Fiserv's recent deal with ACI Worldwide speaks to the vendors' attitudes about community banks — Fiserv is taking a deeper dive into that customer base, while ACI is looking to swim in a bigger pond.
Fiserv is set to buy ACI's community financial services business this quarter for $200 million, the companies announced last week. The deal will significantly increase the number of products Fiserv offers community banks and credit unions. For ACI, the deal allows it shed some of the pieces of past acquisitions and sharpen its focus.
"ACI is clearly focused on the big banks and merchants, I think they realized the community bank space was a distraction to what they're trying to do now," said Brad Smith, managing director of technology solutions at Cornerstone Advisors. "For Fiserv, this about shoring up their products for the smaller institutions, especially the credit union business."
Fiserv is buying the Architect Banking product for online, mobile and tablet banking, along with SSB Internet Banking, WebFederal Internet Banking, Advantage Internet Banking, Advantage Consolidated Bank Bill Pay and ACI Defense Services. Many of these products were brought under the ACI umbrella when the company acquired S1 Corp in 2012 and Online Resources Corporation in 2013. ACI "cherry picked" the solutions from those acquisitions targeted towards bigger bank customers and is now selling the pieces related to smaller banks with the transaction, Smith said.
Fiserv said the acquisition was about furthering its goal to enable clients to deliver "differentiated digital experience," said the company's CEO, Jeff Yabuki, in an email.
"We acquired a suite of digital banking and payments solutions from ACI that enhance our ability to extend the digital banking highway for our clients," he said. He added that the some of its existing products could benefit from the ACI acquisition.
Smith said with these acquisitions Fiserv now has a large amount of internet banking solutions — nine by his count — and it will be interesting to see the future roadmap for these products and if any are sunset.
"Another interesting piece is the impact on Fiserv's Corillian [online banking suite] customer base," he said. "Whether they keep both Corillian and the newly acquired Architect Banking will be a compelling question."
A Fiserv spokesperson said the company believes "the assets from ACI complement our existing digital banking portfolio and we will continue to invest in other products within that portfolio, including Corillian Online."