PayPal buying processor TIO to reach underserved markets

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PayPal has agreed to acquire TIO Networks, which sells software that powers bill payment processing, particularly for underbanked consumers.

PayPal will pay $2.56 per share in cash, or about $233 million, based on TIO's stock price on Jan 9, 2017 when it entered into negotiations with PayPal.

"Worldwide, more than 2 billion people do not have affordable access to basic financial services, making it difficult and expensive for consumers to carry out basic financial tasks, including bill payment. TIO’s digital platform, and physical network of agent locations make paying bills simpler, faster, and more affordable," said Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal, in a release.

TIO is based in Vancouver and is one of North America's largest multi-channel processors, handling more than $7 billion in consumer bill payments in fiscal 2016. It serves more than 14 million consumer bill pay accounts with a focus on financially underserved consumers. It has a network of more than 10,000 billers, enabling TIO to process telecom, wireless, cable and utility bill payments. Its network got a boost through an acquisition of ChangeSmart from Verifone in 2014.

The company's consumers typically access the service at more than 900 self-service kiosk, 65,000 retail walk-in locations and mobile and online sites.

PayPal's efforts to reach underserved markets also include a collaboration with venture capital firm Village Capital.

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