NAPLES, Fla., Sept. 13, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ACI Worldwide, Inc. (Nasdaq:ACIW), a leading international provider of payment systems, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire payments software provider Distra Pty Ltd (Distra). The integration of ACI and Distra technologies will enable financial institutions, processors and retailers to enhance the flexibility and performance of their existing payments infrastructure to address market needs, such as mobile, social channels and payment services hubs. In addition, this acquisition will enable ACI's payments products to integrate more tightly with customers' enterprise architectures, reducing their total cost of ownership. The Distra Universal Payments Platform delivers a fault-tolerant, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)-based payments platform that helps to significantly reduce the risk and cost of payments transformation without compromising security, performance, scalability and reliability. Customers will benefit from the combination of ACI's trusted, reliable and high-performance payments infrastructure with Distra's Universal Payments Platform for added business agility and significant reduction in development time for new features. In addition, the Universal Payments Platform will become a key part of ACI's Reference Architecture, improving R&D efficiency and accelerating time to market. "Financial services institutions are increasingly pursuing enterprise payments strategies that will allow them to process payments in any form via any channel," said Andy Schmidt, CEB TowerGroup research director. "To achieve this, their payments infrastructures must follow a standards-based, service-oriented architecture (SOA) approach that is flexible enough to accept new formats and support the rapid development and deployment of new products, scalable enough to withstand the ongoing increase in non-cash payment volumes globally, and reliable enough to function on a 24x7 basis." "ACI has been working toward a goal of building the broadest, most integrated solutions to serve the payments industry, which we call ACI's Agile Payments Solution strategy," said Tony Scotto, executive vice president, Global Development, ACI Worldwide. "A critical element of achieving this vision is an enterprise payments services bus that can support the integration of multiple payment applications in a highly scalable and reliable manner. The Universal Payments Platform will help accelerate ACI's ability to achieve enterprise payments."