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Erste Group and Global Payments together with Caixa Bank form joint venture in CEE to provide merchant payments services

Erste Group has entered into an agreement to establish a joint venture with a leading worldwide provider of payment technology services, Global Payments Inc. The enterprise will accept and process payment cards for merchants (acquiring) in the Czech Republic, Romania, and Slovakia.  In their partnership with Global Payments, the banks in the individual countries are acquiring a strong international partner, thanks to whom they can maintain their high standard of services for retailers and clients and, in the future, benefit from advantages and access to leading international trends, innovations, and technologies.

The two companies also signed an agreement with CaixaBank, the largest retail bank in Spain and one of the main shareholders of Erste Group, on the basis of which CaixaBank will hold a share in the joint venture.  Upon completion of the transaction and pending regulatory approvals, Erste Group will sell 51% of its merchant acquiring businesses for €29.94m to Global Payments and CaixaBank, resulting in a joint venture where Erste Group will hold a 49% stake. The transaction is expected to close in the in the coming months, following regulatory approvals.

The entire market is currently awaiting the impact of a European regulation harmonising interbank fees in European Union countries. The European market will thus open up to foreign companies.  Erste Group wishes to maintain the highest standard of services for its merchants as well as clients, which is why it has joined forces with Global Payments.

“By joining up with a strong international partner, we can guarantee the continuity and stability of our existing services for our business partners. Practically the same team will continue to take care of them and provide them with outstanding services.  Furthermore, our clients will benefit from the establishment of the new company in the future, as they will have far broader possibilities for cooperation in payment card acceptance, new markets abroad will open up for them, and they will obtain access to the latest innovations, trends, and technologies,” explained Stanislav Šmolik, head of the Česká spořitelna acquiring business.

Better access to innovation and new technologies is also confirmed by Peter Bosek, Erste Group Board Member responsible for retail business: “Our clients expect from their acquiring bank innovative technology, better service availability, reduced transaction costs and top class information management. By joining forces with two strong expert companies in this field we will increase the focus on our acquiring business and further upgrade the quality service that we provide to merchants across CEE. The deal represents an important step for Erste Group in CEE and we expect it to lead to further growth in our payments business.”

“We are pleased to enter into this partnership with CaixaBank and Erste Group,” said Jeff Sloan, Chief Executive Officer of Global Payments. “The joint venture will allow us to significantly expand our direct distribution footprint in Europe with leading financial partners, catalyze our capabilities to service multinational customers across the common European payments area and leverage our global product and service offering to Erste Group Bank’s merchants. The partnership positions our European business for accelerated growth at a favourable time in Europe.”              

“This joint venture will see CaixaBank fortify its international presence by harnessing two of its biggest strengths: its capacity for technological innovation, for which it has earned global renown, and collaboration with international partners such as Global Payments and Erste Group Bank“, said Gonzalo Gortázar, Chief Executive Officer of CaixaBank.

The joint venture will be based in Prague, Czech Republic, with sales offices throughout the region.  The main contact for the merchants from the Czech Republic remains Stanislav Šmolík, head of the Česká spořitelna acquiring business.

For further information please contact the Press Centre of the Ceska Sporitelna Financial Group (CSFG):

Kristýna Havligerová
ČS Press Officer
Email: tiskove_centrum@csas.cz

Press release – PDF version [new window]

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