Friday, December 23, 2005

Pay By Touch Acquires BioPay for $82 Million

Solidus Networks d.b.a Pay By Touch buys chief rival, BioPay

Pay By Touch completed its $82-million acquisition of biometric payment services provider BioPay.

The two privately held companies use biometric technology such as fingerprint scanning to authenticate customers who wish to make payments in a secure way.

Under the terms of the deal, which was announced December 6, Pay By Touch will take responsibility for BioPay’s patent portfolio, retail customers, and enrolled members.

BioPay has enrolled more than 2 million customers and processed over $7 billion in transactions. The Herndon, Virginia-based company supplies biometrically authenticated check-cashing services to more than 1,600 retailers across the United States.

Pay By Touch has agreements in place with two of the top five grocery chains and 55 of the top 100 retail chains in the U.S. The San Francisco-based company offers its payment technology to more than 125,000 merchants.

“Pay By Touch and BioPay together bring buyers and sellers one step closer to making biometric transactions ubiquitous around the world,” said John Rogers, chairman of Pay By Touch.

BioPay President Tim Robinson said the merger will improve customer service, efficiency, and sales. He is expected to remain with the company, which has 74 employees.

Acquisition Spree

Pay By Touch has also been making other acquisitions, including a purchase of CardSystems Solutions last October. CardSystems had been blamed for a massive breach of security last year that exposed personal information on up to 40 million MasterCard accounts.

Pay By Touch’s acquisition of CardSystems occurred after a deal for CyberSource to acquire CardSystems fell through (see CardSystems Bought [Again]).

The company made three acquisitions during December. On December 15, Pay By Touch acquired the assets and intellectual property of two loyalty technology providers, 7th Street Software and Convena, for undisclosed sums.

On December 2, the company acquired Capture Resource, a supplier of integrated reward programs based in Bristol, Pennsylvania, for an undisclosed amount.

To fund these acquisitions, Pay By Touch closed on $130 million in financing in September 2005 led by the New York-based hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management, with participation from San Francisco-based Farallon Capital Management, along with Plainfield Asset Management, a firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Its largest acquisition before that round of financing occurred in November 2004, when it paid $30.5 million to acquire ATM Direct from InterCept.