Latin American Payments Giant EBANX Expands Operations in Mexico; Itaú Unibanco to Acquire Brazilian Broker Ideal

Latin American payments company EBANX is doubling down on its commitment to its business in Mexico, opening its first office in Mexico City and introducing a range of solutions designed to help Mexican companies offer new payment experiences for their customers in-country. These solutions include credit and debit cards, installments, OXXO and OXXOPay, SPEI, and digital wallets like Mercado Pago.

“The launch of these local solutions and the opening of the new office are part of our strategy for continuous growth in Mexico, a country where e-commerce is one of the most dynamic and relevant sectors,” EBANX co-founder and CEO João Del Valle said. “With these new initiatives, we became the ideal strategic ally to help e-merchants grow their operations in Mexico or other LatAm markets.”

For EBANX, bringing broader payment options to Mexican consumers is a way to better serve the country’s unbanked population. According to the Association of Mexican Banks, 53% of Mexican adults not have a bank account as of 2020. At the same time, the company’s own study on digital commerce in Mexico revealed that as much as 60% of the digital commerce in Mexico is conducted using payment methods ranging from digital wallets and cash vouchers to debit and credit cards. By enabling more merchants in Mexico to process both cash-based transactions as well as these methods preferred in digital commerce, EBANX believes it can help merchants in the country increase their reach and sales potential by 2x and increase their total addressable market faster.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Curitiba, Brazil, EBANX has been active in the Mexican market since 2015. Last year, the company grew the number of transactions processed in Mexico by 115%. Hibobi, SHEIN, Shopee, and Wish are among EBANX biggest customers in the country.


Earlier this week we announced the decision by Canadian fintech FundThrough to acquire rival BlueVine’s invoice factoring business. Today we learned of another big acquisition in the fintech space in the Americas: Brazil’s Itaú Unibanco announced on Thursday that it would acquire Brazilian cloud-based brokerage firm Ideal.

The acquisition is slated to take place in two parts. First, Itaú will acquire 50.1% of the share capital of Ideal, which was founded in 2019 and is one of the leaders in traded volume on the Brazilian stock exchange, B3. Second, the bank plans to execute its right to purchase the remaining 49.9% of the brokerage’s shares for approximately $117 million (R$651 million) securing control of the company. Stage two of the acquisition plan is reportedly not scheduled to take place for another five years.

“This investment materializes our mantra of client centrality because they are the ones who will get the most out of the transaction,” Itaú Unibanco president Milton Maluhy Filho said. “Ideal is going to help us expand and standardize the offer for different channels. Customers from various segments of the bank, such as iti, ion, or even Itaú Corretora, will be able to have access to the same products on whichever platform they prefer.”

The acquisition will add to the talent base for the 60-million customer financial institution, which bills itself as a digital bank with the convenience of physical banking. Ideal CEO Nilson Monteiro will continue to oversee operations at the company with Itaú serving essentially as one of Ideal’s financial institution clients. Itaú Unibanco’s Carlos Constantini, who runs Wealth Management and Services for the bank, underscored the importance of maintaining Ideal’s autonomy, citing the company’s market position and “well-defined strategy for its segment of activity.” Constantini added, “the company will play an important role in consolidating Itaú Unibanco’s investment ecosystem and maintaining our market leadership.”

Founded in 2008 via the merger of Banco Itaú and Unibanco, Itaú Unibanco is headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil. With total assets of more than $377 billion and 90,000 employees, Itaú Unibanco is the largest private sector bank in the country. The institution is publicly traded on the Brazilian stock exchange and has a market capitalization of $41 billion.


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Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • German payment processing company Denario secured $1.5 million (EUR 1.3 million) in funding in a round led by 468 Capital.
  • Buy Now Pay Later outfit Anyday partnered with Latvian open banking platform Nordigen.
  • Pliant, a company credit card startup based in Germany, announced expansion into Austria.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Iraqi Middle East Investment Bank (IMEIB) launched its new digital banking platform, CapitalDigital.
  • Saudi Arabian social trading platform Dawul raised $5 million in seed funding in a round led by RAED Ventures.
  • A new report from Citi – Africa & Middle East FinTech & eCommerce – pointed to a surge in fintech funding in Egypt last year.

Central and Southern Asia

  • A partnership between India-based private sector bank RBL Bank and Google will enhance the customer experience and potential for expansion for its digital platform Abacus 2.0.
  • Pune, India’s FPL Technologies raised $75 million in Series C funding at a post-money valuation of $750 million.
  • Kaleidofin, a neobank operating out of India, secured $10 million in Series B funding.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Spreedly announced that its Latin American transaction volume has more than doubled year-over-year.
  • Mercado Libre acquired Chilean payments company, Redelcom.
  • ViewTrade teamed up with Peruvian retail broker-dealer Seminario to enable investors in the country to buy and sell U.S. shares.

Asia-Pacific

  • Indonesia’s KoinWorks locked in $108 million in Series C funding to help finance the country’s SMEs.
  • Singaporean cross border payments company Thunes announced plans to expand in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau.
  • Pluang, a fractional investing app based in Indonesia, raised $55 million in a follow-up Series B round.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • African Business looked at how African banks can take advantage of the Banking as a service trend.
  • Lipa Later, a Buy Now Pay Later company based in Kenya, secured $12 million in combined debt and equity funding.
  • Disrupt Africa profiled Nigerian remittance company Lemonade.

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

The post Latin American Payments Giant EBANX Expands Operations in Mexico; Itaú Unibanco to Acquire Brazilian Broker Ideal appeared first on Finovate.

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Source: Finovate


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