Online Billing Industry Consolidates as InterCept Buys iBill, EPX for $160M

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InterCept Inc., a provider of banking technology products and services for financial institutions, has agreed to buy the assets of Internet Billing Company Ltd., a Fort Lauderdale, FL, company also known as iBill that offers transaction processing for online merchants.

InterCept has also agreed to buy Electronic Payment Exchange Inc., a New Castle, DE, end-to-end provider of transaction processing services.

The purchases will mark Norcross, GA-based InterCept's major foray into merchant processing operations.

"Since 1996, we have provided merchant portfolio management services to community bank customers," John W. Collins, CEO of InterCept, said in a statement. "However, our role has been limited to serving as the middleman for our bank customer and the payment processing companies.

"The acquisitions of iBill and EPX," Collins said, "will enable InterCept to become a full-service provider of end-to-end credit card processing solutions for multiple sales channels --Internet, point of sale, call center, mail order and wireless channels."

IBill currently processes about $450 million in annual transaction volume and EPX about $5 billion. InterCept's merchant processing division offers services to 160 community banks, with $1 billion in annual transaction volume.

A spokeswoman said there will be no layoffs as a consequence of the acquisitions. In fact, the employee rolls might be expanded. Senior management will also keep their jobs.

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