SIA and NEXI announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding for the integration of the two groups. It will be achieved through the merger by incorporation of the European hi-tech company - leader in technological services and payment infrastructures, controlled by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti -, in the Italian pay tech leader of digital payments.
The new company will be one of the ten most valuable companies listed on the Milan stock exchange, aiming at becoming the leading digital payment company in Europe.
Nexi was born in November 2017 from the union of two historical Italian companies: Istituto Centrale delle Banche Popolari Italiane (ICBPI), born in 1939, and CartaSi, a company founded in 1986 that for years has been one of the main card managers of credit in Italy.
Nexi provides digital payment services to banks and other institutional clients such as the PA. It is mostly known for three specific services: acquiring, i.e. the supply and management of POS, and issuing, i.e. the issuing of credit cards and other digital payment methods, and the management of all systems behind.
The Società Interbancaria per l’Automazione (SIA) was founded by Banca d’Italia, Associazione bancaria italiana (ABI) and some Italian banks in 1977, with the initial intention of creating the Rete nazionale interbancaria, which is the infrastructure which digitally connects all financial institutions. In the 1980s SIA helped launch the Bancomat circuit.
SIA provides a variety of services to banks and other customers, but the company is mostly known for being a payment processor: that is, the creator and manager of the infrastructure underlying the banking system, which ensures that all steps in the systems payments are made correctly. For this reason, SIA counts a number of central banks all over the world among its clients.
The new group stands as a giant, both by Italian and European standards, which overall has issued 120 million cards, will have 5,500 employees and a presence in 15 countries, especially in Europe.
At current stock market values, the new company will have a total capitalization of over 15 billion, making it one of the ten companies with the largest capitalization on the Italian market, and will immediately have a free float of over 40% of the share capital, confirming its nature as a public company.
"In a market like the Italian one in which digital payments, albeit growing, have a penetration share of 24%, the new group will be able to seize all the opportunities for organic growth with the aim of accelerating, together with partner banks, the spread of digital payments for the benefit of citizens, businesses and the Public Administration", Nexi and Sia explained in a joint note.
In line with this, banks and other financial institutions will find a stronger partner, bringing - as a result -to a very cohesive ecosystem, able to push for the adoption of digital payments.