Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Brazil's largest lender by
market value, expects to recoup part of the market share lost in
the merchant acquiring industry in recent months, now that it
finalized the integration of a series de acquisitions in the
sector in the lender's banking services platform. Itaú, which
last year bought out the stake it did not own of Redecard SA and
this year bought card payment processor Credicard from Citigroup
Inc, has seen market share in merchant acquiring, or card
payment processing, fall to 37 percent from 45 percent three
years ago, Milton Maluhy, the executive inc charge of the unit,
said in São Paulo.
"We have all what we need to have a bigger market share
than we do now," Maluhy said. The unit is introducing a strategy
for mobile payment services similar to "square" in the United
States and reiterated significant investments being made for the
creation of a new data center and new capabilities for wireless
terminals, which now represent 50 percent of total terminals,
compared with 25 percent a few years ago.
Analysts have said that, even as competition in Brazil's
$400 billion-a-year merchant acquiring is poised to heat up,
increased competition is likely to come in the form of better,
broader services than lower pricing.