Intuit Inc. and Electronic Clearing House Inc. have agreed to scrap a deal that would have seen Intuit pay $142 million for the debit and credit card processor’s business.

Intuit had announced the acquisition plan in mid-December, after the boards of both companies approved the proposed deal. The companies announced late last month that it would be in their mutual best interest to terminate the proposed agreement.

"Our overall strategy for growth in the payments market has not changed," said Intuit president and chief executive Steve Bennett, in a statement. "The payments market continues to be an important part of our business strategy."

ECHO’s automatic clearinghouse capabilities would have allowed Intuit to round out its payment offering with check services, directing merchants through a single portal for the most commonly used payment methods -- and also opened up the distribution chain for its other product offerings to a new group of small and midsized businesses.

Intuit has been making a strong push into the consumer financial services, in December purchasing Digital Insight Inc., a company which provides online services to banks.


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