U.S. transactions processor Global Payments Inc. is in talks to buy smaller rival Heartland Payment Systems Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter. 

A deal could be announced as soon as this month, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details aren’t public. No final decision has been made, and talks may still fall apart, they said.

Representatives for Heartland, based in Princeton, New Jersey, and Atlanta-based Global Payments declined to comment.

Card-processing companies have been rushing to consolidate as they seek to tap into growth sparked by a rising number of retailers offering online and mobile shopping. Atos SE, a French computer-services provider, is considering making an offer for Atlanta-based EVO Payments International, while Worldpay Group Plc was the subject of offers from peers Ingenico Group SA and Wirecard AG before being listed by its private equity backers in October.

Heartland, which processed its first card transaction in 1997, now provides payment services to more than 250,000 business locations in the U.S., and is the 6th largest processor in the country by transaction volume, according to its website.

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