Atlanta-based Global Payments plans to acquire the communities and sports divisions of ISV ACTIVE Network from investor Vista Equity Partners, the companies announced today.

ACTIVE Network provides event and activity management software via its cloud-based platform to more than 36,000 event organizers. It serves the recreation, race, sports, camp and education verticals.

According to Todd Ablowitz, president of Double Diamond Group and co-publisher of PaymentFacilitator.com, this agreement is indicative of a larger movement – and a likely sign of more to come.

“We continue to see a massive secular trend of vertical ISVs becoming payments companies. This acquisition of a vertical ISV – the largest in its space – by a major payments company is a continuation of that trend and shows the power of the marriage between payments and the vertical ISV,” Ablowitz said.

“We see this trend accelerating substantially in the coming years. As the investors I’ve talked to have said, ‘We’re only in the first or second inning.’ Any payments company or vertical ISV that doesn’t have this strategy in place is missing the future of our industry.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Global Payments will pay $1.2 billion in stock and cash for the two divisions. Vista will retain the company’s outdoors division.

“ACTIVE Network aligns perfectly with our technology-enabled, software driven strategy and complements our existing businesses well,” Jeff Sloan, Global Payments’ Chief Executive Officer, said in a press release.

“With ACTIVE Network, we are adding an enterprise software business operating in two new vertical markets that are highly fragmented and underpenetrated with attractive growth fundamentals.”

The agreement also includes a partnership in which Global Payments will provide payments technology solutions to companies in Vista Equity Partners’ portfolio. The companies plan to close the transaction during the fourth quarter of this year.