Santander focuses on tourists with JCB acquiring pact

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To accommodate Asian tourists, Banco Santander has launched JCB merchant acquiring operations in Spain after obtaining a license with JCB International, the international operations unit of the Japanese global payment brand.

The alliance allows Santander to facilitate JCB acceptance at Santander-acquired merchants throughout Spain.

JCB's 130 million card members can initiate transactions online and at the point of sale across Santander's merchant network in Spain, including hotels, restaurants and luxury retailers.
With average transaction value in Spain on the rise for JCB card members, JCB hopes the partnership will facilitate growth for Spanish merchants, particularly in the luxury goods category. Santander has a more than 160-year retail banking history in Spain, operating in 10 main markets and an estimated 144 million customers.

"As the world becomes a smaller place and tourism figures increase, we've noticed that our merchants benefit from catering to international consumers and that includes a variety of payment methods," Ruben Justel, managing director at Santander Espana Merchant Services, said in a release.

JCB launched its card business in Japan in 1961 and began expanding worldwide in 1981. The card issuer says its acceptance network includes more than 30 million merchants and a million cash-advance locations in the world.

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