Competition is heating up among technology companies looking to cash in on electronic bill presentment and payment. And consolidation in the space continued with Metavante Corp. recently acquiring Atlanta-based Derivion Corp., an electronic bill presentment and payment software provider. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Analysts have said the acquisition advances Metavante’s goal of competing across a broader spectrum of financial services technology. The deal gives the Milwaukee-based Metavante an immediate boost in its EBPP capabilities. Derivion has agreements to provide bill presentment for more than 85 companies posting bills to customers. Before the acquisition, Metavante had only two live billers. The combined company will have a customer base of more than 90 billers, including G.E. Capital, Baltimore Gas and Electric and Zurich North America.
"The technology itself was attractive to us," says Nancy Langler, president and general manager of electronic presentment and payment at Metavante. "And it’s also an opportunity to catapult us into a leadership position in EBPP."
Beth Robertson, an analyst with Needham, MA-based TowerGroup, says Metavante’s acquisition of Derivion vaults it into competition with Norcross, GA-based Checkfree Corp., and New Jersey-based Princeton Ecom, two companies that have specialized in EBPP.
But other deals have been made between EBPP providers as well, including Lanham, MD-based Group 1 Software’s acquisition of Minneapolis-based Trisense Software Ltd., a competitor of Derivion’s. That deal was announced on May 1, the same day as the Metavante-Derivion announcement. Two days later, Pitney Bowes, the Stamford, CT-based provider of integrated mail and document management software, completed its acquisition of Emeryville, CA-based Alysis Technologies. Alysis provides component-based e-billing software.
Robertson of TowerGroup says more billers have been signing up with EBPP companies and consumer adoption has increased during the first quarter of 2001, compared with the same period last year. She says the Metavante deal is a "good financial move for Derivion," while the "potential for Metavante to benefit remains to be seen," depending on how well it can implement and integrate the new technologies.
Greg Rable, chief executive officer of three-year-old Derivion, says the alignment with Metavante was strategic. "Our focus has always been on the enablement side," he says.