Distra sold to US payments solutions provider


$50 million deal in payment system buy.

Australian payments software developer Distra has sold to ACI, a large global electronic payments provider for $US48.75million ($A46.07 million).

The acquisition would see ACI adopt the Sydney-based company's agile payments architecture, used by clients including NAB and EFTPOS in Australia, as well as Barclays, Citi Group and Nationwide globally.

Distra's Danish-born chief technology officer and former Nokia software architect, Kenneth Larsen, told iTnews that the ACI deal would not affect staff in Sydney. The privately owned company, founded in 1999, has around 45 employees in Australia, and five overseas at offices in the UK, New Zealand and the US.

Larsen said ACI had been working for the past two to three years on its new agile payments architecture.

“When we met them, they didn’t realise someone already had the technology to do what they needed,” he said.

“It’s all very well to say you have all these new payments structures, but at some point, they have to interface with existing payments systems which are difficult to deal with."

These new payments structures comprise web-based protocols for transactions such as online retail, and often feature multiple factors such as loyalty programs.

Distra has also focused on real-time payments processing, an increasingly important business driver as mobile and internet transactions become more commonplace.

Distra's Universal Payments Platform will be integrated with ACI's architecture, with the Australian firm providing a low-risk solution that enables faster time-to-market builds.

The Australian company has always been globally focused but had historically struggled with worldwide expansion, Larsen said.

“ACI brings all the momentum of its 35 years of experience,” he said.

Distra’s solutions are Java-based with Oracle, IBM DB/2, PostgreSQL and HSQLDB databases also used.

Distra UPP is platform-independent, but the company itself uses Linux distributions such as Red Hat and SuSE, as well as IBM’s AIX and Oracle’s SunOS operating systems.

Larsen and the Distra management team will stay on after the ACI deal, as a condition of the acquisition.

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Distra sold to US payments solutions provider
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