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May 2017

TSG in Digital Transactions: North American Bancard Buys Total Merchant Services As Acquirer Consolidation Continues

Two powerhouse independent sales organizations are joining together. North American Bancard Holdings LLC is buying Total Merchant Services Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

The acquisition, one of many NAB has completed in recent years, marks a significant increase in processing volume, transactions, and merchant locations for the company, says Peter Michaud, director of project management at The Strawhecker Group, an Omaha, Neb.-based payments advisory firm.

The result will be a greater economy of scale for the merged company. “The new entity will process over $50 billion annually from over half a million merchant locations, establishing it firmly as one of the top 10 merchant acquirers (by merchant count) in The Strawhecker Group’s Directory of U.S. Acquirers,” Michaud says in an email to Digital Transactions News. “In addition, this acquisition will expand their offering in the health-care, home/repair, and beauty/fitness verticals, which are high growth, underpenetrated markets.”

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May 2017

TSG Advises Card Payment Services (CPS) in its Acquisition by Cayan

Recently Cayan announced their acquisition of Card Payment Services (CPS). The Strawhecker Group is pleased to announce its role as strategic and financial adviser to CPS in this transaction.

“TSG proved to be a valuable partner in the strategic decision process, and saw the value we have built though our unique portfolio and ISV relationships.  Most importantly they were able to demonstrate our value and through their extensive industry relationships, allowed us to selectively market our company which resulted in our agreement with Cayan.”
Andrew Caine, President CPS

“By introducing CPS as an acquisition candidate to Cayan, TSG helped us enhance our vertically focused strategy. TSG highlighted the strengths of CPS while understanding our goal of servicing under-penetrated niche markets. This transaction highlights TSG’s expertise in the payments and merchant acquiring space and its leadership position as the “trusted adviser” to the highest tier of payments companies.”
Henry Helgeson, CEO and Founder, Cayan

May 2017

Now Available: Consumer Card Brand Sentiment Survey Results

The Strawhecker Group's (TSG) latest eReport, Consumer Card Brand Sentiment Survey Results, provides the findings of a market study that gauges consumer sentiment of major U.S. card brands, and related technologies, in terms of trust and usage.

Payment Types Covered:

  • Card Brands (American Express, Discover, Mastercard, PayPal, Visa)
  • Mobile Wallets (Android Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal Samsung Pay, Starbucks)
  • Online Buy Buttons (Masterpass, PayPal One Touch, Visa, Other)

Learn more.

Apr 2017

TSG in Digital Transactions: Despite Hundreds of Players, Just a Few Processors Dominate the Acquiring Industry

Consulting firm The Strawhecker Group is out with its 2016 rankings of U.S. merchant acquirers, and they show that 240 acquirers and independent sales organizations processed more than $5 trillion in payment volume. The 10 biggest acquirers accounted for 80% of that volume.

Topping the list is JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Chase Commerce Solutions, which posted $1 trillion in U.S. volume last year. Next was First Data Corp.’s direct acquiring business, with $770 billion.

The next eight were: Bank of America Merchant Services, $730 billion; Vantiv Inc., $550 billion; U.S. Bancorp’s Elavon, $320 billion; Wells Fargo Merchant Services, $275 billion; Global Payments Inc. (excluding its Heartland Payment Systems and OpenEdge units), $200 billion; Citigroup Inc.’s Citi Merchant Services, $200 billion; Heartland, $130 billion; and TSYS Merchant Solutions/TransFirst, $120 billion.

First Data, however, is the clear leader when all of its sprawling acquiring businesses, including joint ventures with some of the nation’s largest banks, are added together. The Atlanta-based firm processes for BofA, Wells Fargo, Citi, SunTrust, PNC, and through them, scores of ISOs, many of them billion-dollar-plus entities in themselves. Combined, those five bank partnerships alone generated $1.31 billion in volume last year, putting First Data’s estimated total volume at more than $2 trillion.

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Apr 2017

TSG in Digital Transactions: The Battle of the Contactless POS Technologies

The overall goals of the contactless-payment provider play a key role in which technology to use, says Jared Drieling, business intelligence manager at The Strawhecker Group, an Omaha, Neb.-based payments consultancy.

A service like Chase Pay, which incorporates technology from the QR code-based CurrentC mobile-payments service developed by the Merchant Customer Exchange LLC consortium, is a closed-loop system, he says, while the Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay services have a different goal. “They view their mobile wallets as another prong to get mobile users onto their operating systems,” Drieling says.

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Mar 2017

Now Available: Directory of U.S. Merchant Acquirers

TSG's newest Directory of U.S. Merchant Acquirers is now available. This eReport features profiles on 240 Acquirers that include the country's top tier and technology-centered players.

This information, built upon primary and secondary research, provides an unprecedented and detailed look at the players currently involved in the merchant acquiring marketplace. The report is an excellent tool for competitive awareness, M&A activity, potential partnerships and general reference purposes. 

The data included was collected from the companies via a survey in early 2017, from public sources, and/or are estimates by TSG. Where illustrated, numbers have been rounded and are intended to be directional in nature. Company profiles include (as available) processor relationships, merchant vertical specializations, dollar volume statistics, transaction counts, active merchant outlet counts, corporate structures, sponsor banks, partnerships and more. 

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Mar 2017

Credit Card Chips: Industry Grapples with Costly POS Upgrades

Consumers love credit cards for quick and easy purchases. Merchants? Not so much. One big problem is fraud: Transactions with bogus plastic can drain significant sums from the bottom line.

In a move to address security concerns, the card industry has introduced plastic with embedded chips highly resistant to counterfeiting. Even so, many businesses are delaying the costly investments required to upgrade their point-of-sale (POS) terminals to read the new technology.

“By late 2016, only 44 percent of U.S. merchants of all kinds had installed chip-reading terminals,” says Jared Drieling, Business Intelligence Manager at The Strawhecker Group, an Omaha-based consulting firm specializing in the electronic payments industry. “And only 29 percent of merchants had activated such terminals to actually accept transactions.”

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Feb 2017

Peter Michaud Joins TSG as Director - Project Management

TSG has announced the addition of Peter Michaud to its team as Director - Project Management. Michaud is a payments industry expert, having recently led Product Development at Hap-X and Competitive Intelligence at TSYS. His depth of knowledge on the industry will help him serve TSG clients across the ecosystem in various capacities including product development and corporate strategy.

“We are very excited to have Peter join the team,” said Kurt Strawhecker, Managing Partner. “His breadth and depth of knowledge on the payments industry is elite.  With markets like B2B and Healthcare moving away from cash and check and towards electronic payments, Peter’s skillset is invaluable to have on the TSG team for our clients.”

Prior to joining TSG, Michaud was the Vice President of Product Development at Hap-X, a leading healthcare B2B payments company acquired by Global Healthcare Exchange in 2016.  He also worked at TSYS as the leader of Market Research and Competitive Intelligence for TSYS Merchant Segment and as the head of Financial Planning and Analysis for TSYS Acquiring Solutions. 

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Feb 2017

TSG Promotes Judith Tullius to Executive Operations Specialist

TSG is pleased to announce the promotion of Judith Tullius to Executive Operations Specialist.

Judith has made significant contributions to TSG since joining in 2014 through her extensive corporate, administrative, and office management experience. Her responsibilities include improving office operations, managing administrative tasks, and being the central point of contact for incoming communications to the company.

"Judith is the glue that keeps everything together,” said Mike Strawhecker, Principal of TSG. “Judith’s charm, intelligence, and witty sense of humor creates an inviting atmosphere for TSG staff and clients alike,” added Strawhecker.

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Feb 2017

Now Available: Payment Gateway Directory

TSG has just released its expanded/updated Payment Gateway Directory. This eReport covers:

  • 50 leading/emerging gateway providers (twice as many as the 2016 edition)
    • From players with hundreds of billions in processing volume to those with hundreds of thousands
  • 54 metrics on functionality and company information (as available)
    • Side-by-side comparisons on each provider covers over 3,000 data points

Gateway data points have been primarily gathered from company surveys. Additional research included calls, web research, and internal TSG knowledge.

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