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Communication 24 Apr 2017

BBVA advances its fintech strategy with the acquisition of Openpay

 – Openpay is a Mexican startup that offers an advanced platform of physical and electronic payments for businesses. Created with software developers in mind, the platform offers a wide range of online payment solutions and functionalities, outstanding among which are its sophisticated anti-fraud models.

Currently, Openpay has a network of more than 15,000 payment reception points in Mexico, connected in real time through its Paynet network, and manages more than one million transactions a month. The Openpay platform is used by more than 1,000 businesses in Mexico, from startups to SMEs and large corporate clients.

– The synergies between BBVA Bancomer and Openpay will multiply the commercial capacities of both companies, complement their catalogue of products for corporate clients and allow them to strengthen their payment solutions.

– BBVA Bancomer supports the entrepreneur ecosystem through its Innovation Center and propels fintech companies with its Open Talent (OT) competition. It also promotes direct associations with startups to validate their business models and offers financial services to benefit customers. Openpay was a finalist in Open Talent 2015, in an event that involved 652 projects from 63 countries and close to 200 experts.

BBVA today announced at BBVA Bancomer the closing of the purchase of Openpay, the first acquisition by the Group of a Latin American startup – 100% Mexican – dedicated to electronic commerce. The transaction is one more step in BBVA´s transformation process and reinforces one of the bank´s strategic priorities: offering the best user experience.

Openpay is a platform for electronic payments with an extensive offer of advanced payment solutions and online functionalities for businesses. It offers different payment methods, from processing of non-present credit or debit cards, to acceptance of cash payments through its Paynet web of 15,000 points throughout Mexico, bank transfers, and even payments with loyalty points (customer loyalty programs). It also supports the financial inclusion of non-banked businesses.

Hugo Nájera Alva, General Manager for Business Development of BBVA Bancomer, said the acquisition of Openpay marks an important step forward for Mexican banking, as it signifies an opening to the new financial players that understand the needs of users in a more agile fashion. This underscores the importance of strengthening open innovation strategies, which guarantee financial services that are safe and within the reach of everyone.

“Openpay is one of the principal innovators in Latin America in payments. Its development platform transforms the manner in which companies can do business online. By leveraging the synergies between Openpay and BBVA Bancomer, we hope to contribute to the growth of electronic commerce, “ said Teppo Paavola, General Manager for New Digital Business at BBVA.

For his part, Roberto Bargagli, General Manager of Openpay, explained that the principal objective of the transaction will be an exchange of strengths to enrich the value of the services Openpay offers to its more than 1,000 affiliated businesses, and an opportunity to grow exponentially in Mexico and in other countries where BBVA has a presence.

Carlos López-Moctezuma, Head of New Digital Business at BBVA Bancomer, explained that the bank is working with Openpay to strengthen the functionalities of a payment platform in the bank, integrate new anti-fraud models, market the Openpay product among the institution’s corporate customers and build marketing synergies that complement both parties’ product offering.

Acquisitions and investments play a key role in BBVA’s digital strategy. In March 2016, BBVA bought the financial startup Holvi. In 2015 the bank purchased a 29.5% strategic stake in Atom, the UK’s first mobile-only bank. Also, last year, BBVA completed the takeover of Spring Studio, a leading U.S. user experience design company. In 2014, BBVA acquired Madiva Soluciones, a big data and cloud computing services startup, and Simple, a tech company that has revolutionized the way people manage their money in the United States. BBVA is also an investor in venture capital firm Propel, which manages BBVA’s interests in startups that are changing financial services through technology.

From Open Talent to a leader in payments 

Openpay was founded in 2013 with the aim of building a “one-stop shop” for e-commerce. Through a single integration, a business (store) can start processing credit or debit card payments, cash payments, via bank transfer and affinity points, thus reducing operating costs for businesses. Also, Openpay’s technology and its ground-breaking anti-fraud models result in higher conversion rate, which represents an increase in sales for the business.

Openpay has achieved PCI-DSS Level 1 certification, an international security standard in the handling of payment data, safely storing the information and generating tokens (safety codes) to offer one-click services. Besides operating an anti-fraud platform which analyzes both the customers’ transactional information and the channels they use, risk scenarios are determined and a set of anti-fraud rules for each business are generated.

The acquisition of Openpay will not bring any operating changes or changes in fees for existing Openpay customers. They will continue operating just as they have until now, but enjoying an additional level of reassurance knowing that they are backed by a stable and increasingly stronger company. Today, the platform processes 1 million monthly transactions, a number that the company expects to grow to 3 million in 2017.

Open Talent, a winning contest

For nine years now, the BBVA Open Talent contest has been promoting fintech startups, creating a mechanism to put the Group directly in touch with the entrepreneur ecosystem, offering companies such as Openpay the opportunity to make their dreams come true through the strengths that a leading financial institution such as BBVA Bancomer offers. Openpay was one of the Latin American finalists in the 2015 edition, after a screening process that involved almost 200 experts and 652 projects from 63 countries.

BBVA Bancomer will continue offering support to entrepreneurs, opening the doors of its Innovation Center to hear about their projects as well as through the many activities carried out by the New Digital Businesses area in the ecosystem – including pilot tests, partnerships and investments in fintech startups – and stimulating their participation in the Open Talent competition.

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