Solutions' DNA. Acumen's recently built user interface, workflows and embedded CRM will be combined with Open Solutions' base platform over the next 24 months. Commitments made to DNA clients will be met, he said.
Through this acquisition, Fiserv will also acquire Open Solutions' CUnify and TotalPlus account processing platforms; Weiland Account Analysis for commercial account analysis; and Raddon Financial Group, a technology performance consultancy.
Open Solutions serves more than 3,300 clients worldwide, including the 800 account processing clients.