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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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Client Quotes

Payments Platform Strategy and Sourcing

"We were in urgent need of external independent expertise to supplement our internal resources. Senior consultants had to quickly integrate with our team and actively contribute. Their experts quickly forged strong working relationships and delivered to our brief. We enjoyed working with them to develop our future platform strategy."

Evert R Fekkes, SVP - Payment & Savings Services - Rabobank Nederland

Acquirer Risk Assessment

"The expertise provided by Savantor has greatly helped us evaluate our risk position and to take the right steps in managing our future risks. Strong, disciplined planning and an ongoing willingness to work closely with our staff played an enormous part in making this a very successful well-delivered project which will greatly help us in achieving our business goals."

Mark Healy, Chief Risk Officer - NEOVIA Financial - UK

Interchange Review

"Savantor did a superb job in confirming what we believed was an area of weakness. The detail we now have will enable us to agree internally what we need to do to improve structure, control and income. Nationwide management were very impressed with the quality of the Savantor team."

Adam Slater, Senior Manager - Banking - Nationwide Building Society - UK

New Fuel Card Guidelines

"Savantor successfully assisted Clear2Pay by providing specialist EMV expertise."

Marie Costers, General Manager - Clear2Pay Open Test Solutions

Acquirer Specialist Support

"OP-Pohjola Group has used Savantors help in numerous different specialist projects differing from risk assessment to management tool creation to transaction analysis. We have been very satisfied by the quality of the service provided by Savantor's experts."

Kai Lindstrom, Head of Acquiring - OP-Services Ltd - Finland

Platform Selection & RFP Management

"OP-Pohjola Group has used Savantor in both acquiring and issuing for platform/service provider research, RFI/RFP processes and subsequent contract negotiations. Savantor's approach and commitment have always been very professional and transparent. They have been of great help for the company in providing us important insights and background information beyond vendors sales speeches."

Kai Lindstrom, Head of Acquiring - OP-Services Ltd - Finland

Moneris Solutions

"Savantor did an outstanding job of the review and I received nothing but positive feedback on the interaction with our management team."

Jeff Guthri, COO - Moneris Solutions - Canada

New Payments Initiative

"In moving our new initiative into reality, we required specialist payments knowledge and forward thinking in the retail sector. Savantor supplied this and provided very effective guidance throughout. We enjoyed working with them."

Sophie High, Head of Innovation Delivery - Cancer Research UK

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