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Norwegians enter Latvian bank service market

  • 2000-11-16
  • TBT Staff
RIGA - The Norwegian company Euro Processing International has acquired a controlling stake in Bankserviss, the leading provider of payment card processing services in Latvia and the Baltics, Bankserviss reported Nov. 9.

As a result, Bankserviss has become a part of Euro Processing International, an international group of payment card processing centers.

Euro Processing International AS acquired more than 75 percent of Bankserviss for an undisclosed amount. The company is a part of the Norwegian-based Creati AS group with activities across the Baltic region as well as in Central Europe and the Nordic countries.

"The new ownership structure will allow Bankserviss to focus on serving its clients in an international and competitive environment and offer the banks more individual and competitive service," said Evalds Truksans, Managing director of Bankserviss.

"Bankserviss will have access to a network of leading edge knowledge and technology, and will be in a excellent position to work with the banks in introducing payment services to bank services," he added.

With the new ownership Bankserviss will have an increased focus on new products and services based on the combination of new technology and transaction handling. "We will start with more education on smartcards, and later go into specific products," Truksans said.

Euro Processing International AS will support Bankserviss in focusing on quality, an effective operating environment and a stable and secure environment for cardholders, banks, merchants and international card organizations. In addition, Euro Processing International will include BankServiss in the development of a network of processing centers on a wider geographical scale in Europe.

The Riga-based company Bankserviss was established in 1992 to process credit card transactions between cardholders, banks, merchants and international card organisations.

Today, Bankserviss processes 1.8 million transactions per month from more than 360,000 international and local debit and credit cards. In addition, in cooperation with clients and partners the company has developed and introduced a scheme known as ITS (Internet Transaction Server) to process electronic payments for goods and services offered through the Internet.

Bankserviss' main rival, Baltija Karsu Centrs, said that the takeover of their competitor by the Norwegian company might give even greater opportunities to compete as Norwegians might be interested in greater profits. "We do not aim at large profit targets, our main goal is to help the banks to expand into the market," said Ilze Jurkane, the president of the Baltijas Karsu Centrs. "We have already made some progress on the smartcards. Our computer systems are advanced enough to start offer some pilot programs already next year," she added.