Mastercard VocaLink Acquisition Will Better Combat ACH Fraud

Global payments processor Mastercard has just received approval to acquire VocaLink, a move that will enable the company to both expand its payments network, and provide an increased amount of customer security against fraudsters.

London-based VocaLink specializes in bank account-based payments, and currently processes 90% of salaries and about 70% of household bill payments for the U.K., according to the company.

The deal will also give Mastercard access to VocaLink’s fraud management analytics tools.

“Safety and security matter in ACH as much as in card payments, and that is an area of focus for us,” Michael Miebach, chief product officer for Mastercard, told Bank Innovation. “This makes us a much better partner for our customers, as we can now deal with all of their payment needs.”

Miebach noted that the partnership will also allow Mastercard to expand its reach to more payment flows. “We can move to payments beyond retail—business, government, and so on.”

VocaLink has gained industry attention for the “fast ACH,” or the immediate payments service it runs in the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Thailand—a service that is expected to go live in the U.S. later this year.

Mastercard initially announced of its agreement with VocaLink in July 2016. However, the payments network had to first respond to regulatory concerns from Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority, which said that a number of industry rivals had “raised concerns” over the deal.

The integrated VocaLink solutions will first become available to U.K. customers, before eventually launching in the other markets, where Mastercard operates.

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