Both PayPal and Citigroup are taking a bigger role in the market for cross-border payments, a strategy that led both companies to participate in a $50 million round in PPRO Group, a U.K.-based cross border e-payment company.

PayPal was the lead investor, with participation from Citi Ventures and HPE Growth Capital. PPRO will use the funds to accelerate expansion of its payments platform and international reach of its alternative payments acquiring business.

PPRO provides acquiring, collecting and processing for payment service providers through a single contract across 175 countries. It also offers prepaid Visa and Mastercard under its brand Viabuy, and offers B2B cards under its Crosscard and Fleetmoney brands through NFC stickers or virtual cards.

For Citi Ventures, the investment comes on the heels of parent Citigroup's rollout of a Swift-powered international payments product designed to increase transparency into B2B international payments.

PayPal has made a series of investments in the past few months to counter moves by rivals such as Square and to expand its international reach.

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