July 18, 2017Less than two weeks after Vantiv agreed to acquire e-commerce processor and acquirer Worldpay, consolidation in online payments continued with another significant deal. Worldline, the merchant services arm of French IT giant Atos, has agreed to acquire Digital River World Payments (DRWP). DRWP is the online payments unit of Minneapolis-based e-commerce platform provider Digital River. The acquisition benefits Worldline by significantly expanding its geographical footprint, with operations in Sweden, Brazil and the U.S. where it currently does not have a presence. The French company also said it expects to adopt DRWP’s online payments platform. Along with Vantiv’s acquisition of Worldpay, Worldline’s addition of DRWP is a reaction to the increasingly cross-border nature of e-commerce, Thad Peterson, senior analyst for Boston-based consultancy Aite Group, told CardNotPresent.com. He expects the ongoing consolidation to help smaller businesses as they attempt to compete globally. “A major, nearly tectonic, shift is happening in online commerce as consumers increase their consumption of goods and services across borders,” Peterson said. “Demand for cross-border commerce is inhibited by the innate friction for customers making cross-border payments as well as the cost to merchants of managing purchases in different markets. Major online organizations are looking for companies that can increase their cross-border capabilities and add scale. For SMBs, the increase in access to international markets allows them to compete more effectively with the Amazon’s and Alibaba’s of the world, and as the industry consolidates, transaction costs will fall as well.” The companies did not disclose the value of the acquisition, but both parties expect the transaction to close in the third quarter of this year.