January 28, 2021

Italian Merger Builds Another Vehicle for Bigger Payments Deals

Neither Covid-19 nor the


fiasco have sapped appetite in Europe to create a payments giant to rival U.S. and Asian peers. The latest merger paves the way for more.

The $17.6 billion all-stock tie-up of Italian payments companies


NEXI 3.14%

and SIA, announced Monday, wasn’t much of a surprise. Negotiations were publicly discussed soon after Nexi’s initial public offering in April 2019.

Payments companies provide the plumbing for offline and online commerce, connecting banks, merchants and their customers. The market continues to grow as consumers get more comfortable shopping online and using cards and smartphones for financial transactions—trends that have only accelerated during the pandemic.

Facing mounting competition from both startups and big tech giants, though, payment companies are joining forces to build scale. Together, they hope to add more customers, cut costs and get more out of their investments in security and new technology.

Nexi is the

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