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Is More Consolidation on the Horizon for the Online Payment Space?

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With e-commerce continuing to grow at an incredible rate, online payment processors are becoming a hot commodity in the financial sector. In part this has been spurred on by cryptocurrency and the liquidity that it offers, not to mention that it is available worldwide. However, online payment processors offer much more transparency and similar mobility. It’s not just banks moving money or paying bills like it has been in the past, but now consumers can transfer funds for anything from fantasy football leagues to buying a car.

Although major banks are against cryptocurrency as Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), has adamantly declared, they are still looking for ways to break into the online marketplaces and be a part of the action.

JPMorgan recently agreed to acquire the payment company WePay, the firm’s first major acquisition of a fintech, or financial technology company. The megabank plans to leverage WePay’s technology to give its 4 million small business customers access to get paid faster by accepting digital payments in an instant. In a sense this would help JPMorgan offer more products and services to a much broader audience.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) is taking a similar tack, but with a slightly different avenue. Announced in August, the bank is partnering with HighRadius to launch a new service, Intelligent Receivables, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and other software to help companies vastly improve their straight-through reconciliation of incoming payments to help them post their receivables faster.

Sashi Narahari, CEO and president of HighRadius, commented on the partnership:

Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Intelligent Receivables solution, powered by HighRadius’ cutting-edge machine-learning technology, will enable their corporate clients to accelerate the adoption of electronic payments from their end-customers. We are extremely excited to work with BofA Merrill on modernizing treasury management services and streamlining the receivables-to-cash cycle.

Even last year, both Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) and PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) announced a strategic partnership to expand their long-standing relationship that will result in an improved and more seamless shopping experience and greater choice in how consumers pay.

The online payment company also will gain access to Visa’s tokenization services, starting in the United States, for in-store PayPal transactions. This will expand acceptance for PayPal’s digital wallet to all physical retail locations where Visa contactless transactions are enabled. The partnership’s benefits will include greater accessibility and volumes for Visa payment instruments in the PayPal digital wallet.

Shares of JPMorgan were last seen up about 0.8% at $98.92, with a consensus analyst price target of $99.58 and a 52-week trading range of $67.64 to $99.28.

Bank of America shares were trading up nearly 2% at $27.04. The stock has a 52-week range of $16.28 to $27.15 and a consensus price target of $28.05.

Visa was last seen at $107.30 a share, with a 52-week range of $75.17 to $109.26 and a consensus price target of $117.37.

Shares of PayPal were trading up 5% at $70.66, with a consensus price target of $69.80 and a 52-week range of $38.06 to $71.73. This push came following a strong earnings report.