MasterCard snaps up Turkish payments specialist Provus
MasterCard has acquired Turkish payments provider Provus in a deal that the firm says will increase its processing presence in a “high growth” payments market.
Founded in 2001, Istanbul-based Provus mainly specialises in issuing and acquirer processing, as well as prepaid solutions and ATM processing services. The company’s clients include Turkish banks, telecoms service providers and retailers.
“Turkey continues to be a very exciting and growing market and this acquisition provides an important platform that will enable us to not only serve customers locally but also to continue to deliver innovative payment solutions across the region,” said Javier Perez, president of MasterCard Europe. “The acquisition of Provus enables MasterCard to continue developing innovative solutions to add value to our customers and increases our processing presence in Europe.”
There is little question that Turkey’s economic growth has been strong over the last decade. The country’s GDP tripled since the year 2000 to reach $789.3 billion last year, according to figures provided by the World Bank. This has been reflected in its payments industry. In 2012, an estimated £10.4 billion worth of goods were sold online, compared against £7.8 billion in 2011. ETID, the association of Turkish internet retailers, expects the volume of business to double by 2015 and reach £107.4 billion by 2023.
However, the growth of the country’s banking infrastructure has not been without its problems. One of the obstacles to further payments growth in the country has been fragmentation. Consumers in Turkey often use local credit cards, debit cards and loyalty cards that are issued in their own regions and processed exclusively by local banks. This can be a problem when attempting to purchase goods online, since local cards may not be supported.
One possible solution has been the expansion of mobile payment options that span multiple banks and regions. In December, Turkey’s Garanti Bank and mobile operator Turkcell partnered with Visa Europe in a deal aimed at bringing the Turkcell mobile wallet to more consumers in Turkey. Turkcell already had signed up Turkey’s Akbank to the wallet, using a micro SD contactless solution, as well as local bank Yapi Kredi, which launched a solution for iPhone called iCare. In April 2013, Turkcell also integrated Turkey’s public transport card Urfakart into its mobile wallet, meaning that customers on trains and buses in Turkey’s Sanliurfa province can make payments using their phones.
“Today’s announcement represents an exciting new chapter for our business, which has been delivering cutting-edge payment solutions and processing services for both traditional and non-traditional customers in Turkey,” said Tunc Dasar, chief execution of Provus. “We look forward to the future as part of the MasterCard family and are focused on delivering innovation in payment solutions and processing to the widest possible audience.”