Jared Drieling, senior director of business intelligence at The
Strawhecker Group, an Omaha, Neb.-based merchant-acquiring consultancy,
sees some commonality in the wide range of the recent acquisitions.

“It’s interesting that they involve financial technology in every corner of the payment system,” he says.

Mastercard’s $929-million acquisition of London-based Vocalink Holdings Ltd. in May 2017 could be considered the first big bust-out from the networks’ core card franchise. Vocalink is an automated clearing house and real-time payments provider whose technology underlies the real-time payments service from The Clearing House Payments Co., a processor owned by 25 large U.S. banks. Now Mastercard expects Nets to add to its real-time payments offerings.

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