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Contxto – Latin American fintechs have been busy as of late.
Puerto Rico-based payment processor EVERTEC acquired Colombian Engineering Without Borders, or as it’s commercially known, PlacetoPay, for an undisclosed amount according to an official statement issued yesterday.
Meanwhile, Visa—do they really need an introduction?—and NovoPayment—a Miami-based fintech with a Venezuelan co-founder—announced the expansion of their strategic partnership today. Its aim will be to facilitate Visa’s digital products throughout financial institutions in Latin America.
This fintech isn’t quite young blood. Founded in 2001, PlacetoPay processes transactions for over 900 businesses in Ecuador and Colombia. It had also begun operations in Panama and Costa Rica.
PlacetoPay managed 12.4 million transactions in 2018 and had recently launched its fraud-prevention software, 3D-Secure to validate the identity of credit card users.
Big players are eyeing Latin America
First, let’s set the record straight. EVERTEC isn’t a startup. Heck, it’s already part of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). But when one keeps in mind that other behemoths like Goldman Sachs and SoftBank want to extend their reach into the region too, it’s a sign that nobody wants to be left out in the Latin American buzz.
EVERTEC’s move is a step in that direction as it eyes the rest of the region and hopes to increase its foothold there as Mac Schuessler, EVERTEC’s President and CEO put it.
“We are pleased to complete the acquisition of PlacetoPay which will strengthen our presence in Colombia,” he said. “While this will not materially impact our 2020 results, we anticipate this gateway will become our primary digital offering in the region and contribute to our Latin America growth strategy.”
Note that this isn’t EVERTEC’s first acquisition of a Latin American fintech. It bought Chilean competitor, PayGroup, way back in 2017 for US$40 million. Moreover, it provides banking and financial solutions to 26 countries in the region. Some big names it’s worked with include Brazilian challenger bank, C6, and Santander in Chile.
NovoPayment and Visa expand partnership
NovoPayment was co-founded in 2004 by Venezuelan-born Anabel Pérez. This fintech serves as a Banking-as-a-Service platform. It had already been collaborating with Visa in encouraging digital payments in Latin America through app development and B2B (business to business) solutions in countries like Mexico and Venezuela.
What’s different this time around is that through their partnership expansion, the duo aims to integrate more new startups (especially fintechs) into the regional ecosystem.
Among NovoPayment’s other interesting plans was Pérez’s recent announcement at Finnosummit Miami of the intention to launch a new bank within six months that uses API-based Open Banking tech.
Perhaps it will reach Latin America quickly, what with all the challenger banks and fintechs in the region.