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Monday, March 1, 2021

NMI creates powerhouse with USAePay acquisition

Payments technology firm NMI divulged on Feb. 23, 2021, that it had acquired USAePay for an undisclosed sum, creating a new merchant acquiring powerhouse. Based on 2020 tallies, the newly combined company handled in excess of 1.5 billion payment transactions valued at over $100 billion, NMI stated.

"Our combination reinforces our position as the main independent player of scale delivering flexible white-labeled solutions agnostic of acquirer or merchant account provider," said Vijay Sondhi, NMI's CEO.

NMI has a strong presence in ecommerce and other card-not-present environments; USAePay's strength has been with card-present merchants. The combination, Sondhi said, coupled with NMI's 2019 acquisition of Creditcall, positions NMI more squarely in the ranks of omnichannel providers. Creditcall, based in the United Kingdom, is an omnichannel payment gateway and EMV solutions provider of payment functionality for parking, ticketing, transportation and vending, as well as retail and hospitality.

Shifting shopping preferences

Demand for omnichannel payment solutions intensified as the Covid-19 pandemic forced changes in how consumers shop and pay. More consumers are shopping online but still relying on brick-and-mortar locations for services like curbside pickup. Evidencing this trend, 52 percent of merchants recently surveyed by the retail management consulting firm RCP said providing customers with flexible and convenient pickup and delivery options is their most critical customer engagement priority for 2021

"Retail has never been more transparent and the customer experience is center stage. Flawless execution of omni-channel capabilities and last-mile delivery or pickup is the expectation and key differentiator driving loyalty for most retailers," said Ryan Grogman, managing partner at RCP. RCP's survey also found 85 percent of retailers rank growing and enhancing digital commerce a top priority for 2021, but not to the exclusion of in-store enhancements, as 67 percent said their second highest priority is expanding and enhancing the customer experience.

Nimble, omnichannel, processor agnostic

"If there is anything 2020 has taught us, it's the importance of omnichannel," said Mike Strawhecker, president of The Strawhecker Group, a payments consulting firm. "The restaurant and retail industries are two prominent examples of this, but it's true across the board."

Ben Goretsky, CEO of USAePay, said the combination with NMI will serve to offer omnichannel solutions to a broader swath of the marketplace. "We're proud of the success we've had as an independent payments solutions provider and look forward to enjoying even greater success by combining our complementary capabilities and market coverage with NMI to support a wider range of partners and their merchants with a stronger set of omnichannel solutions," he said.

Sondhi noted that the combined company can help position ISO partners to better compete with large acquiring organizations. "There's massive consolidation going on in the industry. We felt we had to have scale and reach to enable our partners with better technology and better scale faster," he said, adding that hte combined company will support over 220,000 merchants with a staff of about 300, Sondi noted. "We can be more nimble and more agile" than larger competitors.

Perhaps the biggest advantage, however, is that NMI is not tied to any particular processors or hardware. "ISOs can come to us with their own MIDs and processors of their choice. If the processor you work with isn't [working with us yet], we can probably have it" up quickly, Sondhi added. end of article

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