45 years ago, a single client in Nebraska. Today, a worldwide reach.
The History of ACI Worldwide
With nearly 4,000 employees worldwide and offices in principal cities around the globe, ACI has built 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 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 the 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.
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).
Growing to a $1B Payments Powerhouse
With numerous strategic acquisitions in the last ten years as well as strong organic growth, ACI has developed a robust solution portfolio spanning the payments ecosystem. The acquisitions of Speedpay and Walletron in 2019 enable ACI to drive innovation through an expanded bill pay platform.
5,000 Strong and Growing
Today, with 45 years of expertise, ACI powers electronic payments for more than 6,000 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.
In 2019, ACI Worldwide announced its acquisition of Speedpay – Western Union’s United States bill pay business. Under the terms of the agreement, ACI Worldwide acquired Speedpay for an all-cash purchase of $750 million, subject to customary adjustments.
With Speedpay, ACI will expanded its reach into existing and complementary segments such as consumer finance, insurance, healthcare, higher education, utilities, government and mortgage. The Speedpay and ACI’s Bill Payment platforms are becoming a unified bill payment platform that supports billions of transactions and drives digital bill payment forward.
“The acquisition marks an exciting new era in bill pay. The combination of Speedpay and ACI brings together an incredibly strong team of bill pay experts and a powerful next-generation platform. As we join forces, we are focused on driving innovation and revolutionizing bill pay for our thousands of customers,” said Phil Heasley, president and CEO, ACI Worldwide. “Strategically moving forward, this acquisition also accelerates the delivery of ACI’s ‘Any Payment, Every Possibility’ vision to serve the real-time digital payments needs of merchants, corporates and billers.”
In 2019, ACI Worldwide announced a new mobile wallet payment and loyalty capabilities. Now part of ACI’s portfolio, the new capabilities allow consumers to view bills from their Apple Wallet or Google Pay and make payments from their smartphones.
ACI unveiled these new capabilities in conjunction with its acquisition of Speedpay from Western Union. They are the result of the acquisition by ACI of Western Union’s Walletron business, which develops next-generation mobile wallet offerings. These new capabilities further strengthen ACI’s leadership position within the U.S. electronic bill pay and presentment (EBPP) market.
Walletron, which is used by more than 6 million consumers in more than 100 countries, delivers patented mobile wallet technology for iOS through Apple Wallet and for Android through Google Pay. Its network of billing and payment partners manages more than 12 billion bills. In October 2018, ACI and Walletron announced a strategic relationship enabling ACI’s clients to enhance their customer experience by offering consumers the ability to view bills from the wallet feature on their smartphones and make quicker payments – within two clicks – using ACI’s market-leading ACI Speedpay solution. Walletron also powers the mobile bill presentment experience for several Speedpay customers.
“Today’s consumers expect a bill pay experience that is quick, easy and digitized, and with billing and payment among an organization’s most frequent and most important touchpoints, customer experience is paramount,” said Sanjay Gupta, executive vice president, ACI Worldwide. “As more consumers utilize mobile devices to view and pay bills, organizations must be able to present bills in a mobile-friendly way. The combination of ACI’s bill payments platform and Walletron’s next-generation mobile wallet billing technology delivers consumers a digital bill pay experience unmatched in the industry. We are excited to welcome the Walletron team as we shape the future of bill pay.”
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 Consumer Payment Processing 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.
ACI Worldwide Today
ACI Worldwide is a global software company that provides
mission-critical real-time payment solutions to corporations.
We combine our global footprint with local presence to drive the real-time digital transformation of payments and commerce.