BBVA Bancomer, a fully owned subsidiary of BBVA, has acquired Mexico-based payments startup Openpay to tap into its network of more than 15,000 payment reception points across the country, according to Paybefore sister publication Banking Technology.
Openpay offers a platform for physical and electronic payments for businesses through its real-time Paynet network. The startup manages more than 1 million transactions a month and its platform is used by more than 1,000 businesses in Mexico, including startups, SMEs and corporate clients, according to BBVA. This is BBVA’s first acquisition of a Latin American startup dedicated to electronic commerce. Terms of the deal were not available.
The deal will “strengthen the functionalities of a payment platform in the bank, integrate new anti-fraud models” and “market the Openpay product among the institution’s corporate customers,” said Carlos López-Moctezuma, head of new digital business at BBVA Bancomer.
The acquisition will “not bring any operating changes or changes in fees for existing Openpay customers,” according to BBVA. Openpay was founded in 2013 and was one of the Latin American finalists in the 2015 edition of the BBVA Open Talent contest.
Acquisitions and investments are a “key role” in BBVA’s digital strategy. It bought the financial startup Holvi in March 2016 and the bank purchased a 29.5 percent strategic stake in Atom, a U.K. branchless bank, in 2015. Last year, BBVA completed the takeover of Spring Studio, a U.S. user-experience design company. In 2014, BBVA acquired Madiva Soluciones, a big data and cloud computing services startup, and U.S. tech firm Simple.
However, U.S.-based BBVA Compass recently unveiled a “goodwill impairment” charge of $60 million in its latest financial results, attributed to its direct banking service subsidiary Simple. BBVA took similar charges related to Simple: $17 million in 2015 and $12.5 million in 2014. BBVA is also an investor in venture capital firm Propel, which manages BBVA’s interests in startups.
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Image Credits: Alan Light