When private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. agreed to purchase First Data Corp. for $29 billion back in April 2007, the acquisition was huge news. The deal closed in September of that year to cheers on the part of some and consternation on the part of others. The professionals at KKR were known as takeover artists, and some observers felt the move into the payments space was egregious; others even predicted First Data's ultimate demise. However, through various restructurings and reorganizations, including an IPO in 2015, First Data has continued to thrive.
Today, so many big players in the payments space are being acquired, merging and receiving large infusions of cash ‒ in addition to forming new strategic partnerships that take them into whole new realms of business services ‒ one acquisition doesn't make waves anymore. However, acquisitions and mergers are occurring at breakneck speed. As we were finalizing the lead article for this issue, which is all about the dynamic mergers and acquisitions landscape in payments, news that Paysafe intends to acquire iPayment hit the wire, and we worked that in, as well. The article delves into several recent deals, noting distinctions among them and offering insights about their rationale and potential impacts.
Meanwhile, our contributing writers have offered a diversity of useful insights on other areas of payments, including: an overview of card brand initiatives that drills down to details on BINs, PAR and PAN, QIR and more; a discussion of how top salespeople translate strategy into behavior that leads to results; feedback on a recently implemented cash discount program; explanation of how machine learning can power fraud prevention; tips on how small and midsize businesses can overcome international business complexities.
Also inside you'll find highlights from full news stories recently posted online ‒ the end of signature requirements at the POS, the growth of mobile wallets and litigation associated with initial coin offerings, for example ‒ as well as updates on a range of developments, from appointments to awards, partnerships to acquisitions, and more. And we've included individual, company and product profiles that exemplify the excellence in our thriving industry.
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