What happened this week in payments

Digital-bank Tandem acquires Harrods Bank

The banking arm of department store Harrods has been sold to digital challenger bank Tandem Money Ltd. The UK fintech company, which helps people manage their finances, has announced that the acquisition will provide £80m of capital as well as a banking license.

The move comes after Tandem failed to receive a banking license earlier this year from UK regulators, when a £29 million cash investment from Sanpower, a Chinese corporation that owns House of Fraser was dropped.

“We can accelerate our launch plans and start offering savings accounts soon,” Tandem said in a blog announcing the acquisition.

“We will continue developing and rolling out our app and credit card as planned, with a little more spring in our step. When the deal is finalised, we’ll operate the whole business under the Tandem brand.”

The acquisition of Harrods Bank is subject to regulatory approval.

Bitcoin hits a new record of $3,400

Bitcoin entered record territory back in June when we reported it high an all-time of $2,000. The cryptocurrency has now hit another new record this week when it traded at an all-time high of $3,486.

Bitcoin has surged around 19% since August 1st. The cryptocurrency was trading around $590 around this time last year, showing a remarkable jump in value.

Paysafe accepts acquisition offer for £2.96bn

Blackstone and CVC Capital Partners have agreed a deal to acquire online payments processing company Paysafe for a reported £2.96bn.

Paysafe have secured share prices of 590p per share, which values the business at almost £3bn. The acquisition is set to be finalised in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Martin Brand, senior managing director of Blackstone, says: “As a leading technology investor, Blackstone believes that Paysafe is an ideal platform for continued innovation in the payments space, and look forward to supporting Paysafe’s growth both organically and through acquisitions.”

Railsbank raises $1.2m in funding round

Railsbank, the fintech start-up founded by ex-Currencycloud co-founder Nigel Verdon, has raised $1.2m in a funding round led by Firestartr.

The company aims to create an opening banking platform with a range of ‘product rails’ that include sending and receiving money, accessing credit and issuing new cards. The funding round included invesmtents from Peter Jackson (the current CEO of WorldPay UK) and former chairman of Zopa Philip Reise.

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Read last week’s payments news round-up here

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