U.S. Bancorp Buys Visa Out of Joint Venture Syncada

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U.S. Bancorp has taken over the supply chain processing network joint venture, Syncada, it formerly shared with Visa.

As of the beginning of this month, the Minneapolis bank holding company acquired its partner's share in Syncada, giving it sole ownership. The terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

The change was first noticed earlier this month by procurement and supply chain blog Spend Matters.

"This strategic move demonstrates the bank's clear commitment to the freight payment business," a U.S. Bank spokeswoman said in an email.

She added that business will continue uninterrupted. The transition, she said, will take place over the next few months.

A Visa spokeswoman explained over email that "the payables marketplace has evolved since Syncada was established … and [Visa] believe[s] the company will be best positioned for growth as a wholly-owned entity under US Bank."

She added that the two companies will continue work together on other lines of business.

Last year, Syncada said it processed more than $21 billion worth payments and millions of dollars of invoices and trade documents.

In 2009, both Visa and U.S. Bancorp came together to form the joint-venture — a reaction to the growing number of transactions between corporations and government agencies. But even at its onset, Syncada faced stiff competition from competitors such as Bank of America.

The business-to-business payments company went head to head against similar services that had been available for years.

In the future, those headwinds will likely continue, says Phil Philliou, a payments industry consultant.

"It underscores that strategic partnerships and joint ventures are challenging," he says. "It will be interesting to see if Citi continues to participate in a platform owned by a rival."

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