Santander acquiring Elavon’s Mexican operation

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Banco Santander’s global digital transformation has led it to Mexico, where the bank has agreed to acquire U.S. Bancorp’s Elavon Mexico merchant acquiring unit for 1.6 billion Mexican pesos (about $84 million).

Elavon Mexico has operated Banco Santander’s merchant acquiring business in Mexico since 2010, when Santander repurchased Bank of America’s partial ownership in Santander Mexico for $2.5 billion. Elavon Mexico will be 49% owned by Santander Mexico and 51% owned by Santander Merchant Platform Solutions, which is part of Santander Group. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the next few weeks.

“We see excellent opportunities to continue developing the business, improve the value proposition for our customers and take advantage of economies of scale as other Santander markets connect to the platform,” Héctor Grisi Checa, executive chairman of Banco Santander Mexico, said in a press release.

Elavon Mexico ranks second in the Mexican merchant acquiring market with a 16% market share. The unit had approximately 140,000 active merchant customers and 250,000 card payment terminals as of December Elavon Mexico processed 419 million transactions in 2019, up by 23% from roughly 340 million in 2018.

Elavon unit has worked with Santander in other markets. In 2013 the two companies formed a joint venture to provide merchant acquiring services in Spain.

Santander's larger $22 billion digital expansion also includes its hire of Trish Burgess from Apple to lead the Spanish bank’s P2P payments group.

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