Dive Brief:

  • NMI, a Schaumburg, Illinois-based payments technology company, has acquired the commercial division of Sphere, a payments software provider, NMI said Thursday. The company did not disclose the terms of the deal.
  • The deal will enhance NMI’s underwriting and risk management capabilities and allow independent software vendors, independent sales organizations and fintechs working with NMI to create merchant accounts within the company’s existing platform, according to a news release said. 
  • As part of the deal, NMI will take on the 23 employees in Sphere’s commercial operations, a spokesperson said. NMI will retain Sphere’s Irving, Texas office location. The purchase does not impact other Sphere entities, NMI said.

Dive Insight:

With the purchase of Sphere’s commercial arm, NMI continues to build out its capabilities.

In January 2022, the company bought payments software firm IRIS, which provides customer relationship management and other services to merchants, for an undisclosed sum. The deal added merchant prospecting, management and onboarding functionality to NMI’s business. 

Later that year, NMI bought Agreement Express’ payment solutions operations, including its underwriting, onboarding, and risk detection functions, for an undisclosed sum, according to a December 2022 press release. 

Through the Sphere commercial division acquisition, NMI is able to help underwrite merchants for ISOs or software vendors, “and allow them to be able to monetize that merchant on our platform,” said Peter Galvin, NMI’s chief marketing officer, during a recent interview.

NMI, founded in 2000, began as a white-label payments gateway. The company, which serves about 3,900 ISV, ISO and fintech clients, has also sought recently to court banks seeking to compete with fintech firms

“The addition of Sphere’s Commercial Division allows us to add yet another module to our stack of payment enablement tools, providing our partners with the modularity and choice to better customize payment experiences for their merchants,” NMI CEO Vijay Sondhi said in a statement.

“These added capabilities of underwriting, risk management and merchant account creation are a game changer, not only for our partners but also for their merchants in the race to provide the most convenient, painless experience for end consumers,” Sondhi said. 

As part of the deal, Tom Bannon, president and chief operating officer of the Sphere commercial division, will join NMI’s leadership team as the senior vice president of partner monetization. “Partners today are looking to own as much of the payments ecosystem as possible, and we are adding another layer to that by combining forces with NMI,” Bannon said in the news release. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *