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Mastercard buys real-time payments unit from Nets Group for $3.2bn



The land grab in payments technology continued on Tuesday, as Mastercard announced the $3.2bn purchase of the real-time payments unit of Denmark-based Nets Group.


The deal, the biggest acquisition in Mastercard’s history, gives the card network the infrastructure for real-time payments between bank accounts in Europe, as well as a suite of associated applications and services.


The operations sold to Mastercard represent the majority of Nets' Corporate Services division and comprise the clearing and instant payment services and e-billing businesses, including Betalingsservice in Denmark and AvtaleGiro/eFaktura in Norway.

Nets' e-ID and Digitisation services are not part of the transaction and will be retained by Nets as core capabilities as it focuses on its merchant services operations.

Bo Nilsson, Group CEO of Nets, comments: “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 is anticipated to close in the first half of 2020.


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