Italian ACH, SIA takes controlling stake in European telco

Italian ACH, SIA takes controlling stake in European telco

Italian payments processor SIA has acquired a controlling interest in telecomms firm Emmecon as part of a strategic plan to build a European infrastructure simplifying the link between merchants and banks at the point-of-sale.

SIA has acquired 51% of the share capital of Turin-based Emmecom, with the right to exercise the option for the purchase of the remaining 49% in 2016.

Massimo Arrighetti, CEO of SIA, says: "From today, banks and businesses have at their disposal a new family of innovative services which will soon be available at European level and will go to join Sepa payments, e-money and access to the principal stock markets, all with a single, ultra-fast connection."

He says the integrated platform will gather the traffic of card payments generated by POS terminals and deliver it to the authorisation systems of banks, terminal handlers and other acquirers.

Via a web portal (accessible also by tablet), it will also be possible to monitor the flow of transactions managed through the various connection channels, producing detailed statistics and reports on the operations of bank-deployed POS terminals at retail outlets.

Arrighetti says the pan-European infrastructure will permit banks and merchants with a strong international inclination to rationalise the various domestic networks for the collection of POS payments.

The acquisition will also give SIA a leg-up into the new field of machine-to-machine communications, which, according to analysts, could climb to a value of over €44 billion in 2020 from approximately €4.4 billion in 2011.

With the increased digitisation of payment flows, the acquisition of a telecomms outfit makes strategic sense for payments processors such as SIA. The Italian firm has already begun work on a central NFC hub for hosting interoperable bank and telecommunications applications in the emerging mobile payments market.

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