Weekly Headlines

20th November 2020

Bank of England on Digital Finance

Mastercard extends Google Pay support

Visa adds to Fast Track program

Nets and Nexi agree merger

Banco Santander buys Wirecard assets

BBVA makes two M&A moves

Wirecard  – Regulators not to blame

 

Bank of England SpeechSeizing the Opportunities from Digital Finance.

Developments in digital finance could transform how consumers and businesses make payments and raise finance, which could help revitalise the UK economy.

 

Mastercard is to extend its Google Pay service to cardholders across 10 additional countries in Europe.

Mastercard will provide this service in cooperation with various issuers and fintechs across Europe. Providers involved include Banca Transilvania, Bunq, CEC Bank, Curve, LHV Pank, Monese, N26, Paynetics, Revolut, Swedbank, Unicredit Bank Romania, and Viva Wallet.

 

Visa is adding new features to its Fast Track program.

The two new features provide a Partner Toolkit and Visa Ready Fintech Enabler certification to support the payments ecosystem. The certification program makes it easier for fintechs to connect with certified partners for digital issuance and other key services. Fast Track participation has grown 360% year-over-year, and Visa has seen hundreds of fintechs actively engaging in the program.

Codat is one of the fintechs that has formed a strategic partnership with Visa under the program, enabling European banks to gain access to SME financial data.

 

Nets and Nexi have signed a binding framework agreement for an all-share merger.

Combined with the SIA merger the deal will create a platform with reach across >25 countries. Existing Nexi shareholders to own 61% in Nexi + Nets (or 48% when considering Nexi + Nets + SIA) with Nets shareholders having 39% in Nexi + Nets (or 31% when considering Nexi + Nets + SIA).

 

Banco Santander has agreed to acquire several assets from the merchant payments business of Wirecard in Europe.

c500 ex-Wirecard employees will join Santander and be part of Santander’s global merchant services team under the umbrella of the Getnet global franchise. The acquisition does not include any Wirecard companies just the technological platform and its “highly specialized technological assets. Reuters reports that Santander has paid €100 million.

 

BBVA has taken a divestment route with the announcement of the sale of its US franchise for $11.6 billion.

The price agreed with purchaser PNC represents 50% of BBVA’s current market cap, strengthening the bank’s capital base and providing it with greater flexibility in its future development.

In Spain BBVA is in merger talks with its smaller domestic rival Sabadell. (Reuters)

As a consolidation move in the Spanish banking sector it would create the second-biggest domestic lender by assets. Both BBVA and Sabadell have said the talks are ongoing, but no decision had been made on whether a transaction would go ahead.

 

Wirecard’s exCEO Braun says regulators not to blame in scandal.

The former CEO has given a statement to a German parliamentary inquiry but refuses to answer questions.

 

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