MILAN, July 26 (Reuters) - Italian fund FSI, the main
investors in which include state lender CDP and the sovereign
wealth funds of Kuwait and Singapore, has signed a preliminary
deal for an investment in payments card and cash machine
FSI and BANCOMAT have agreed the terms under which FSI is
set to invest in BANCOMAT "to sustain investments and accelerate
its development alongside its banking shareholders", they said
in a joint statement without disclosing financial details.
The payments sector has been swept up in a wave of mergers
and acquisitions as it seeks the financial muscle to keep up
with technological advances while contending with the threat
from new entrants.
BANCOMAT, which has ATMs across Italy and manages payments
under the PagoBANCOMAT and BANCOMAT Pay brands, handles more
than 2.5 billion payment and withdrawal transactions a year
worth about 210 billion euros ($213 billion) in total.
Credit Suisse analysts estimated in a recent report that
BANCOMAT's 34 million cards account for more than 40% of the
domestic card market.
In a separate statement on Tuesday, BANCOMAT said it had
launched a mobile payment service with China's HUAWEI on cards
issued by Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo.
Intesa is one of the leading shareholders in BANCOMAT, which
is owned by a total of 115 Italian banks.
Italian banks were also the owners of payments company
ICBPI, which they sold to private equity funds Advent
International, Bain Capital and Clessidra in 2015 ahead of a
2019 stock market listing that lay the foundation for what is
now Italian payments champion Nexi.
Following the pandemic-driven digital acceleration, PwC
forecasts that global cashless payment volumes will grow by more
than 80% from 2020 levels to almost 1.9 trillion transaction by
(Reporting by Valentina Za
Additional reporting by Elvira Pollina
Editing by David Goodman)