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With Visa’s acquisition of the London-based firm, the lines between traditional payment networks and fintech continue to blur.
Visa announced on Thursday that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Currencycloud, a fintech platform that serves about 500 banking and technology clients in over 180 countries.
The new acquisition aims to strengthen Visa’s foreign exchange business and expand its reach to include financial institutions, fintechs, and partners. The agreement will specifically improve Visa’s payment transparency and speed, according to the company’s global treasurer Colleen Ostrowski, who stated:
“The acquisition of Currencycloud is another example of Visa executing on our network of networks strategy to facilitate global money movement. Consumers and businesses increasingly expect transparency, speed and simplicity when making or receiving international payments.”
The new acquisition is based on an existing strategic collaboration between the two companies, as Visa already owns a 700 million ($956 million) equity stake in Currencycloud, which includes cash and retention incentives. Visa participated in a $80 million funding round for Currencycloud last year, alongside investors such as Japanese financial conglomerate SBI Group.
Currencycloud will continue to operate from its London headquarters and will retain its current management team, according to the announcement. The transaction is still pending regulatory approval.
The acquisition comes shortly after Currencycloud announced a collaboration with Ripple, the company behind the XRP cryptocurrency. Currencycloud officially announced its collaboration with Ripple in early July in order to investigate new cross-border transaction mechanisms, with a particular focus on jurisdictions where regulations limit opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses.
According to a Visa spokesperson, the companies will continue to operate as separate entities until the merger is completed. “Until then, it’s business as usual,” the representative said.
The latest acquisition comes as Visa continues its commitment to digital currency adoption, actively embracing both major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and fiat-pegged stablecoins. Visa approved the issuance of a new Bitcoin debit card in Australia last week.