English: Cloze Test for Upcoming Exams – Set 139

Directions: In the passage given below there are 10 blanks. Every blank has four alternative words given in options (A),(B),(C), and (D). You have to tell which word is APPROPRIATE according to the context. If all are appropriate then mark your answer as “E”.

The Vikings were slow to adopt coins. They preferred to pay by ___1___ silver bars, at least until contact with the rest of Europe convinced them of the benefits of standardised coins. Today their Nordic descendants are abandoning coins and notes in favour of electronic payments. Two Nordic e-payments firms have recently announced that they will be acquired by foreign companies. The rest of the world, too, is using less cash. And they want the financial backing to enter new markets. On September 25th Nets, a payments firm based in Denmark, announced that Hellman & Friedman, an American private-equity firm, ___2___ to acquire it for DKr33.1bn ($5.3bn). Nets is following Bambora, a Swedish-based payments firm, for which Ingenico, a French electronic-payments firm, offered €1.5bn ($1.7bn) in July.
Nets ___3___ created in 2010 from the merger of payments companies in Denmark and Norway. It has a strong presence in both countries. Dankort, Denmark’s national debit-card system, belongs to Nets, which also provides processing for BankAxept, the equivalent service in Norway. After buying a Finnish payments firm in 2012, Nets was itself bought in 2014 by Bain Capital and Advent International, two American private-equity firms, and ATP, a Danish pension fund. It then acquired several more payments firms across the Nordic countries, gaining footholds in Finland and Sweden. Bambora was created by Nordic Capital, a Jersey-domiciled private-equity firm. Bambora is based ___4___ Euroline, a Swedish merchant-acquiring service that handles credit- and debit-card payments for shops. Nordic Capital acquired Euroline in 2014, then bought 12 firms that provide other services or operate in other markets. Combined into Bambora, these companies provide electronic- and mobile-payments services for consumers and shops in Europe, Asia and North America. The new owners of Nets and Bambora ___5___ want to expand even further. Other countries may take more time to reach Nordic levels of cash-avoidance. The creation of pan-Nordic payments companies was encouraged by common habits and by national-government policies. Nordic citizens are used to ___6___ by plastic, and now by mobile phone as well. Their governments have also been pioneers in online government services. To facilitate access to these services, they ___7___ set up secure online identification programmes. Payments systems have been able to piggyback on this online infrastructure. Nets and Bambora will face competition from other payments systems in an industry that, globally, is fast ___8___ . As more and more retail business moves online, payments firms have become attractive acquisition targets. And in an industry where margins are ___9___ , sheer size matters. In July, Vantiv, an American merchant acquirer, announced its purchase of Worldpay, a British merchant acquirer. Payment firms are going global. The Viking spirit, backed ___10___ foreign cash, is expanding into a very competitive market.

  1. cut off pieces
    cutting off pieces
    cutting pieces off
    cut pieces off
    All are Correct
    Option C


  2. have offered
    has offered
    had been affered
    had offered
    All are Correct
    Option D


  3. was
    All are Correct
    Option A


  4. round
    All are Correct
    Option E


  5. can
    All are Correct
    Option D


  6. paid
    be paid
    All are Correct
    Option B


  7. were
    All are Correct
    Option C


  8. relating
    All are Correct
    Option D


  9. lanky
    All are Correct
    Option C


  10. against
    All are Correct
    Option D


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