SIA-SSB has inaugurated its new representative office in Poland, located in the Warsaw Financial Center.
The Polish office, the opening of which is part of SIA-SSB Group's internationalization strategy in Central-Eastern Europe, joins the offices already present in Bucharest, Romania, and Budapest, Hungary, where subsidiary GBC (GIRO Bankkàrtya ZRt) operating in the sector of payment systems with credit and debit cards, has its headquarters.
This strengthening of SIA-SSB's presence in Poland arises from the need to consolidate operations in the local market, where the Group has already been working for some time. There are in fact over 5 million payment cards currently managed on behalf of a number of the leading Polish financial institutions, including Bank Pekao SA (Unicredit Group) and Kredyt Bank SA (KBC Group), amounting to a total volume of around 220 million transactions per year.
In spite of the financial crisis and the general contraction in consumption, the payment cards market in Poland has in any case recorded stable and positive growth. Indeed, in the first nine months of 2009, the total number of cards was 32.5 million (an increase of 11.4% over the same period in the previous year) on a total population of 38 million inhabitants. More specifically, this increase related to both debit and credit cards, with growth rates of 9.1% and 17.3% respectively.
The new representative office in Warsaw will enable SIA-SSB to pursue new business opportunities also in neighboring markets, such as Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic area.
"In the light of the growing importance that the Central-Eastern European countries are taking on, it is becoming increasingly strategic for SIA-SSB Group to be able to follow the financial institutions in that area closely, in both the payment cards sector and the other business areas, creating technology systems and solutions already implemented successfully in other European countries", explains Renzo Vanetti, CEO of SIA-SSB.
"Central-Eastern Europe has been one of the guiding lines of the Group's expansion strategy for a number of years. We have decided to open a new office in Poland because the payments market in this country has one of the highest growth potentials in the area and thus offers attractive opportunities for the design and development of innovative services especially in the areas of mobile and contactless payments and prepaid cards".