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Mastercard acquired Vyze, a technology platform that enables customers to tap into numerous credit options at checkout, to gain a foothold in the growing point-of-sale financing industry.
With the purchase, Mastercard becomes a strategic partner to both lenders and merchants who want to offer customers more flexibility in payments. These point-of-sale options now represent a more than $18 trillion opportunity, Mastercard said, citing Accenture research.
"Of course we will see credit card companies increase offerings as their position as a preferred payment type is under threat," said Jude Regev, digital currency expert, and founder and chairman of Element Zero Network, a not-for-profit cryptocurrency organization. "This acquisition is an indicator that not only do existing payment networks need to continue to drive growth and new lines of business but that the credit-card industry as a whole will change as new, superior digital payment solutions being driven by blockchain technology are adopted by consumers.”
No terms of the deal were released.
Austin-based Vyze works with multiple vendors including Home Depot, Samsung and Microsoft. At checkout, a customer will find point-of-sale financing among the payment options offered. The customer choosing the POS option would enter some financial details, which Vyze forwards to lenders to see if one would extend credit. If one does, the customer can accept the lending for the purchase.
“Both consumers and businesses want the best choice and service, exactly when they need it,” Blake Rosenthal, executive vice president of global acceptance at Mastercard, said in a statement. “Vyze adds to our ability to empower banks and other lending partners to participate in the growing trend of retail financing. The combination of their platform with our technology and network complements our existing payments programs.”
Walmart, meanwhile, has partnered with a specific point-of-sale lending company, Affirm, to help consumers finance purchases.
This is not Mastercard's first time looking to new technology for its credit card business. In 2018, the credit card company filed a patent to verify users payment credentials using blockchain technology.
Oscar Gonzalez is a business reporter based in Brooklyn. He has written for CBS, NBC and Wired.