Morning Brief 2.5.20: Visa sells Earthport's FX business

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FX exchange

About a year after acquiring Earthport, Visa has sold Earthport's foreign exchange unit to Foreign Currency Direct PLC, an investor backed by Pollen Street Capital.

Foreign Currency Direct has been stockpiling FX businesses over the past year, acquiring Infinity International and Pure FX as it expands its corporate payments business.

Visa paid about $320 million for Earthport as part of the card brand's larger evolution beyond card payments, using Earporth's underlying tech to help Visa expand its cross-border and P2P capabilities. Mastercard acquired Transfast, a firm with a similar model as Earthport.

New funds

A group of fintech investors from VC Sequoia, Acrew Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Active Capital and Inspired Capital have poured $35 million into Finix, a payment company whose founders come from Stripe, Klarna, PayPal and Worldpay.

Finix provides APIs and dashboards for companies trying to build their own payment processing systems in about two months, saving the time and cost of in-house work, Finextra reports.

Finix's new round comes a few months after an initial $17.5 million Series A round, and in the wake of Visa's $5 billion deal to buy Plaid, a firm with a similar business model. Visa was also part of the earlier Finex round.

Lower ceiling

Australia's Senate is studying a rule that would limit cash purchases over $A10,000, and the government's Treasury investigations unit is being asked about potential loopholes.

The bill is part of an AML measure, and has already been delayed about six months, reports ZDNet.

Potentially, payments could be split into "lots" that would fall under the $10,000 limit, thus avoiding the cap. Also, there is still disagreement over jurisdiction as the Australian government considers how the law will be enforced.

Case closed

Italian regulators have ended an investigation of Telepass, Atlantia's digital toll payment unit, saying the firm made proper adjustments.

The government was concerned the company was making it difficult for consumers wishing to pay from a non-Italian bank account, reports Reuters.

Telepass is updating its system to support consumers with European bank accounts to pay tolls through Telepass.

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