The Board of Directors of SIA, meeting under the chairmanship of Giuliano Asperti, has approved the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan that aims at further strengthening the positioning of the company at international level and becoming the key player in Europe in the field of digital payments.
With the realization of the new Strategic Plan, SIA intends to create the leading Pan-European Payment & Tech Company operating alongside banks, large corporates and the public sector in a competitive scenario characterized by the progressive consolidation and establishment of new digital players such as “tech giants”, fintech companies and e-commerce operators.
"The approval of the new Strategic Plan represents an important turning point in the development of SIA which, by virtue of its strong and distinctive "bank friendly" positioning, aims to become the leading pan-European technology player in the payments industry," said Nicola Cordone, CEO of SIA. "Over the next three years we will pursue this objective by further extending SIA’s presence in the international market and strengthening the relationship with our customers to support them in their competitive challenges by offering innovative and reliable digital solutions and services, also with the help of over 900 new staff who we will hire by 2021."
COMPETITIVE AND REGULATORY SCENARIO
The new SIA Strategic Plan fits into a particularly dynamic global payments market that is expected to grow by 6-7% up to 2021, with an increase in digital transaction volumes of 3-5% in Europe, where the sector is worth approximately 80 billion euros.
The evolution underway, also driven by the introduction of payment regulations and schemes at European level such as Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), which has started up open banking and instant payments, is characterized by multiple trends that are influencing the sector.
First of all, the consolidation of the market which, according to some estimates, amounts to over €35 billion and is affecting European operators, non-European players and international private equity funds.
Secondly, there is a gradual affirmation of the national payment networks in Europe challenging the international networks for significant margins, and the growth of the e-commerce sector with an expected increase of around 13% per year globally.
In this scenario of profound transformation, the SIA 2019-2021 Strategic Plan sees a change of trajectory with respect to the past - the company aims to evolve from a specialized processing player to a leading Pan-European Payment & Tech Company thanks to the growth at international level and the development of new digital payment services.
In detail, the SIA 2019-2021 Strategic Plan is developed along five main lines of growth.
1. The company intends to consolidate its core business in the areas of cards, payments and institutional services through the acquisition of new customers in Italy and abroad and the development of innovative services.
2. Among the main objectives of the Plan is for SIA to become the key tech-player in digital payments thanks to investments targeted at the spread and strengthening of services and platforms already present in SIA’s offering, such as mobile payments, instant payments, blockchain technology and initiatives in favor of "smart mobility", as well as in the development of advanced solutions based on Big Data, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence.
3. The internationalization process undertaken by SIA in recent years is marked by a strong acceleration leveraging, in particular, on the experience gained from the recent acquisitions of card processing activities in central and south-eastern Europe, as well as from a leading role in the process of consolidation of the main players and payment systems underway in Italy and abroad.
4. In the domestic market, the Strategic Plan confirms support to the main national initiatives for the digitization of payment services, such as the PagoPA technology platform for the public sector, the launch of a new BANCOMAT Pay e-payment service, and the development of innovative solutions for citizens, businesses and the public sector, while continuing the war against cash by favoring the expansion of micro-payments and contactless transactions.
5. Finally, with regard to the internal technical structure, the Plan provides for measures to improve efficiency and modernize SIA’s operations through migration of the current technology infrastructure onto an open platform, progressive adoption of new working methods inspired by best market practices, and collaboration with players in the payments sector in an "Open Innovation" logic.
ECONOMIC OBJECTIVES UP TO 2021
By 2021, the Strategic Plan aims to achieve consolidated revenues of more than €800 million compared to €614.8 million in 2018 and a gross operating margin (EBITDA) - which in 2018 reached €201.4 million, equal to 32.8% of revenues - in line with the best companies in the sector and with SIA’s history.
With regard to human resources, the SIA Strategic Plan provides for the hiring of over 900 new staff in the three-year period 2019-2021, focusing on young people, women and the acquisition of additional digital skills related to cybersecurity, analytics and innovation.
SIA is also focusing on the development of its people thanks to specific talent management, diversity and welfare investment initiatives.