Whom Do the Card Processing Giants Seek Out for Acquisition?

We looked at the acquisitions that Visa and MasterCard have made since January 2014. The idea was to find the reasons influencing these card processing giants’ recent acquisitions. The purpose of this article is to highlight the specific capabilities that these giants seek in order to keep up with new and other incumbent players, even while they continue to maintain their dominance in the market. Both the players are building many other products and services organically, so M&A alone cannot give us a sense of their overall strategy. Regardless, it’s worthwhile to look at the acquisitions to understand the inorganic growth that they are seeking. The following examples of acquisitions highlight players from certain aspects of the payments industry such as loyalty, analytics, payment gateways and mobile wallets:


Visa acquired TrialPay (February 27, 2015)

TrialPay offers a platform that connects merchants with millions of consumers through targeted promotions. TrialPay’s technology strengthens Visa’s merchant offer capabilities and accelerates its ability to drive commerce opportunities through highly customized, real-time offers to cardholders. Additionally, by integrating TrialPay’s technology with existing Visa network assets, merchants are able to receive more timely and valuable customer insights through Visa’s data and analytics capabilities.

MasterCard acquired Pinpoint (April 17, 2014)

Pinpoint Pty. Ltd. is a leading provider of loyalty and rewards services to financial institutions across the Asia Pacific region. This acquisition, in combination with MasterCard’s capabilities, benefits issuers, providing them with more effective and efficient rewards programs to offer their customers. This also helps a merchant target new customers while retaining the existing client base, allowing it to grow their businesses and raise profitability. Consumers will enjoy the wider choice of relevant, quality and timely offers; their shopping experiences will be enhanced by the integration of payments and rewards.

Payment Gateways

MasterCard acquired ElectraCard Services (May 19, 2014)

ElectraCard Services Private Limited is a leading global provider of software solutions and processing services for electronic payment and card systems. ECS’ suite of products enables customers to issue and manage all types of payment cards and to electronically process card transactions across multiple channels such as ATM, POS, internet and mobile. MasterCard’s acquisition of ECS extends its product offerings and adds to the company’s turnkey issuer processing, acquiring processing, and switching solutions.

MasterCard acquired Payment Gateway Services business of Transaction Network Services (November 6, 2014)

The business joined DataCash in expanding MasterCard’s global payment gateway solutions. With the addition of TNS Payment Gateway Services, DataCash is able to drive additional growth of the eCommerce category—and use of MasterCard-branded products—in North America and Latin America. The combined offering will also expand the support for the next generation of online and mobile payments solutions through a quick integration with existing merchant and acquirer platforms, while enhancing DataCash and MasterCard’s fraud monitoring and mitigation capabilities.


MasterCard acquired 5one Marketing Limited (November 4, 2014)

5one Marketing Limited is a global consulting agency, providing services, analysis and software to help retailers manage and grow their businesses. The company was integrated into MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard that combines analytics and payments expertise to provide issuers and retailers actionable insights and solutions. ShopperCentre, 5one’s proprietary software, helps optimize insights drawn from their clients’ data. This solution, combined with trends from MasterCard Advisors’ Information Solutions business, will help deliver retailers a unique set of insights and decision-making resources.

Mobile Wallet

MasterCard acquired C-SAM (February 24, 2014)

C-SAM is a leading provider of mobile wallet and on-device software and services. The reason for acquiring C-SAM was to speed up the development and deployment of mobile wallets and payment solutions globally, including the rollout of the MasterPass digital service. Adding C-SAM’s proven expertise in developing mobile platforms will support MasterCard’s work with financial institutions to bring new, innovative and secure solutions to market. C-SAM’s on-device application and back-end infrastructure will aid development efforts to enable consumers to use MasterPass both in-store and online across multiple communications technologies, including NFC, QR/barcodes and remote checkout.