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30 seconds industry news

There are some very exciting developments on the horizon: influential companies are merging in a bid to expand their business scope while the payments industry is welcoming in new players and services.

Gemalto and Thales - Two Giants Ready for Merger

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Gemalto's acquisition of Thales has been approved by the EU Merger Regulation after its in-depth investigation following Gemalto's proposal.

The companies manufacture general purpose hardware security modules: dedicated hardware appliances that use encryption software to generate, protect and manage encryption keys, which are then used to protect data placed within the module.

This merger of two giants in the field of hardware security modules is expected to create new opportunities and expand the scope of their business.

WhatsApp Makes a Move for Payments

WhatsApp, the popular messaging app, has been testing its payments function in India. The app allows users to perform payments in real time via messages.

However, the Indian government demands that payment data be processed in India instead of Facebook's servers in California and the two sides have been in a deadlock since 2018. 

This however has not deterred Facebook from considering launching WhatsApp payments in Latin America as well.

Visa Acquiring Earthport

Visa and Mastercard are locked in a bidding war for Earthport Plc, a facilitator of international transactions for banks and businesses. The Britain-based company offers a lower-cost alternative to traditional payments: banks and money transfer firms use Earthport as a single channel for mutual transactions instead of maintaining multiple worldwide channels. This acquisition would be merely the latest in a global bid to make the growing business of cross-border payments easier. The offers for Earthport are valued at 198 million pounds, made by Visa, and 223 million, made by Mastercard, with Earthport shares rising four-fold since Visa's offer.

IATA Pay - a New Airline Ticket Payment Option

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The International Air Transport Association has recently performed a live test of its "IATA Pay" ticket purchase service. The service provides a new payment option when purchasing a ticket directly from an airline website and is made possible by PSD2. The advantages of IATA Pay include cheaper payments, high levels of security, instant payments to merchants and fewer lost sales. The test transaction was conducted in partnership with the UK fintech ipagoo.