3 ‘Secret’ Fintech Stocks Worth Buying
Investors may struggle to find financial technology pure plays these days. Many fintech companies are either privately held or trading at bubbly valuations. But these three better-established companies look attractive thanks in part to their fintech innovations.
For an in-depth look at another company betting on fintech, see Fortune’s feature about online brokerage E*Trade.
VeriFone [(PAY), $27] makes the terminals where shoppers swipe—and now dip—their credit and debit cards. Its stock has been dinged by investors’ fears that mobile payment will make cards obsolete. But as Wedbush Securities head of technology research Gil Luria notes, if that day ever comes (and Luria doesn’t think it will), VeriFone’s terminals can be upgraded to accept mobile payments. In the meantime, investors can buy its stock at 11 times expected 2017 earnings—a sharp discount to the market.
Vantiv [(VNTV), $56] focuses on payment processing for merchants, counting eight of the largest 25 U.S. retailers and 400,000 small to midsize companies among its customers. Its secret weapon is Mercury Payment Systems, a company it bought in 2014. Mercury integrates payment processing with other software used by small businesses. “It creates stickiness,” Deutsche Bank’s Bryan Keane says of the service, keeping customers loyal and helping Vantiv maintain unusually high profit margins.
Visa [(V), $78] stands to profit from “digital wallet” technologies as long as such tech remains tied to traditional credit card accounts. But its own mobile payment platform—Visa Checkout, launched in 2014—is off to a good start, with 12 million users and about $113 billion annually in payment volume. Analysts give Visa an edge over rival MasterCard (MA) because of its pending merger with Visa Europe (card use is rising faster in Europe than in the U.S.) and its new status as Costco’s (COST) exclusive card provider.
A version of this article appears in the June 1, 2016 issue of Fortune with the headline “Three Fintech Stocks Worth Paying For.”