A record $117 billion in fintech deals have been done this year as cashless payments soar in popularity

Frances Sy pays for her coffee with cryptocurrency at the opening of Ducatus cafe, the first cashless cafe that accepts cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, in Singapore December 21, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

  • Fintech deal activity hit an all-time high this year, according to a new Dealogic report.
  • The explosive mergers and acquisition volume comes as more people go cashless and companies compete for consumer data.
  • The total deal value has been driven by a few monster deals, like Fiserv buying First Data and Global Payments buying Total System Services.
  • Visit Markets Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It’s not just you. The fintech space really is red-hot this year.

Global fintech-targeted mergers and acquisition volume has increased "rapidly" over the last five years, and the value of deals in the space has hit a record high in 2019, according to Dealogic associate Chisa Tanaka. 

Eighty-seven deals have totaled a record year-to-date value of $116.6 billion, a four-fold increase from the $31.8 billion through the same time last year. There were 89 deals done at this point in 2018.

"Clearly, technological innovation is causing intensifying consolidation in the electronic payment services market, while the acquisition of data on customer’s purchasing and behavior trends further drives fintech acquisitions," Tanaka wrote.

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This explosive activity has been driven by three large US-based fintech transactions this year — Fidelity National Information Services’ $43.3 billion acquisition of Worldpay in March, Fiserv’s buying First Data in January for $39.4 billion, and Global Payments’ $26.2 billion purchase of Total System Services in May.

Global financial technology deals have exploded this year.

Experts say that while methods of electronic payments are growing in popularity, the world is a long way away from becoming fully cash-free. And to be fair, cash usage varies by countries and regions. The BIS found ATM withdrawals were flat in advanced economies while rising in emerging markets.

Consumers around the world are relying "more and more" on e-payments, the Bank of International Settlements said in a report published last March. 

"The use of e-payments is booming and technology companies as well as financial institutions are investing heavily to be the payment providers of tomorrow," the BIS economists wrote.

Read more: The companies disrupting the payments industry in major markets through digital

Although electronic payments have grown in popularity, the BIS concluded there is "scant evidence of a shift away from cash."

"As the appetite for cash remains unabated, few societies are close to ‘cashless’ or even ‘less-cash,’" they wrote.

Notably, the US is the most popular country in the world for fintech deals, followed by the France and the UK, Tanaka found. 

"The second half of 2019 will likely bring further market consolidation to boost costumer data retention and provide clarity on the financial ability of the different players," she wrote.

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