Spanish card payments network processing operators Sermepa and Redes y Procesos have agreed a merger deal designed to pool resources and compete in a Sepa-based European market.
The boards of both firms have agreed the deal, which now needs to be ratified by shareholders at meetings next month and obtain competition authority approval.
The merged entity, to be called RedSys, will process transactions for cards belonging to the member banks of Spain's two largest payments systems, ServiRed and Sistema 4B.
It will handle around 3300 million transactions a year, originating mainly from the 60 million banks cards, 45,000 ATMs, and about one million point-of-sale terminals that are owned by the banks belonging to the networks.
The partners say the merger follows similar moves in other major European countries, helping it to compete as the effects of Sepa kick in.
The deal's "fundamental aim is to protect Spain's position as a standard-bearer in Europe's payment services industry, and to occupy the best strategic position for meeting the challenges and seizing the opportunities that arise from the Sepa," says a statement.