Fiserv and First Data Corporation announced on Jan. 16 that their boards of directors have unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under which Fiserv will acquire First Data in an all-stock transaction. The transaction unites two premier companies to create one of the world’s leading payments and financial technology providers, and an enhanced value proposition for its clients.

The complementary combination will offer leading technology capabilities that enable a range of payments and financial services, including account processing and digital banking solutions; card issuer processing and network services; e-commerce; integrated payments; and the Clover™ cloud-based point-of-sale solution. The combined company will offer comprehensive distribution channels and have deep expertise in partnering with financial institutions, merchants and billers of all sizes, as well as software developers.

Todd Clark, CEO of CO-OP Financial Services, sent a letter to stakeholders and clients after the announcement, saying as one of First Data’s processing partners, CO-OP wanted to share its perspective: “Certainly this news is not unexpected as we’ve been monitoring the trend of industry consolidation playing out in the market. The growth of e-commerce and digital is resulting in consolidation among larger, established companies who are teaming up to offer a more diverse menu of services to clients looking to streamline from multiple vendor relationships.

“From our point of view, this news reaffirms CO-OP’s multi-platform strategy which, along with our size and scale, provides choice and flexibility for the long-term vitality of the credit union movement. We are well positioned to be the world-class digital payments provider for our credit union clients going forward.”

Clark went on to say it was  business as usual for CO-OP, which has a strong partnership with First Data and a long-term contract.