Euronet Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ: EEFT), a leading global financial technology solutions and payments provider, announced the completion of the purchase of the Piraeus Bank Merchant Acquiring (PBMA) business of Piraeus Bank (Bank) in Greece.
Originally announced on March 16, 2021, Euronet’s completed purchase of PBMA’s acquiring services and assets includes approximately 205,000 POS terminals at 170,000 merchants throughout Greece as well as the Bank’s online merchant acquiring business. The in-store acquiring business represents approximately 20 percent of Greece’s market while PBMA’s online merchant acquiring represents approximately 40 percent of online and digital transactions in the country.
The acquisition also includes a separately negotiated agreement for a long-term strategic partnership with the Bank for collaborative product distribution, processing and customer referrals.
Acquisition Caps Long History of Cooperation Between Euronet and Piraeus
These agreements are the latest in a series of partnership arrangements with Piraeus dating back to the early 2000s. With the closing of this acquisition, Euronet and the Bank enter into a new long-term strategic partnership for a 20-year period, during which Euronet will enhance acquiring capabilities for the bank’s customers using its REN payments platform. The Bank, which has more than 400 branches throughout Greece, will support Euronet with related operational and commercial services and receive commissions for merchant acquiring referrals.
“The completion of this acquisition is another milestone in the growth of Euronet as a global leader in the payments industry,” said Michael J. Brown, Chairman and CEO of Euronet Worldwide, Inc. “We have increased our footprint in a market where we have a long history of success and deep knowledge of the payments products that are in demand by consumers and businesses. The innovative capabilities of REN are a perfect fit for this environment and we are ready to capitalize on our expanded opportunities in Greece.”
Euronet to Offer Acquiring Services as Well as Additional Payments Products
The PBMA acquisition expands Euronet’s omnichannel payments strategy where the company uses its own proprietary technology to provide cash, card-based acquiring solutions, alternative payment acquiring, online acquiring, tokenized payment services and other payment products.
Euronet is now positioned in the middle of Greece’s increasing demand for merchant acquiring services, which is being driven by the ease and efficiency of digital payments, governmental mandates and increased consumer requests for non-cash payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. This demand is expected to continue its upward trend as research indicates that the domestic acquiring volume in Greece will double from approximately €30 billion (US$33 billion) in 2020 to nearly €60 billion (US$66 billion) by 2031.
Euronet will extend the capabilities of its REN payments platform to the Greek market to provide a variety of enhanced cash-based and digital payment solutions such as QR codes and other tokenized payment methods in digital wallets and payment apps directly to customers as well as to third-party businesses such as banks, fintechs and retailers.
REN’s open APIs also provide Euronet an opportunity to sell products and services from its other businesses (EFT, epay, Ria Money Transfer and Xe) to PBMA’s 170,000 merchants. Conversely, the acquiring capabilities of the PBMA platform can be offered to existing Ria and epay merchants.
“Piraeus Bank continues to innovate with the clear aim of providing a high level of banking experience and service, strengthening the dynamism of the Greek banking market,” said Christos Megalou, CEO of Piraeus Bank. “Knowing that the European payment framework is changing rapidly, we are confident that Euronet Worldwide is the most appropriate exclusive long-term strategic partner of Piraeus Bank for the best service to our Bank customers in the digital age and the joint promotion of new and innovative products and services.”