First Data Acquires Digital Card Provider Transaction Wireless

by Ben Jackson 0

First Data Corp. announced today that it has acquired Transaction Wireless Inc., a digital gift card provider. The deal gives First Data a software platform for digital card creation, marketing, and distribution.

First Data Corp. has added another digital gift card company to its portfolio with the purchase announced Tuesday of Transaction Wireless Inc., a digital gift card distribution company.
The purchase of San Diego-based Transaction Wireless complements First Data’s 2014 deal to buy Gyft, a digital platform that enables consumers buy, send, manage, and redeem gift cards using mobile devices. First Data would not disclose terms of the Transaction Wireless deal, but said it closed June 9.

The deal will allow First Data to offer its prepaid customers a suite of services that crosses all channels including physical, virtual, and mobile cards. As convergence happens in the industry, these capacities will be important to both merchants and processors.

TWI’s cloud-based, digital gift card distribution platform supports comprehensive open and closed loop prepaid, store-branded gift card program management, offering end-to-end card management and B2B and B2C distribution solutions for retailers, distributors and resellers. The proprietary technology allows business owners to migrate from traditional plastic or paper gift cards to digital gift cards via multi-format distribution options, including mobile, social, email and digital wallets.

The deal shows a shift in the market. In addition to First Data buying Transaction Wireless, prepaid card distributor InComm purchased TW-competitor Giftango. CashStar is the one digital card provider that still stands as an independent.

Overview by Ben Jackson, Director, Prepaid Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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