The American payment services giant Visa Inc. is acquiring the partner of Ripple Earthport Plc, a payment network for cross-border transactions, Reuters U.K. reported on December 27th.
Founded in 1997, Earthport, based in London, is a financial services company offering cross-border payment services to banks and financial institutions. Earthport is a partner of the Ripple technology company, where the partnership is aimed at integrating the Ripple protocol into the company's existing payment network to improve international transactions.
For Reuters, the acquisition will be made for £ 198 million ($ 251 million), or 30 pence ($ 0.38) for each Earthport action, which is more than four times the Monday closing price of the stock of 7 , 45 pence.
The Earthport shares, which are listed on the secondary market of the London Stock Exchange, have seen a 28% drop this year as a result of rising losses and expenses. According to reports, the company considers the changes "fundamental" in its strategy.
In 2016, Earthport launched a single application programming interface (API) designed to connect banks to the Ripple distributed accounting protocol during cross-border payment processing, according to Finextra. Reportedly, development should allow banks to overcome budget, technology and compliance constraints.
In October, Cointelegraph reported that Visa was preparing its "Visa B2B Connect" blockchain digital identity system for cross-border payments to be launched in the first quarter of 2019. The system apparently aims at sensitive corporate data – such as bank details and account numbers – granting them a unique cryptographic identifier that will be used for transactions on the platform.
In June, Visa said card payments were interrupted across the UK and Europe, while the Payment Systems Controller claimed that the problem was only isolated from Visa card payments. Without naming the reason, Visa tweeted that they were "investigating the cause and working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation".