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Mastercard gab heute bekannt, dass es seine bestehende, weltweite Partnerschaft mit Riot Games League of Legends in der Liga der Legenden (League of Legends Championship Series, LCS), der herausragenden E-Sportserie in Nordamerika, zur Ausweitung seiner Geschäftsbeziehung mit dem größten Esport in Europa, ausgebaut hat die Welt und verstärken ihre Unterstützung der E-Sportgemeinschaft. Darüber hinaus hat Mastercard heute "Together Start Something Priceless" vorgestellt, eine von der League of Legends-Community betriebene Content-Serie, die einzigartige Geschichten von League of Legends-Spielern auf der ganzen Welt präsentiert.

"Diese erweiterte Beziehung ist Ausdruck der stetig wachsenden Popularität von Esports sowie des Erfolgs der globalen Partnerschaft zwischen Mastercard und Riot Games", sagte Cheryl Guerin, Executive Vice President für Nordamerika Marketing & Communications bei Mastercard. "Wir freuen uns auch über die Content-Reihe" Together Start Something Priceless ", die nicht nur unsere Unterstützung für diese Community demonstriert, sondern auch einige der großartigen Geschichten und inspirierenden Persönlichkeiten mitteilt, denen wir während unserer Partnerschaft begegnet sind." PR Business Wire

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Why Mastercard Is Set to Dominate Business Transactions

The business-to-business transaction process is hopelessly inefficient and costly. Companies shell out $2.7 trillion chasing payments. Mastercard plans to bring the process into the digital age.

Aug 12, 2019 8:55 AM EDT


There is a huge business opportunity in business-to-business payments that nobody is talking about.

Bloomberg reported a week ago that Mastercard agreed to pay $3.2 billion for a digital payments platform based in Denmark. The news barely made a ripple but the transaction processor is building something big.

Investors should pay attention.

Consumers are spoiled. We have credit cards with chips and Apple Pay. In most parts of the world we can swipe or tap a plastic card or use our smartphones to buy goods and services instantly. Vendors get the money instantly, too. It's magic.

Behind the scenes however, robust platforms are working feverishly. In 2018, Visa, the world's largest transaction processor, claimed its network was capable of handling 24,000 transactions per second.

Now contrast that scale and reliability with B2B transactions. It's like time has stood still.

These transactions take an average of 45 days, according to a November 2018 report from Investor's Business Daily. The process involves drafting checks and getting signatures, then mailing (yes, mailing) the payment to the vendor. And that's only the half of it.

Suppliers wait for the check, manually process it, and wait for it to clear before receiving payment.

The process is hopelessly inefficient, and costly. Businesses shell out $2.7 trillion chasing payments. Entire floors in nondescript office towers are devoted to account managers running down missing payments and balancing the books.

Businesses pay a staggering $16 to $22 to manually process each invoice, according to Investor's Business Daily.

The big transaction processors have been dutifully assembling the pieces to tackle this problem. Managers at Mastercard declared a war on cash in 2005. Digital transactions are cheaper and easier to track. Most importantly, they are many times faster. Ridding the business world of corporate checks is the next logical step.

Mastercard began with payment automation. It built systems infused with artificial intelligence to handle routine payments. People will deal with trickier payments.

The company announced Master Track in September 2018, a cloud-based, B2B payment automation platform jointly developed with Microsoft.

Now Mastercard is upping the ante. Its $3.2 billion acquisition of Nets, a Danish company with an impeccable reputation in the Nordic region, is the next huge step. The Nets innovative platform has become foundational with banks, merchants, and corporations to simplify digital payments.

The European Commission in 2018 found that Denmark was Europe's most digitized region.

Nets' scalable network is available to 240 Northern European banks. It receives transactions, processes and clears them with remarkable speed and reliability. The company claims uptime in 2018 was 99.98%.

Mastercard managers plan to incorporate Nets technologies into its existing mobile wallet, card, and bill payment infrastructure.

