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JPMorgan is buying a cloud payments firm to fend off fintechs.  

While big banks that process card payments for businesses have greater market share and bigger budgets than fintech upstarts, they’re slower to roll out new features and capabilities than rivals like Stripe and Block – and JPMorgan’s betting that an acquisition can kick its payments roadmap into overdrive. 

JPMorgan’s payments unit is acquiring cloud-native Renovite to help modernize its infrastructure and expand its merchant acquiring capabilities, the firm announced Monday.  

The head of retail banking at financial advisory firm Celent describes the purchase as an “interesting deal” that should benefit JPMorgan’s business: “The rapid growth of firms like Stripe, Adyen, and Worldpay indicates that merchant services is a highly competitive business where technology capabilities can truly differentiate the providers,” Zil Bareisis, told Insights Distilled

While JPMorgan still controls the majority of merchant services by transaction volume, it admitted at a recent conference that its merchant services business has stalled and that it wasn’t currently offering the same caliber of features as upstarts: 

“We don’t have the same breadth of value-added services as some of our fintech competitors, and changing that picture is a big story behind our investments,” global payments chief Takis Georgakopoulos said at an investor conference in May.  

JPMorgan ran trials with Renovite last fall but was so impressed with the technology and talent that it decided to buy the firm outright, global head of payments Mike Blandina told CNBC. Neither JPMorgan nor Renovite disclosed the terms of the deal.  

Meanwhile, JPMorgan’s payments division also just gained a new leader: Former Microsoft exec Tahreem Kampton joined the unit to lead co-innovation with partners in blockchain and digital payments.