CaixaBank, Global Payments push European prepaid card

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CaixaBank and Global Payments are building on a series of partnerships to build a joint prepaid venture in Europe.

The venture will operate under the CaixaBank's MoneyToPay brand, with Global Payments owning a 51% share over the bank's 49%. Kelley Knutson, senior executive vice president of Global Payments and president of its Netspend prepaid unit, will be MoneyToPay’s chairman.

The MoneyToPay prepaid brand in Spain has a portfolio of almost two million cards and an annual sales volume of over €700 million (about $770 million). CaixaBank claims to issue one out of every three prepaid cards marketed in Spain, distributed through CaixaBank branches and third-party locations such as businesses and stores. CaixaBank also markets its prepaid solutions in Austria through Erste Bank and in Portugal through a majority owned subsidiary, Banco Portugues de Investimento (BPI).

Knutson was promoted in January 2018 to lead Netspend in an effort to reboot its prepaid business subsequent to the former Netspend CEO Chuck Harris leaving the company. TSYS acquired Netspend in 2013 for $1.4 billion. Global Payments acquired TSYS for $21.5 billion in September 2019.

CaixaBank has been working closely with Global Payments since 2010 when both companies created another joint venture called Comerica Global Payments to serve the merchant acquiring market in Spain. Comerica Global Payments has a 27% market share in Spain and serves more than 400,000 businesses.

Caixabank has two other joint ventures with Global Payments. The first is a three-part joint venture with Global Payments and Erste Bank of Austria to provide merchant acquiring and payment processing services in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania.

The other joint venture, set up in June 2019 between CaixaBank, Global Payments and Ingenico, formed a company called Zone2boost. The JV called for investing €5 million (about $5.5 million) to establish an international innovation program designed to identify and aid promising fintech startups. The three-part joint venture would collaborate with Barcelona-based business school IESE and use it as its operating center.

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