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The History of ACI Worldwide

With more than 4,500 employees worldwide and offices in principal cities around the globe, ACI now has one of the most diverse and robust product portfolios in the industry, with application software spanning the entire electronic payments chain.


1975: Creating Software for Emerging Modern Banking Systems

ACI was founded in Omaha, Nebraska, developing software for the new NonStop server computers that banks and stock exchanges were adopting. Early projects involved building systems to handle ATMs and other banking systems requiring extremely high uptimes. This led to a first global product called BASE24. 

Expanding Services and Platforms 

ACI expanded to developing software for service transactions at point-of-sale terminals and banking branch systems. Eventually, services covered more functions for credit card transactions, such as clearing, settlement and fraud detection. 

Soon, other hardware suppliers, such as IBM, HP, Stratus and SUN, supported ACI payments software, which led to an expansion of wholesale banking payments, wire transfers and automated clearing house transactions. 

In the early 2000s, ACI supported online banking, card and merchant management, and retailer solutions, then introduced the agile payments strategy as a unified payments solution.

Global Reach Begins in Australia

While early customers were all in the U.S., an Australian bank came aboard in 1981, starting an international growth path. By 1986, ACI had 131 customers in 14 countries, and offices and partners around the world. 

Going Public

For 20 years, ACI was a private company, with periods of ownership under US West and Tandem. Since 1995, ACI has been a public company traded on NASDAQ, initially under the name Transaction Systems Architects (TSA), and since July 2007 under the name ACI Worldwide, Inc. (ACIW).

Acquisitions and Growth

With the acquisitions of S1 Corporation in 2012, and Online Resources Corporation and Official Payments in 2013, ACI increased the reach of its bill pay offerings into federal, state and local governments, municipal utilities, higher education institutions and charitable giving organizations. 

Then in 2014, ACI acquired the leading eCommerce and fraud prevention company, Retail Decisions (ReD), bolstering services in payments risk management. And in 2015, ACI’s acquisition of PAY.ON, boosted end-to-end eCommerce payments capabilities and the most complete omni-channel payments experience available.  

5,000 Strong and Growing

Today, with 40 years of expertise, ACI powers electronic payments for more than 5,000 organizations, delivering systems to process payments for banks, processors and retailers around the world. ACI's reputation is based upon the success of products that have consistently provided stability, scalability and reliability.

Recent Acquisitions



In November 2015, ACI Worldwide and PAY.ON, a leader in eCommerce payment gateway services, announced that they entered into a definitive transaction agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, ACI acquired 100 percent of the equity of PAY.ON in a combination of cash and stock valuing the company at €180 million (approximately $200 million).

Based in Munich, Germany, PAY.ON delivers a white label global payment gateway solution to payment services providers (PSPs) and acquirers globally. PAY.ON’s solution features connectivity to more than 300 alternative payment methods and card acquirers in more than 160 countries. This global coverage helps merchants and PSPs to increase international revenues, dramatically reduce costs and risk, and accelerate market expansion. 
PAY.ON’s advanced SaaS-based eCommerce gateway solution complements and strengthens ACI’s UP Retailer Payments offering, positioning ACI as a highly differentiated omni-channel payments leader. The combined ACI/PAY.ON solution provides merchants and PSPs the ability to deliver a seamless omni-channel customer payment experience in any retailer modality – in store, mobile, online – with both on premise and SaaS delivery options. 

Retailer Decisions

Retail Decisions (ReD)

In August 2014, ACI Worldwide announced that it has completed the acquisition of Retail Decisions (ReD), a leader in fraud prevention solutions. Under the terms of the agreement, ACI Worldwide acquired ReD for an all-cash purchase price of $205 million.

Brookwood, England-based ReD is a leading ecommerce and fraud prevention company serving the payments industry. Its suite of solutions helps customers drive up revenues while reducing fraud losses and increasing the efficiency of their fraud management teams. ReD serves more than 1,500 retailers, issuers, acquirers, processors and switch networks globally.

“We are excited to welcome ReD into the One ACI organization. The addition of ReD’s talented team and product portfolio enhances our Universal Payments strategy and further strengthens our leadership position in the fast-growing payments risk management space,” said Philip Heasley, President and CEO, ACI Worldwide. “The combination of ACI and ReD results in a powerful merchant retail solution that will drive our market leadership—providing an unrivaled customer experience–consistent and unified anytime, anywhere and through any access point or device.”

Official Payments

Official Payments

In November 2013, ACI Worldwide announced that it has completed the acquisition of Official Payments Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPAY), a leading provider of electronic bill payment solutions. Under the terms of the agreement, ACI Worldwide acquired Official Payments in an all-cash transaction for $8.35 per share.

Norcross, GA-based Official Payments provides bill payment solutions to federal, state and local governments, municipal utilities, higher education institutions and charitable giving organizations. Official Payments currently has more than 3,000 customers representing access to over 100 million end users. The company processes approximately 20 million payments and over $9 billion in volume annually.

“We are excited to welcome Official Payments into the ACI family. The addition of Official Payments’ talented team and product portfolio further strengthens ACI’s leadership position within the electronic bill payment market,” said Philip Heasley, President and CEO, ACI Worldwide. “We are fully committed to serving Official Payments’ customer base and delivering them the industry’s best support, services and solutions, key tenets of our Universal Payments strategy of providing a complete set of end-to-end payment services.”

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