The Commerce Commission has granted clearance to Ingenico Group SA to acquire 100% of the shares of Paymark Limited.
Ingenico and Paymark provide services that allow merchants to accept electronic payments. Ingenico is a global provider of payment terminals and digital payment services. Paymark’s primary business is to provide processing services that route eftpos, ecommerce, and debit and credit card payment transactions to the appropriate financial institution (commonly referred to as a payment switch). Paymark is not active in the supply of payment terminals.
In considering the acquisition, the Commission focused mainly on whether the combination of Paymark’s switch with Ingenico’s terminal business might reduce competition for the supply of payment terminals.
Commission Chair Dr Mark Berry said the Commission was satisfied the acquisition would not substantially lessen competition in any of the markets it assessed.
“This is a complex market that is evolving with the introduction of new payment systems technology. On balance, we considered that there were sufficient constraints in the market to ensure that Ingenico is motivated to keep the market for payment terminals attractive to merchants,” Dr Berry said.
“Attempting to prevent or deter access by its terminal competitors to the Paymark switch would risk rivals building their own payment switch or encourage merchants to take up new payment technologies. We concluded that Ingenico would likely be incentivised to seek to maximise the volume of transactions that Paymark processes to avoid this risk.”
The Commission has also concluded the acquisition would not affect competition in the supply of digital payment services.
A copy of the Commission’s full reasons for granting clearance will be available on the case register in due course.
In 2017 New Zealand consumers made 1.7 billion electronic card transactions with a total value of $83 billion. Merchants that wish to accept card payments require a terminal for in-person sales (known as “card present” transactions) and a digital payment gateway for online sales (known as “card not present” transactions). To complete the sale, the payment system needs to confirm with the issuer of the card that the cardholder has sufficient funds or credit available. A payment switch enables this process to occur by connecting terminals to the relevant financial institution.
Ingenico is a member of Ingenico Group, based in France. Ingenico is a supplier of electronic payment services including payment terminals, transaction routing, and digital payment services. In New Zealand, Ingenico wholesales its terminals via a network of resellers. In addition to its terminal business, Ingenico provides digital payment services to merchants through its subsidiary Bambora.
Paymark is a New Zealand company. Its primary business is to operate a “switch” that routes electronic payment transactions from terminals to the relevant financial institutions. Paymark also operates a digital payment business called Click and provides an online debit payment service called Online Eftpos. Paymark is jointly owned by four banks: ANZ, ASB, BNZ and Westpac.