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Why ACI is Buying Online Resources

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ACI Worldwide, which announced Jan. 31 its deal to buy the online banking and payments company Online Resources, has been mulling plans to make the acquisition for roughly a year, said ACI chief executive Philip G. Heasley.

"This company's bill presentment and bill payment service is growing, and that combined with our ability to support online banking... I think it allows our core business, certainly our core online banking business, to grow at a very competitive rate," he said in a conference call. "I think it gives us a totally different profile."

The $263 million acquisition certainly does provide ACI with new software to sell. ACI already had online banking software through its purchase of technology company S1, which was cleared last year by the Department of Justice. S1's consumer online banking software included personal financial management, electronic bill payment and presentment, account transfers, alerts and reminders, and online self-service tools.

Just last month, Online Resources began offering a new mobile browser bill pay service that gives people the chance to make payments using a mobile phone. The browser automatically detects from what device — mobile, tablet or desktop — a person is accessing billing information.

In addition, Online Resources currently has more than 1,000 financial institution and billing customers. The company processes more than 245 million bill payment transactions per year, ACI said in a press release. Its network connects roughly 9,000 billers.

"ACI is adding another set of products in order to provide more services to their existing customers," said Wedbush analyst Gil Luria. "Most importantly for them is the fast growing electronic bill presentment product, which is enjoying rapid growth."

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