Mexico’s Largest Bank Acquires Fintech Payments Startup Openpay

(By Samburaj Das,

BBVA Bancomer, the largest financial institution in Mexico, has acquired Openpay, a payments Fintech startup based in Mexico that enables real-time payments for individuals, small businesses, and large enterprises. The acquisition comes after a collaborative partnership between the bank and the Openpay which saw the bank benefit by increasing its range of online payments solutions.

“This operation will allow us to remain at the cutting edge of payment systems,” said customer solutions chief Derek White at BBVA. “This operation will also bring numerous benefits for our customers.”

As a payment service provider, Openpay allows for card, cash and loyalty-points payments coupled with bank transfers over a single platform. The platform operates over Paynet, a wide network of POS (point-of-sale) locations where cash payments for online purchases are also enabled.

Openpay co-founder Roberto Bargagli sees further partnerships and collaborations between banks and Fintech firms in the face of digitizing banking for faster, cheaper and more-efficient core operations. He stated:

This acquisition shows BBVA’s commitment to digital transformation and it is an example of how fintech firms and banks are going to revolutionize the global ecosystem together. We will work with tremendous enthusiasm to take advantage of this huge potential.

BBVA’s interest and foray into blockchain development and applications has been well documented. The Spanish multinational banking giant is among the nine original members of the R3 blockchain consortium, which was founded in September 2015. The same year, Swedish bitcoin exchange Safello fared well at BBVA’s “Open Talent” competition, a contest that rewards promising and innovative fintech projects.

As one of R3’s earliest members, BBVA has also participated in a number of blockchain experiments that seek to revolutionize the industry’s core banking processes. In August 2016, BBVA was among 15 banks conducting trials of a blockchain prototype for global trade finance. In September, BBVA was among a group of Fintech startups and R3 members to test a blockchain platform for syndicated loans.