The news that Fiserv is buying First Data may be unwelcome to community bank and credit union executives, some of whom fear it will create an entity they believe will be slower and more bureaucratic.
The deal makes sense for Fiserv. It brings together two financial industry behemoths: a core banking vendor with 12,000 financial institution customers and a payment processing and technology provider with 4,000 financial institution clients. The merged company will have the scale to dominate the industry.
But some fear the merger will also be a huge distraction for the combined company that could take away from its ability to innovate and to respond to community bank clients’ needs. Though Fiserv and First Data largely offered complementary, not competing, products, the merger is a massive one, fueling concerns that the task of integrating them will take years of efforts and resources.
“Many community banks and credit unions rely on these large banktech firms to compete with fintech and the largest banks,” said Alex Jimenez, vice president and senior strategist at Zions Bancorp. “The merger could impact the pace and their ability to be swift.”
Read more in American Banker.