Global fintech deal activity hits a high

Global financial technology (fintech) deal volumes reached a three-year high in the first half of the year, according to a new study which points to a revitalised market for corporate activity.

Financial technology, or fintech, is a fast growing area as more and more people conduct their financial affairs online. Picture: Contributed

Three major deals totalling some $87 billion (£72bn) set the scene for a record-breaking $120bn in disclosed transaction value for the sector in the first six months of 2019.

Releasing its latest global fintech M&A (mergers and acquisitions) market report, Hampleton Partners noted that all three of the top transactions were in the payments processing segment – Fidelity National Information Services acquired Worldpay for $43.6bn, Fiserv snapped up First Data for $22bn and Global Payments bought Total System Services for $21.2bn.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The report pointed to a revitalised M&A market since a downturn in the second half of 2018, as well as an overall trend for larger deal sizes. It found that 65 per cent of deals exceeded $100 million in the first half, compared to 54 per cent in 2018, based on disclosed deal values.

Jonathan Simnett, director and fintech specialist at Hampleton Partners, said: “The fintech M&A market is white-hot in Europe and North America.

“Financial businesses and institutions are increasingly open to adopting large-scale fintech in transaction processing or enterprise financial software, and as the financial services industry re-structures, competition for game-changing assets is increasing.”

Fundraising in fintech continues its record-breaking course. With 818 fundraising exercises so far in 2019, the anticipated annualised figure of 1,636 would set a new annual record, narrowly beating those figures recorded in 2017 (1,632) and in 2016 (1,633).

Excluding the three mega-deals in payments processing, enterprise financial software remained the largest fintech sub-sector during the first half of the year, according to the research.