Sage pays £20 million for UK payment specialist Protx. By John Stokdyk

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Sage this week added online payment services provider Protx to its portfolio in a 20 million deal.

Protx provides payment services for around 10,000 small and medium-sized UK busiensses and is approved to handle secure online transactions by major UK banks including Lloyds TSB Cardnet, Bank of Scotland, Barclays Merchant Services, HSBC, Natwest Streamline, American Express, Diners Card, JCB and Euroconex.

The UK company's acquisition closely mirrors a similar deal in January, when the company bought US credit card merchant services provider Verus Financial Management for 184m.

While Protx made a 20,000 loss on its last full financial year to 31 March 2006, it moved into profit over the next six months. Sage executives see merchant services as a new commercial frontier and the Protx news annou...

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By Anonymous
17th Nov 2006 17:28

Thank you ....

Agree with your comments. Thank you for your pointer - have found a relevant article herewith:

Sage CEO comment is interesting:

'.. important step forward in our Internet strategy. We have always said that our primary goal must be to look after the interests of our customers as they enter the Internet era ..'

So they subsequently dumped their eCommerce application and presumably their customers - seems to have an all too familiar ring to it !!

.. and having demonstrated their inability on the eCommerce front they have purchased yet another card processor .... ummmmmm...

Whats good for Sage may not be good for their customers

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By s1dap
17th Nov 2006 12:16

JC - Sage & E Commerce
I think you are referring to Website Creator & Web Trader heavily promoted around the year 2000. Web Trader was a product from a company Sage purchased, Ubiquis SA for £20.6M and sold practically zip. Sage gave up on ECommerce and the customers were given to a start up manned by ex Sage personnel, I believe it is now called "Internetware" and based in Newcastle.
It would be interesting to see how the annual impairment review treats Ubiquis!
It is also interesting to note that Sage do not appear to have an integrated Web Development/Shop capability within any of their products so how they intend to maximise the return from the Credit Card processing acquisition is difficult to see.
I have always viewed Sage like the dog chasing the car - when it catches it , it does not know what to do with it. Looking at the Integration capabilities of the Sage product line ie every component has a different appearance, usually a seperate database, and does not usually integrate properly, Sage have their work cut out. Renaming products is a smokescreen to hide this fact.

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By Anonymous
14th Nov 2006 13:30

What about Sage eCommerce ... many years ago ..
Once upon a time Sage had an eCommerce module in its portfolio - anyone know what happened to that offering because it no longer seems exist ?

With this in mind (abject failure ??) on the eCommerce front it is interesting that they have acquired a card processor. But then again perhaps it is no surprise that they continue to exploit their existing users (Line 50 2007) whilst at the same time harvesting 'new' markets

Once again it's back to basics and core business - start delivering on existing products and ONLY THEN get back on the acquisitions trail.

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