MasterCard in prepaid card deal

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Mastercard is paying £290m for Travelex's prepaid cash card business, boosting its presence in a fast-growing financial services segment.

The business provides prepaid "cash passports" for overseas travellers to use at cash machines or to make purchases. MasterCard sees prepaid cards as one of the fastest growing parts of the financial services industry, with volumes set to reach more than $840bn by 2017.

Both MasterCard and its rival credit and debit card company Visa have said they are looking for acquisitions with some of the billions of dollars they have on hand to make acquisitions.

Travelex, the foreign exchange group founded by Lloyd Dorfman in 1976, is majority owned by the private equity group Apax.