Santander buys Spanish fintech Mercury TFS
Banco Santander has bought a majority stake in Spanish fintech Mercury Trade Finance Solutions (TFS) for €30 million ($33.54 million).
The trade finance software provider will be subsumed into the bank’s global trade platform.
Employing roughly 130 people across Spain, Mexico, Chile and Colombia, Mercury TFS provides trade finance digitisation software to banks.
It offers services such as cost reduction analysis, technical training, the re-engineering of existing operating models, and “evolutionary maintenance”.
The bank says the transaction, which sees it nabbing a 50.1% stake, is part of its digital strategy to boost its international trade and small and medium-sized (SMEs) services.
In November Santander bought a 50.1% stake in foreign exchange firm Ebury for £350 million.
A big draw to Mercury TFS is its ability to allow Santander customers to manage their entire trade finance activity online or through a mobile phone, the bank says.
The fintech will also help digitalise internal process management, “allowing greater control and operational efficiency”, the bank adds.
“We are also helping to globalise Mercury TFS, a software company with huge potential and a team with enormous talent,” says Santander’s global payments services head Javier San Félix.
Mercury TFS’ CEO and head of technology will continue to head up the newly bought trade finance firm.
One third of the investment will be used for new shares, injecting new funds into the fintech to breed more product development and customer acquisition.