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Chile's BCI to move into card processing with US-based EVO Payments

Chile's Banco de Credito e Inversiones SA signed an agreement with U.S.-based payment processor EVO Payments Inc. to develop a new payment processing business in the South American country, Diario Financiero reported.

Under the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, BCI will hold 49.9% of the stock while EVO will own 50.1%. Mauricio Araya, manager of payment means at BCI, said the goal is to start operating by the end of the year or in 2020.

BCI is reportedly eyeing to expand the payment services beyond point of sale devices, or POS, and offer various e-commerce and QR code-based payment solutions.

In April, Finance Minister Felipe Larraín unveiled plans that will revamp the organizational structure of Transbank SA, a company which is jointly owned by banks and is currently dominating the Chilean card payment market, in an effort to boost competition.

The plan saw the government call on Transbank's main shareholders, mainly banks, to put forward a schedule that will both end their joint ownership of the payments operator and restructure its corporate governance.

Since then, state-owned Banco del Estado de Chile has developed a new card payment service, Compraquí. Banco Santander Chile, meanwhile, is planning to move into the payment processing business in the first quarter of 2020.