TSYS Buys Cayan to Add to Payment Solutions

The $1.05 billion acquisition will create a payments company with an annual processing volume of more than $138 billion.
Matthew HellerDecember 18, 2017

Credit-card and payment processor Total System Service (TSYS) is expanding its offerings to merchants by acquiring financial technology company Cayan for about $1.05 billion.

Cayan is best known for its flagship Genius platform, which delivers payments solutions across different channels. It was founded by CEO Henry Helgeson in 1998 and was acquired by private equity firm Parthenon Capital Partners in 2012.

Parthenon had announced in June that it was looking for a buyer for Cayan. TSYS offers solutions across the payments spectrum — from issuer processing and merchant acquiring to prepaid program management — generating revenue of $4.2 billion in 2016, while processing more than 25.5 billion transactions.

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With the addition of Cayan, it will serve about 730,000 merchant sites with an annual processing volume of more than $138 billion.

“The acquisition of Cayan strategically complements our merchant goals to become a leading payment solutions provider to small and medium-size businesses in the U.S.,” M. Troy Woods, chief executive of TSYS, said in a news release.

“The addition of Cayan’s unified commerce solutions puts us in a strong competitive position to jointly offer a broader set of value-add products and services to our partners and merchants,” he added.

According to Helgeson, Cayan moved more than $20 billion through its platform in 2016. In May, the company unveiled Genius Mini, a device that handles payments made with tablets from a variety of sources, including chip cards, mobile wallets, and credit and debit cards.

“What we’re seeing is that a lot of merchants and businesses want to use an iPad solution, a tablet solution either at the point of sale or in the aisle or at the table,” Helgeson told BostInno. “What we’ve done is made it very easy for them to integrate this very tiny device … with tablets.”

TSYS has 11,500 employees, almost 50 times the headcount of Cayan. It previously acquired merchant solutions provider TransFirst for about $2.35 billion in January 2016.

“Cayan and TSYS are aligned in our strategy to provide cutting-edge payment solutions and a robust product offering to merchants across the U.S.,” Helgeson said.