Visa has completed the acquisition of UK-based Earthport, providing an entree for the card scheme into the $80 trillion account-to-account payments market.
Visa made a surprise £198 million bid for Earthport over the festive season, an offer which was recommended by the company's Board and put to shareholders. But Mastercard tried to gazump its rival with its own £233 million bid, forcing Visa to return with an improved £247 million package.
Visa eventually won out after after Mastercard dropped its bid and instead struck a deal to buy another money transfer network, Transfast, for an undisclosed amount.
The acquisition will make it possible for Visa clients to enable individuals, businesses and governments to utilise the Visa network to send and/or receive money through bank accounts around the world, skipping public and private wire transfer rails.
“Visa is modernizing the way we move money by making it quicker, safer and easier to pay and be paid than ever before,” says Bill Sheley, head of global push payments, Visa. “The acquisition of Earthport unleashes the power of Visa by taking us 'beyond the card,' empowering us to enable our clients to make payments through bank accounts around the world.”