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Getnet listing boosts PagoNxt importance at Santander

Acquisitions by Santander’s new global payments platform will focus on technology and talent, not consolidating legacy businesses, says PagoNxt chief executive Javier San Félix.

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The Nasdaq and São Paolo IPO of merchant acquirer Getnet Brasil this October is another sign of PagoNxt’s growing importance at Banco Santander. While Santander Brasil previously housed Getnet home-market operations, the $1.3 billion listing serves to shift majority ownership to the new global payments platform. In doing so, it brings PagoNxt closer to a potential IPO of its own.

Speaking with Euromoney, PagoNxt chief executive Javier San Félix describes a very different approach to that of banks taking advantage of hot payments valuations and selling out to capital-rich specialists.

Firms such as Nexi and Worldline are increasingly dominant in payments in Europe – largely thanks to buying sub-scale businesses previously owned by banks, much as Paris-listed Amundi and others have done in asset management.

In the early 2010s, Santander looked like it was following that path. But today there is no question that payments are core to the group’s strategy. Indeed, it is San Félix's job to accelerate Santander’s growth in payments in Europe and Latin America, even in countries where Santander is not present as a large commercial bank, such as in Germany.

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