Fundtech Inc. announced the completion of its merger with Bankserv Inc. on Wednesday, and in conjunction, the company also discussed plans for its new set of products.
The combined company, called Fundtech Inc., headquartered in Jersey City, N.J., will provide a global payments hub to banks, creating an end-to-end system of cash management products and services.
BankServ specialized in cloud and SaaS-based products and services for the corporate treasury and cash management market. It focused on smaller banks and small and mid-sized businesses. Fundtech had provided more dedicated cash management software and service products to the top U.S. banks and larger commercial clients.
Fundtech will sell its products and services through banks to 10,000 large and mid-sized companies as well as more than 100,000 small businesses in 70 countries.
Both companies are service bureaus for SWIFT and Fedwire payments, respectively a convention for distributing high value payments domestically and internationally, and for distributing payments between Federal Reserve banks.
“Bringing the two companies together will provide in-house and Saas model technology to all banks of all size and all sizes of corporations,” Reuven Ben-Menachem, chief executive of Fundtech says.
Private equity firm GTCR LLC of Chicago, which owns Bankserv, paid $23.33 in cash for Fundtech shares in a transaction valued at $390 million. Following the merger, Fundtech will go private and it will no longer trade on the Nasdaq Global Market or the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, the company says.
In addition to cash and treasury management for commercial clients, Fundtech will offer ACH payment services, corporate liquidity management, and multi-country cash management services.
“The combined offering addresses the pain points that older legacy bank systems have across the spectrum and that banks need to manage better,” says Stessa Cohen, research director of banking industry advisory services at Gartner Inc.
Fundtech will also offer a full suite of mobile payment applications, including remote deposit capture and mobile credit card processing, which originated from Bankserv’s tool kit. Other mobile offerings will include the ability to initiate electronic invoices and approve payments, the company says.
“Mobile banking is a huge growth market, especially on the corporate side,” says George Ravitch, chief marketing officer of Fundtech.
Fundtech will offer and develop many of its products in a service oriented architecture (SOA) environment, the company says. The use of SOA intermediary software can assist the integration of older legacy bank systems to newer Web-based software platforms without requiring an intensive and costly “rip and replace,” experts say.
“Vendors are looking for a way to provide an end-to-end payment process, but a lot of the legacy technology does not integrate seamlessly” with such systems, Christine Barry, a research director for Aite Group LLC of Boston, says.
Banks are shifting to an SOA approach to develop their own next generation software platforms as well, says Steve Ledford, partner for Novantas LLC.
“It reduces the total cost of ownership because it allows banks to make changes to one part of their systems without having to make changes everywhere,” Ledford says.
Fundtech’s ability to deliver products in either a software-as-a-service model or in-house allows it to sell more service solutions than some competitors.
“Some banks like to outsource and some like to keep this all in-house,” says Larry Berlin, a vice president and research analyst for First Analysis Securities Corp.
Fundtech’s capablities around SWIFT also set it apart from competitors, who have not developed products and services for these transactions, Berlin says.
The completion of the merger caps a drawn-out drama that began in the summer when ACI Worldwide Inc. attempted a hostile bid for S1 Corp. At the time S1 and Fundtech were involved in merger talks. By mid-September, however, Fundtech halted the merger when it agreed to be bought by GTCR. Fundtech paid an $11.9 million fee to split up with S1.
Fundtech says it will have an estimated $220 million in annual revenue for 2011, and more than 1,000 financial services clients, including 30 of the top 50 banks globally. More than half of its revenue will come from North America, the company says.