Mastercard Buys Transfast After Earthport Rebuff

“We believe Transfast gives us the strongest platform to immediately enhance our cross-border [payments] capabilities," Mastercard says.
Matthew HellerMarch 8, 2019
Mastercard Buys Transfast After Earthport Rebuff

Mastercard said Friday it will acquire money transfer network Transfast after dropping out of a bidding war with arch-rival Visa over another payments firm.

Transfast provides cross-border payments services in more than 125 countries across Asia, Europe, Africa, Americas and Australia. Mastercard had been pursuing Earthport but cleared the way on Friday for Visa to acquire the British business-to-business processor.

“Mastercard lapsed its offer for Earthport in order to focus on the integration and expansion of Transfast,” the company said in a news release.

Transfast will add to Mastercard’s payment solutions by “increasing worldwide connectivity in the account-to-account space, enhancing compliance capabilities and offering more robust foreign exchange tools,” Mastercard said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We believe Transfast gives us the strongest platform to immediately enhance our cross-border capabilities and further deliver on our strategy,” Michael Miebach, chief product officer for Mastercard, said. “The addition of Transfast adds to our leading position in meeting business, government and consumer payments needs — whether B2B, P2P or other flows.”

Transfast currently supports the Mastercard Send solution for business-to-business and person-to-person payment services.

According to Reuters, “Payment processing has become one of the hottest areas for deal making in the last two years, driven by technological changes in the way consumers pay for products.”

After Visa offered 198 million pounds for Earthport in January, Mastercard made a 233 million pound bid. However, Visa came back with a 247 million pound offer that Earthport has recommended to its shareholders.

Transfast’s network is integrated with more than 300 banks and other financial institutions, enabling payments services via APIs, SFTP, web and mobile product applications.

“There are substantial synergies with Mastercard for even further growth across our products,” Transfast CEO Samesh Kumar. “Over the past 12 years, we have grown our capabilities to connect, track and settle transactions with almost every bank around the world via our curated and extensive network.”

“We’ve worked in support of Mastercard Send and this feels like the natural next step in our relationship,” he added.