Mastercard wins approval from the Competition and Markets Authority for £700m VocaLink deal


Mastercard picked up a majority stake in the payments processor in a £700m deal in July last year, reports City AM.

VocaLink had been owned by a collective of 18 banks, including Barclays, Santander, Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC, and provides the infrastructure for many payments in Britain such as Bacs and the faster payments service as well as the Link ATM network.

Concerns had been raised that Mastercard’s ownership would reduce competition in these areas, as VocaLink and Mastercard are two of only three credible providers of service for the Link system.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) examined whether the measures offered up by Mastercard and VocaLink removed the need to carry out an in-depth merger investigation.

Measures offered up by Mastercard and VocaLink to address the concerns included opening up VocaLink’s existing network to a new services supplier and contributing to the costs of Link members who want to swap to a new supplier.

The CMA said in a statement: “After considering responses to a formal consultation, the CMA has concluded the proposals are sufficient to address its competition concerns.”

Now the deal has gained regulatory approval, Mastercard and VocaLink will work to close the transaction within the next few weeks.

Michael Miebach, Mastercard’s chief product officer, said: “Adding bank account-based payments alongside our card network extends what we can do and how we can do it. Together, we’ll be one partner to meet all payment needs of businesses, governments and consumers.”

Mastercard said the acquisition will allow it to play “a more strategic role” in the UK, as well as other markets around the world.