caixabankSpain’s CaixaBank is planning to target Brazil’s payments industry via a new joint venture with US transaction processing firm Global Payments that builds on the bank’s experience of digital channels its home market.

La Caixa has already made similar moves in Spain. In May, La Caixa and Santander partnered with telecoms firm Telefónica to create a joint venture offering mobile payment services and a digital wallet designed to relegate conventional payment methods to the history books. Users of the new service in Spain will be able to gather all their credit cards into the new digital wallet; they will also be able to send and receive funds via their mobile phone. Bank account details will not be necessary; all the sender needs is the recipient’s phone number.

Meanwhile, Brazil saw its electronic payments market reach €240 billion last year, with 487 million cards in circulation and 3.7 million POS devices, mainly in the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais. The country’s electronic payments market grew at 20% last year, according to figures provided by CaixaBank.

In June, the country gained its first ever mobile payment service with the launch of a joint service provided by Spanish and South American telecom firm Telefónica and MasterCard. Available first in Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte, the Zuum service will allow Brazilians to transfer money, buy credits for pre-paid mobile phones and pay bills with their mobile phone.

Other mobile payment services are also expected in Brazil imminently. Zong, a PayPal subsidiary started in 2008 by entrepreneur David Marcus, is currently seeking to bring Brazilian carriers Vivo, TIM, BRT, Claro and Oi onboard for its own mobile payment service in the country. Meanwhile, eFinance company Paggo is developing payment solutions with mobile operator Oi and the national bank, Banco do Brasil.

Global Payments has worked with CaixaBank in Spain since 2010, where the two firms cooperated to offer payment services to merchants. The latest agreement to form a joint venture in Brazil represents the firm’s first foray into Latin America. The firm is active in Spain, Russia, the Czech Republic, the UK and US, as well as Asia. Global Payments processes approximately six billion transactions worldwide annually, according to its own figures.

Based in Barcelona, CaixaBank has 13.8 million customers and a branch network of 6,000 offices, as well as 12 million cards in circulation in Spain. Comercia Global Payments Brazil will concentrate on Brazil’s payments market, offering contactless technology, digital payments and mobile point of sale tools. CaixaBank is a subsidiary of Spanish banking giant La Caixa.

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