MasterCard has signed an agreement to acquire UK-based payment service provider DataCash Group for $520m to drive e-commerce payment expansion.

DataCash develops and provides outsourced electronic payments solutions, fraud prevention, alternative payment options, back-office reconciliation and solutions for merchants selling via multiple channels.

MasterCard believes the acquisition of DataCash will create a long-term growth platform, providing the company with the ability to launch new generation of e-commerce, mobile commerce and other payment products, enabling merchants to quickly accept these new forms of payments with minimal integration challenges.

MasterCard president and CEO Ajay Banga said that the acquisition of DataCash will expand the company’s already significant e-commerce merchant gateway presence in Asia and Australia to European countries and other high-growth, emerging markets worldwide.

DataCash Group chairman Ashley Head said that the proposed acquisition represents a significant opportunity for DataCash to drive increased adoption of its platforms and programs internationally and become part of the exciting value proposition of MasterCard.

The acquisition is expected to close by the end of October 2010, subject to a number of conditions.