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March 17, 2021

Euronet Worldwide to buy Piraeus Bank’s merchant acquiring unit in Greece

By Shalini mani

Electronic payments provider Euronet Worldwide has agreed to buy the merchant acquiring business of Greek lender Piraeus Bank

The deal to buy Piraeus Bank Merchant Acquiring (PBMA) includes a separately negotiated commercial agreement for a long-term strategic partnership with Piraeus Bank.

The agreement allows for collaborative product distribution, processing and customer referrals.

Euronet will pay $360m (€300m) for the segment’s acquiring services and assets that include around 205,000 POS terminals at 170,000 merchants across Greece, as well as the bank’s online merchant acquiring business.

The in-store acquiring business represents around 20% of Greece’s market while the bank’s online merchant acquiring represents around 40% of online and digital transactions in the country.

Following the transaction, Euronet will act as Piraeus Bank’s exclusive long-term partner for the provision of merchant acquiring services.

Piraeus Bank will continue to promote and distribute the acquiring products through its extended sales channels. These include its customer service centres, marketing campaigns and about 500 branches across Greece.

Euronet’s longstanding partnership with Piraeus Bank

The purchase is the latest agreement between Euronet and Piraeus Bank, who started their association in the early 2000s.

Euronet was already providing card issuing and merchant acquiring services to the bank.

In 2005, the firm acquired the Piraeus’s card issuing and merchant acquiring processing services. It was followed by other agreements between both parties throughout the 2000s.

The latest purchase will bolster Euronet’s omnichannel payments strategy.

Euronet chairman and CEO Michael Brown said: “This acquisition from a trusted partner was a logical fit to our overall growth strategy.

“We are also eager to apply our expertise to the digital payments side of this transaction. In addition to the fundamental growth in digital payments, we believe we can aggressively grow the online merchant transactions through the use of the payments technologies in our REN Ecosystem.”

Product Expansion for PBMA

Following the transaction, Euronet plans to extend its REN Ecosystem platform to the Greek market to offer a range of cash-based and digital payment solutions directly to customers as well as third-party businesses.

The REV Payments Cloud, a key element of REN Ecosystem, offers API access to Euronet’s platforms and solutions that process alternative payments using QR codes and other tokenised methods in mobile digital wallets and payment apps.

Speaking on the deal, Piraeus Bank CEO Christos Megalou said: “Piraeus Bank has a long-lasting and collaborative history with Euronet. We are confident that the stability of Euronet, combined with its ability to innovate, will provide a reliable partner for our customers, as well as new opportunities for our institution to expand its payment acquiring capabilities in the changing payments landscape.”

In February last year, Euronet unveiled plans to offer transaction processing services to Amazon India.

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