Checkout.com buying ProcessOut to strengthen data analytics

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Fresh off a year in which investors fueled Checkout.com with $230 million, the global online payments provider has announced its first acquisition, of French payment startup ProcessOut.

London-based Checkout.com views the acquisition of ProcessOut and its data analytics platform as a complement for its end-to-end payments service, as it seeks to build strength in the European market and eyes further expansion into Asia Pacific. Checkout.com did not disclose the price of the ProcessOut acquisition.

Overall, Checkout.com has a goal of being the payments gateway, acquirer and processor through one channel for e-commerce merchants seeking global reach. Its 700-plus client list includes names like Samsung, TransferWise, Hopper, Virgin and Adidas.

Still, the company philosophy was to stay small, in the sense it would not seek mergers or acquisitions that would layer similar technologies.

"What ProcessOut does is offer a business a way to monitor and benchmark payment processing to optimize that process and improve acceptance rates and improve costs," said Thomas Hovaguimian, chief financial officer at Checkout.com.

Thomas Hovaguimian, chief financial officer at Checkout.com.
Thomas Hovaguimian, chief financial officer at Checkout.com.

ProcessOut provides that service through data analytics that hit the mark of $20 billion in transaction value analyzed in the past 12 months, while monitoring more than 10% of all online transactions in France.

"The data analytics that ProcessOut brings is really exciting to us," Hovaguimian said. "It's been in our DNA, and the business that we offer is not a commodity."

If enterprises are able to analyze payments and understand how to improve performance while processing large volumes, they can improve transaction acceptance rates by 50 to 100 basis points, Hovaguimian added. "It makes a huge difference to the bottom line."

Merchant acquirers and payment gateways are increasingly seeking ways to provide value-added services, said Raymond Pucci, director of merchant services advisory for Mercator Advisory Group. "They want to provide data because there is so much data that comes out of a transaction that can be used for a variety of reasons."

Data analytics generally help merchants get a clearer picture of sales trends, shopping trends, payment optimization, fraud detection and risk management.

"It can help to understand when you have false declines and false positives," Pucci said. "Merchants feel they are leaving money on the table when it is a false positive and a transaction decline."

As Checkout.com seeks to strengthen its services with ProcessOut technology, it bolsters a trend of merchants seeking ways to expand e-commerce reach.

"The one-stop shopping for all services is certainly more typical now," Pucci added. "Some medium and large merchants may not want the sole-source vendor, but many do."

Because the company's online payment tools handle processing for most international credit cards, mobile wallets and stored-value accounts like PayPal and Alipay, as well as growing alternative payment methods, Checkout.com says it needed a company well-versed in artificial intelligence and data analytics.

"These people at ProcessOut are really sharp, and they developed a good stand-alone solution," Hovaguimian said. "But combined with our payment processing, it is a powerful asset."

Hovaguimian noted the purchase of ProcessOut does not mark the beginning of a merger-and-acquisition spree. Unlike many other acquisitions in payments in the past year, Checkout.com was not looking to specifically expand geographic markets or obtain new customer portfolios.

The ProcessOut team of 14 employees will join Checkout.com's Paris and London offices. Checkout.com, which received a license as a payments provider in France last year, says it is planning to increase its current staff of more than 600 employees in 11 offices globally to 1,000 over the course of 2020. The company processes payments in more than 150 currencies.

Checkout.com also hopes to expand its services in the U.S., where it has offices in the San Francisco area and Boston.

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