Mastercard's deal for a controlling stake in VocaLink represented the largest transaction value in payments in 2016 for an industry that saw an 18% increase in acquisition volume.
The deal's current scrutiny from European regulators aside, Mastercard's $924 million purchase of VocaLink to bolster its faster payments technology in Europe and other markets was among the most significant financial technology deals in 2016, according to investment bank Berkery Noyes' annual analysis of the merger and acquisition market.
As an industry, the gain in payments M&A activity was behind only the insurance industry, which enjoyed a 21% increase with 75 deals compared to 62 a year ago, Berkery Noyes said.
Illustrating the activity and interest in payments, the industry saw 130 transactions in 2016, compared to 110 in 2015 to reach its 18% increase.
Another payments deal in the top 10 of notable financial technology transactions last year was Union Mobile Pay's $462 million acquisition of Haili Metal One.
Berkery Noyes said total transaction volume in financial technology remained nearly constant compared to 2015, with 433 transactions last year compared to 434 in 2015.
The major financial technology acquisition was the London Stock Exchange's $14.6 billion buyout of Deutsch Borse Group.
Total transaction value in 2016 decreased by 26% from $65.29 billion in 2015, compared to $48.41 billion last year.