Visa to buy UK payments start-up Currencycloud

A Visa debit card.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

LONDON – Visa announced Thursday that it had agreed to buy UK payment startup Currencycloud in its second major fintech acquisition in 2021.

The deal values ​​Currencycloud at £ 700 million ($ 962 million), Visa said. The payment giant made a $ 80 million investment in Currencycloud in early 2020. As a result, Visa said the amount it pays for Currencycloud would be reduced by the outstanding equity it already owns.

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in London, Currencycloud sells software for banks and fintech companies to process cross-border payments. It’s one of many business-focused fintechs that run popular banking and payment applications like Monzo, Starling, and Revolut behind the scenes.

“Consumers and businesses increasingly expect transparency, speed and simplicity in making or receiving international payments,” said Colleen Ostrowski, Global Treasurer of Visa.

“With our acquisition of Currencycloud, we can help our customers and partners further reduce the pain points of cross-border payments and develop great user experiences for their customers,” she added.

Visa shares were up about 0.4% on Thursday morning, New York time. The stock is up about 23% over the past year thanks to a digital payments boom during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Currencycloud acquisition is Visa’s second major acquisition this year, according to Crunchbase. The card network company agreed to buy Swedish company Tink for $ 2.1 billion last month after its attempt to acquire Plaid, a US rival, was thwarted by US regulators.

The move is part of an ongoing push by Visa and rival credit card company Mastercard into fintech as alternative payment methods such as virtual wallets and bank-to-bank transactions become more prominent.

Currencycloud has raised more than $ 160 million in total from investors including Google parent company Alphabet’s venture capital arm GV, French bank BNP Paribas and Japanese financial services company SBI Holdings.

“Joining Visa will make it even more exciting to re-imagine how money flows in the global economy,” said Mike Laven, CEO of Currencycloud.

“The combination of Currencycloud’s fintech expertise and Visa’s network will enable us to offer greater customer value to companies moving money across borders.”

Currencycloud, which has 500 banking and technology customers in more than 180 countries, will continue to operate from its London headquarters and retain its currency management team. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, Visa said.

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