It's the latest acquisition in a busy year of buyouts for the for New York company. Prior to the Nets deal, Bloomberg noted Mastercard spent $1.1 billion adding Ethoca, an identity fraud company; Vyze, a point-of-sale company; bill payment specialist Transactis; and Transfast, a cross-border payment company.

All of these transactions serve the same purpose. Mastercard is building a robust network to help businesses send and receive payments faster and with greater transparency.

B2B global payments is a market McKinsey and Co. analysts believe is ripe for disruption. It's the most vulnerable part of the $1.9 trillion payments segment because there hasn't been any meaningful innovation in two decades.

Only a handful of companies have the scale, expertise and networks to pull off something this big. And it's going to happen because it serves the financial interests of government and enterprises, large and small.

Under CEO Ajaypal Singh Banga, Mastercard has been investing aggressively in the payment systems. He expects that all payments, from subway rides to government checks, are going to be fully digital.

Paper corporate checks have outlived their usefulness.

The stock has been under pressure recently as managers invest in new businesses. Shares briefly fell below $260 last week before rebounding. The stock trades at 29.3 times forward earnings and 17 times sales, for a market capitalization of $270 billion.

Given the prospects for new businesses, like B2B, and the scarcity of similar firms, the valuation is reasonable. Mastercard is buyable on pullbacks for growth investors.

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Mastercard announces its largest acquisition yet in further attempt to move beyond cards

Company is buying assets from European payments company Nets for $3.2 billion

Mastercard Inc. announced the biggest acquisition in its history on Tuesday, as the card network continues its efforts to move beyond plastic.

The company plans to acquire the account-to-account business of Danish payment-technology company Nets for €2.85 billion, or about $3.19 billion, in a deal expected to close during the first half of 2020. Mastercard will be gaining infrastructure, bill-payment technology, and open-banking capabilities through the acquisition.

Though Mastercard is known for processing debit- and credit-card transactions, the company sees a big opportunity in other payment flows. In particular, Mastercard has increasingly been trying to capture payment volume that occurs between bank accounts, as business-to-business payments and other transaction types have historically avoided the card rails. The deal for a portion of Nets’ business represents a continuation of Mastercard’s strategy, which began with its purchase of real-time payment operator Vocalink three years back.

“It’s a significant acquisition for us but on the backs of three years of experience in real-time payments and increasing growth and excitement around real-time payments,” said Michael Miebach, the company’s chief product and innovation officer, in an interview with MarketWatch. He expects the deal will make Mastercard “a more relevant partner for banks” and others in the payments ecosystem.

Miebach sees the Nets assets as a way to strengthen Mastercard’s offerings in Europe, where Vocalink has already allowed the company to build up a presence in the U.K.’s real-time payments landscape. The Nets businesses give Mastercard positioning in areas like the Nordic countries, Hungary, and Slovenia.

Though Nets’ technology is prominent in several European markets, Mastercard hopes to expand it to broader geographies, a factor that excites analysts. “On the application side, while Nets’ billpay services have significant share in Denmark and Norway, we believe the acquisition brings a modern bill-pay platform that Mastercard could deploy globally, as well as open banking solutions that could help European financial institutions prepare for PSD2,” wrote Barclays analyst Ramsey El-Assal, referring to European payments regulations that are in the process of being implemented.

The purchase “seems like another ‘monetization’ vehicle, as both Mastercard and Visa are expanding their respective payments ecosystem, providing both networks with the ability to generate ‘beyond-traditional’ processing fees,” Wedbush analyst Moshe Katri told MarketWatch in an email. “This acquisition provides an incremental processing rail, focusing on real payments as well as analytics-related solutions.”

The deal announcement follows a disclosure from Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard that the central bank is working on its own real-time payments system, which is expected to become available in 2023 or 2024. The Clearing House and its member banks launched a private-sector real-time system in 2017, which uses Mastercard’s Vocalink technology.



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