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Corporate information Updated: 12 Jul 2016

BBVA names Garanti’s Sezgin head of Global Payment Systems

BBVA named Mehmet Sezgin from Turkiye Garanti Bankasi as head of Global Payment Systems. Garanti is one of the world’s most advanced banks in payment systems and the appointment will help BBVA accelerate the addition of new applications to all its markets.

Sezgin, who leads payment systems at Garanti, will report to José María García Meyer-Dohner, head of Global Retail and Business Banking at BBVA. Today’s announcement highlights the outstanding relationship between BBVA and its partner in Turkey, the Dogus Group, and with Garanti´s executive team.

BBVA is fully committed to providing the best possible service with the most advanced technology in all the products and services it delivers. Payment systems is a key area in retail banking at BBVA, generating more than 10% of the Group’s gross income. Last year the business generated more than 2 billion euros in income. It also represents a bridge between the more classical credit card world and all the most recent developments at electronic payments and innovation.

Turkey is one of the world’s most advanced and innovative markets in payment systems and Garanti is the clear market leader. Garanti has 16 million credit and debit cards and is one of the world's largest acquirers with nearly 500,000 point-of-sale terminals. It started issuing chip cards back in 2000 and today its entire infrastructure is EMV (Europay Mastercard Visa) chip and pin compliant. Near Field Communication (NFC) is one of the innovation areas that Garanti has been working on with leading GSM operators and already more 17,000 PoS terminals of Garanti accept payment through mobile phones.

Garanti has agreements with all the mobile-phone operators in Turkey allowing card holders to use their phones as digital wallets. Close to 1.5 million contactless Garanti cards make speedy payments at supermarkets and retail outlets. In e-commerce, Garanti leads the local market with close to a 35% share.

BBVA has more than 54 million cards. The Group’s commitment to innovation and technology in payment systems is present in most of its markets, with examples including the success of mobile payments for the unbanked segment in Mexico with the Cuenta Express, global payments system products in South America or the new contactless mobile payment initiatives in Spain.

In 2011 BBVA completed the acquisition of a 25% stake in Garanti for 4.2 billion euros. BBVA and its partner the Dogus Group jointly manage Garanti.“Garanti´s payment system initiatives fit like a glove in the customer-centric model that has made BBVA a world leader in retail banking”, said José María García Meyer-Dohner.

Mehmet Sezgin, 49, will remain as co-chairman of Garanti Payment Systems and will be based in Istanbul. He joined Garanti in 1999 to form Garanti Payment Systems. He was the general manager of MasterCard Eurasia region for 7 years prior to that and worked at several banks and Pricewaterhouse Coopers before joining MasterCard.

“We are clearly moving toward a cashless society through the inclusion of the unbanked, mobile devices and better merchant coverage”, Mehmet Sezgin said. “Our industry is transforming itself around prepaid, contactless and mobile industries. I am very excited to be part of this transformation in a global powerhouse like BBVA.”

The appointment is another example of the excellent and growing relationship between BBVA and the Dogus Group, and with the executive team at Garanti.

“Having BBVA as a partner gives our executives new exciting opportunities to operate on a global scale”, said Ergun Ozen, chief executive officer at Garanti. “The appointment is a fantastic sign of the strength of our relation”.