In the first half of 2016, the payments industry had its most active six months of merger-and-acquisition activity since the second half of 2014.

Transaction volume in the payments segment increased 34% from a year earlier, from 56 to 75 deals, according to Berkery Noyes investment bankers. That increase moved payments into a near tie with capital markets as the most active sector for M&A in the first half of this year.

Berkery Noyes has tracked 1,056 financial technology and information transactions between 2014 and the first half of this year.

Processor and technology provider Total System Services, or TSYS, was responsible for 2016's largest payments acquisition to date with its purchase of TransFirst LLC.

The $2.4 billion purchase was largely seen as a move by TSYS to strengthen its omnichannel technology capabilities. The acquisition ranked third of all financial services activity behind only Deutsche Borse Group's $14.6 billion purchase of London Stock Exchange Group, and HIS Inc.'s $10.9 billion acquisition of Markit Group Ltd.

Other payments-related deals among the top 10 during the first half of the year included Haili Metal One's $462 million acquisition of Union Mobile Pay Ltd., and FinTech Acquisition Corp's $350 million buy of CardConnect.

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