Mastercard (NYSE: MA) today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire the majority of the Corporate Services businesses of Nets, a leading European PayTech company, for €2.85 billion (approximately US$3.19 billion).
The acquisition comprises the clearing and instant payment services, and e-billing solutions of Nets’ Corporate Services business. The addition of Nets technology and teams strengthens Mastercard’s existing account-to-account (A2A) capabilities. Post-acquisition, the company’s best-in-class real-time payment assets will provide unrivaled capabilities across three principal areas:
- Infrastructure – complements Mastercard’s existing technologies, catering to a more expansive customer base, leveraging its sophisticated, highly scalable, flexible and easy-to-deploy assets
- Applications for end-user solutions – like bill payment and open banking solutions, now delivered with greater speed and scale
- Value-added services, like data analytics and fraud protection
“The global opportunity for real-time payments is accelerating,” said Michael Miebach, chief product & innovation officer, Mastercard. “This deal strengthens our unique position as the one-stop partner for any bank, merchant or government’s payment needs. The combination with existing Mastercard assets such as Vocalink, Transfast, and Transactis delivers real-time payment capabilities, innovation and expertise that are truly differentiated.”
In recent years, Mastercard has developed and acquired a formidable set of capabilities to address the sizable B2B, P2M and P2P opportunities. When combined with the existing card rails, Mastercard provides its customers a unique and powerful offering, to support business, government and consumer payment needs across a variety of payment flows. Economies benefit through an increased velocity of money, while banks can offer businesses and consumers new, safe, simple and secure apps and services.
“We are a multi-rail company – this deal further demonstrates the strength of our strategy, staying ahead of the changing landscape, delivering essential choice to banks, businesses and consumers,” added Miebach.
The acquisition of the majority of Nets’ Corporate Services business provides even more depth and scale to the Mastercard Send and Transfast technologies that deliver cross-border payments to bank accounts, mobile wallets and cards. Mastercard’s A2A capabilities and expertise now extend into continental Europe, to match its capabilities in the U.K, Americas, Asia, Middle East and Africa. The deal also complements the unique technical assets and partners recently added to Mastercard’s bill payment capabilities through the acquisition of Transactis.
Real-time payments provide a smarter and faster alternative to traditional ACH, cash and checks. They help banks improve the efficiency of their operations, providing a better user experience and customer service, while helping to reduce the cost of exception handling. The acquisition of the Nets services is another purposeful step in Mastercard’s strategy, building on the recent partnership with P27 to deliver real-time and batch payments to Nordic markets.
Nets’ Corporate Services business operates both managed services and software license models in several European markets. It also has an established and highly successful bill pay service in Norway and Denmark, building on its regional innovation heritage, and a new Open Banking solution for banks, fintechs and third-party processors. The acquisition by Mastercard will support and strengthen the business and bring an increased focus on innovation to customers in the Nordic region.
“Over the past five years, Nets has built a strong account-to-account payments platform with a global growth opportunity. However, to fully unlock its international growth potential beyond Nets’ existing geographical footprint requires the capabilities and resources of an established global leader,” said Bo Nilsson, Group CEO of Nets. “With its resources and global reach, Mastercard is uniquely positioned to unlock the potential of Nets’ account-to-account business,” added Nilsson.
The transaction, which is anticipated to close in the first half of 2020, is subject to regulatory clearances and other customary closing conditions. Mastercard expects the transaction to be dilutive for up to 24 months after the deal closes, primarily related to purchase accounting and integration related costs.