SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Zakia Bouachraoui, Roger Strukhoff, David Linthicum

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Spire Payments makes bold move by acquiring Altius Plus for reinforcement of R&D and strategic positioning within Central Eastern European market

Spire Payments announced today the acquisition of Altius Plus, recognised experts in the development of payment applications, terminal management systems, loyalty schemes, ticketing solutions and client server-based architectures within the payments industry. With a client list including top Romanian Banks such BRD (Group Societe Generale) and BCR (Erste Bank Group) together with Raiffeisen Bank (Romania, Croatia, Albania, Kosovo) and Payzone (Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Poland) as well as having developed EFT and certified HOST solutions for more than 20 international banks and financial organisations worldwide, Altius Plus have significant, proven technical capabilities and an extremely high level of credibility in the sector. Apart from the significant increase in R&D capability to complement Spire’s centres of excellence in Spain, England, Scotland and China, this move will provide a springboard to exploit multiple opportunities the business is forging in Central Eastern European markets and is a perfect fit in Spire’s strategic acquisition programme.

Under the terms of the agreement, Altius Plus will become Spire Payments Eastern Europe LCC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Spire Payments and will play a pivotal role within the business to cement its position as the third largest PoS vendor in Europe. Kazem Aminaee, CEO and President of Spire Payments, says of the move, “This acquisition is yet another decisive step in our drive to deliver our global payment strategy and to accelerate our revenue growth in the emerging markets. Following on from the launch of our new product range and the purchase of Thyron Systems in 2013, our customers can now benefit from a diverse range of payment solutions. The abilities of Altius will further leverage these solutions to offer additional value-added software application development services to cardholders, merchants and payment processors alike. As a business we are, more than ever, positioned to deliver exceptional added value to our customer base.”

Altius Plus was founded in 2006 by payment industry experts who had accumulated over a decade’s worth of experience working as part of the Hypercom Corporation team in CEE. The business has expanded significantly to form a team of specialised developers with a wealth of expertise in the payments industry. The Altius team’s main activities include the development of PoS terminal applications, such as Spire’s new SP range, loyalty and bonus schemes, terminal management systems (TESS), web-based GUIs (RCS), client server architectures, together with retail peripheral and host interfacing expertise. Of particular note is the feature-rich terminal management system utilizing web-based GUI interface, and a client server-based architecture. Spire truly believes such capabilities will be central to the payment solutions of the future.

Zdenek Bubak, Spire’s Head of Central and Eastern Europe stated, “This is a significant acquisition that considerably strengthens Spire’s technical and commercial presence in the region. In addition, Altius will become a hub to support our ever expanding network of partners and distributors in the Central Eastern European market.”

Aminaee concludes, “We are confident our payment solution portfolio, experience and vision, combined with the proven technical capabilities of our new team, will drive an industry-leading payments proposition.”

ENDS

About Spire Payments

In a world of converging technologies in which e-commerce, mobile commerce, and social networks cross over into traditional electronic payment, Spire Payments applies its thirty years of expertise to bring to market innovative, highly secure and future proof devices and solutions that promote seamless payment transactions to all end-points around a user experience that is both interactive and rewarding. Spire Payments, the fastest growing European POS solutions provider, is one of the original pioneers to develop world-class secure electronic payment solutions: from fixed, portable and mobile payment solutions to PIN pads and unattended terminals for integration with cash register systems and self-service kiosks.

Serving market segments ranging from the financial and retail to hospitality and transportation, and with offices in Spain, the UK, the Czech Republic, Dubai and Hong Kong, Spire Payments is a forward-looking alternative to traditional payment terminal suppliers.

About Altius Plus

Altius Plus has more than 30 staff members, the vast majority of whom are research and development engineers. The company’s main activities include application development and the provision of technical services to the electronic payments industry. Of particular note is the development of host systems and POS applications, including Euronet (Arksys), First Data (B24), Global Payments (B24), OpenWay Group (Way4), BPC (Smart Vista), Compass Plus, CTL and Borica Bulgaria. Current and past CEE customers in Romania include BRD (Group Societe Generale), BCR (Erste Group Bank), Unicredit Tiriac Bank, Banca Transilvania, CEC Romania and Payzone. In addition, Altius has developed and supplied applications for Raiffeisen Bank and Payzone across four different CEE markets, and in JCC, Cyprus. Specific expertise includes:

  • EFT/POS terminal applications
  • Integrated payment solutions
  • Loyalty and bonus schemes
  • Terminal management systems (TESS, RCS)
  • Standards: EMV, ISO8583, ANSI X9, Proton/Copac, Visa Paywave, MasterCard PayPass, PCI, etc.
  • Security: DES, 3DES, DUKPT, SSL, RSA
  • Protocols: SPDH, APACS 30/40, ISO variations, Visa K/D/J/M/EMEA/MDC, etc.
  • Communications: modem, ISDN, GSM/GPRS, Ethernet and Bluetooth
  • Peripheral devices (barcode readers, contactless readers, note and coin acceptors, cash registers, external and fiscal printers, PIN pads, external and cheque readers, Windows CE-based devices).

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