Rapidata bought by Access Group for undisclosed sum

The direct debit processing firm has been bought 'as a whole' and Access hopes to expand its work into other sectors

The direct debit payment processing firm Rapidata has been bought by the business software company Access Group for an undisclosed sum.

Rapidata, which was formed in 1997, processes direct debit payments for approximately 600 clients, including dozens of the UK’s largest charities.

As part of the takeover, Scott Gray, chief executive of Rapidata, will join Access Group as head of payments.

Access Group already has significant experience with the charity sector, according to a statement it issued today, and owns the platforms Access thankQ, a fundraising customer-relationship management program, and Access Gamma, its visitor attraction management software.

The spokeswoman said there was no overlap between the work of Rapidata and Access Group.

She said Rapidata would join Access Group "as a whole" and Access Group hoped to expand Rapidata’s payment processing solutions to other sectors, such as social care and education.

Rapidata said that it processed more than 13 million direct debits a year, with a total value of more than £180m.

Rapidata also produces an annual charity direct debit tracking report, is a member of the Institute of Fundraising and is registered with the Fundraising Regulator.

In 2016, Rapidata was sold by the now defunct fundraising agency group Fundraising Initiatives to the VRD Group, which had also bought the donations processing firm Valldata before that firm’s sale to the Woods Group, now Woods Valldata.

Gray said: "Over the past 20 years we have built Rapidata into one of the UK’s leading payment platform providers.

"As part of Access, we will be able to consolidate our position as a market leader in the not-for-profit sector and support our growth ambitions into other markets more rapidly."

Chris Bayne, chief executive of Access Group, said: "Initially we will focus on integrating payments processing capabilities for our existing not-for-profit customers, where Rapidata has years of experience.

"However, in the near future we will extend the capability to other sectors, including education and health and social care, where we believe there is a desire for these capabilities."

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