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OP Pohjola – Acquirer Strategy

OP-Pohjola Group, the leading financial services group in Finland, use Savantor’s industry expertise to guide their strategic positioning within a changing acquiring mark

The Scandinavian acquiring market has been undergoing significant change as domestic processors evolve and international players seek increased market share.

Finland is a prime example and OP-Pohjola Group was amongst the first to recognise and respond to this situation.

In common with other banks, change and complexity on this scale is an infrequent event and Nordea did not have sufficient relevant experience in-house.

With the market moving from domestic debit cards to SEPA-compliant scheme branded cards, and acquiring previously being centrally processed, OP-Pohjola decided to investigate the alternatives for taking a more active role in acquiring.

Savantor’s team undertook the following:

  • Reviewed the bank’s current acquirer strategy and gained a better understanding of overall progress, strength and weakness.
  • Advised the bank on the European market dynamics, the future business opportunities and the overall economics of the acquiring business.
  • Guided the development of an acquirer value chain that focused the proposed acquiring services in line with the group’s co-operative structure.
  • Constructed an initial operating model to support the acquirer strategy.
  • Positioned the bank to adopt an acquirer strategy appropriate to their market.

Rod Nixon, Managing Director of Savantor International, believes that our independent advice has enabled the bank to move forward confidently to realise their strategy.

"Many banks are facing similar dilemmas as the European acquiring market evolves. It was the right time for OP-Pohjola to take this major step forward in their future market positioning."

Features of this assignment:

  • European acquiring market education and strategic guidance for addressing local and cross-border evolution.
  • Strategic positioning to profitably secure and grow acquiring footprint following the demise of the local debit card scheme.
  • Acquirer operational model and best practices.
  • Acquirer solution sourcing options and viable market approaches.
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Evert R Fekkes, SVP Payment & Savings Services - Rabobank - Nederland

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Mikko Hyttinen, SVP - Lending Services - OP-Pohjola Group - Finland

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