As Swedish banks go digital, FX firm ChangeGroup invests in brick and mortar

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The London-based retail foreign exchange firm ChangeGroup has acquired the retail branch arm of the Swedish finance group SVEA Ekonomi to serve consumers who continue to demand cash payments.

The acquisition includes 16 branches and 100 staff from SVEA Ekonomi. “This acquisition strengthens our position in the Swedish market, and comes at a time when cash services being offered by the banks are decreasing, yet the requirement is still very apparent,"said Sacha Zackariya, CEO at ChangeGroup, in a release.

ChangeGroup is also launching its Travel Money Online service in Sweden, enabling consumers to pre-order and pre-pay for foreign currency services, and have the currency available for pick up at a local post office or at one of ChangeGroup’s 24 branches in Sweden.

ChangeGroup earlier this year announced it had become a Western Union cross-border transfer agent in its U.K. branches, as well as in Germany and selected parts of Scandinavia. ChangeGroup plans to expand its Western Union offerings to the U.S., Spain, Austria and France in the future. In 2015 ChangeGroup added a MoneyGram license to its U.K. branches.

The sale by SVEA is a relatively small part of its overall operations. SVEA has more than 2,000 employees across Europe and is primarily focused on business lending. The company also offers accounts payables and receivables management, collection and digital commerce.

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Payment processing Cash M&A Sweden