Under the deal, Nets will be offloading its clearing and instant payment services, and e-billing solutions to Mastercard


Image: Nets to sell its account-to-account payment business to Mastercard. Photo: courtesy of rawpixel/Pixabay.

Mastercard has agreed to acquire the majority of the corporate services businesses of European paytech company Nets for €2.85bn (£2.63bn).

Under the deal, Mastercard will be acquiring the clearing and instant payment services, and e-billing solutions of Nets’ corporate services business. The businesses included in the deal are Betalingsservice in Denmark and AvtaleGiro/eFaktura in Norway.

Nets said its e-ID and Digitisation services are not part of the deal and will be retained as core capabilities.

What the acquisition means for Mastercard

For Mastercard, the addition of Nets’ technology and teams bolster its existing account-to-account (A2A) capabilities.

It expects the transaction to help strengthen its real-time payment assets across the three main areas of infrastructure, applications for end-user solutions, and value-added services.

The transaction will provide even more depth and scale to the Mastercard Send and Transfast technologies that enable cross-border payments to bank accounts, cards, and mobile wallets. It will also extend Mastercard’s A2A capabilities and expertise into continental Europe, to match its capabilities in the UK, Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Furthermore, the deal complements the technical assets and partners added to Mastercard’s bill payment capabilities through the recent acquisition of digital bill payment platform Transactis.

Mastercard chief product and innovation officer Michael Miebach said: “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.”

Nets’ corporate services business operates managed services and also software license models in various European markets. The business is also said to have an established bill pay service in Norway and Denmark, which is expected to be supported and strengthened following its acquisition by Mastercard.

Nets group CEO Bo Nilsson said: “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.

“With its resources and global reach, Mastercard is uniquely positioned to unlock the potential of Nets’ account-to-account business.”

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory clearances and other customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020.