Mastercard Gets CMA Approval for Vocalink Acquisition

by Sarah Grotta 0

Mastercard has (finally) gotten approval for the acquisition of VocaLink. One of the remaining pieces to the deal has fallen into place, namely, they have received regulatory approval. Finextra announced:

In January, the CMA announced that Mastercard’s proposed acquisition of VocaLink was facing an in-depth investigation unless the companies could address its competition worries over the deal.

But this has been headed off thanks to a promise to open up connectivity to the Link ATM network for alternative providers, transfer or license the intellectual property rights relating to the Link Lis5 messaging standard, and contribute to member switching costs.

With the CMA satisfied, the acquisition is expected to close within weeks, providing a windfall for VocaLink’s 18 bank and building society owners.

This puts Mastercard in the interesting position of owning the entity that has built many of the Real Time Payment (RTP) platforms, in addition to applications that offer alternatives to card transactions. If investments in these capabilities are continues, this allows Mastercard to better take advantage of opportunities as payments shift. Even when it means a shift away from cards.

Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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