NatWest launches merchant acquiring service to compete with Worldpay

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British bank NatWest will launch a merchant acquiring service to attract small and midsize businesses in the U.K. and other countries.

In an ironic twist, NatWest, a unit of RBS, says it will compete for clients against Worldpay, a company that the European Union forced RBS to sell nearly a decade ago. EU regulators at that time required RBS to sell Worldpay as a condition for receiving a bailout during the financial crisis.

Since that time, Worldpay has been acquired by Vantiv and then, earlier this year, by FIS in a $43 billion deal.

Advent International and Bain Capital paid RBS about £2 billion for Worldpay in 2010.

NatWest says the acquiring service, called NatWest Tyl, will help firms accept card payments online and in-store, as well as operate straightforward customer onboarding, simple pricing tiers, next working day settlement and smart data-led insights.

Tyl is already active with a few clients, and will be available to all merchant acquiring customers later in the year, the bank said.

"Developing our own merchant acquiring and payments proposition is an important step forward and reiterates our commitment to harnessing the revolution in new technologies so that our customers can remain focused on growing their businesses," Alison Rose, CEO of commercial and private banking at NatWest, said in a Thursday press release.

Last month, NatWest launched a biometric payment card, saying it was the first of its kind issued by a U.K. bank.

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Acquirers M&A European Union U.K.