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North American Bancard Buys Total Merchant Services As Acquirer Consolidation Continues
May 18, 2017

By Kevin Woodward
@DTPaymentNews

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



Woodland Hills, Calif.-based TMS processes more than $12 billion in annual transactions, which when added to NAB will result in more than $50 billion in annual processing volume for the combined organization, NAB says. The deal is expected to close by June 30.

In business for approximately 20 years, TMS caters to small and mid-size businesses. In 2014, TMS launched Groovv, a point-of-sale system designed for agents to resell to merchants. TMS has more than 3,000 sales partners, software developers, and others that market its services, NAB says.

“We are ecstatic about this acquisition,” Marc Gardner, NAB president and chief executive, said in a press release. He said TMS’s focus on “ease, affordability, and customer service” makes the acquisition a strategic fit for his company.

Among the benefits are the immediate growth in the merchant base, additional products and services, and a quicker way to sell more products to merchants, NAB says. “I am confident that the broader platform and combined management team will pave the road for growth,” said Joe Kaplan, TMS chief executive, in the press release.

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.”

Founded in 1992, NAB has grown not only from sales efforts, but from multiple acquisitions. In 2010, it bought Point and Pay, a payment processor for municipalities and other public-sector merchants. In 2014, it bought Electronic Payment Exchange, a payments provider with $18 billion in annual processing volume.

At one point last year NAB was itself a potential acquisition target, said Marc Cochrane, an independent payments advisor based in Phoenix. Correctly, as it turns out, he placed TMS on that same list.


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