Partnerships / Acquisitions

Visa To Unload Earthport’s FX Subsidiary

Visa To Unload Earthport’s FX Subsidiary

Visa has announced that it will sell cross-border payments company Earthport’s foreign exchange (FX) business to Pollen Street Capital’s Currency Holdings, according to a report.

Visa, which acquired Earthport in May 2019, said the sale will help to speed up Earthport’s growth of its larger core payments business.

Earthport FX, which provides foreign exchange services to businesses and individuals, will work better as a core part of Currency Holdings, the company said in a filing with the London Stock Exchange. The deal is expected to be completed this year, and its terms were not disclosed.

Visa paid about $257 million for U.K.-based Earthport. The plan was for Earthport to “boost Visa Direct’s pantheon of use cases, with Visa noting that the transaction count growth over the last 12 months has been more than 100 percent.”

According to Bill Sheley, head of global push payments at Visa, the acquisition would help Visa to move “beyond the card” and achieve a “two-account disbursement model.” At the time, Sheley said both companies would promote “the ability to move money globally and efficiently, and at scale, making it simple for originators, [treasury banks and service providers] to do all this through a single connection. … These are really all the little ingredients that are swirling around as part of this particular acquisition.”

Sheley added that Earthport would power both high-value and low-value, high-velocity payments. “High-value payments are going to be the supplier management systems between big companies and middle-market companies. That’s B2B Connect.”

“If you are a treasury bank, you have to operate in both of those spaces,” he explained. “Then, you also have a bunch of third-party services and bank models that supply those types of payments on behalf of [businesses, consumers] and governments. Use cases extend across online marketplaces, gig economy payroll payments, cross-border remittances, loan payouts and insurance disbursements, to name a few.”


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