Adyen seeks to expand in Italy as mobile payments soar

MILAN, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Adyen, the payments processor for Facebook and Netflix, is looking to expand its presence in Italy where a shift from cash to cards is accelerating.

Card payments from mobile phones in Italy jumped 60 percent last year and Adyen said it is also targeting the fashion industry in the country, where it recently opened its first office.

Shares in Amsterdam-based Adyen, which was set up in 2006, have more than doubled in value since their stock market debut in June, currently trading at 610 euros ($700) from a listing price of 240 euros.

After initially targeting large multinationals for its services, Adyen has expanded to sectors such as hotels and travel in general, as well as supermarkets and restaurant chains.

In Italy it has signed clients such as luxury goods groups Brunelli Cucinelli and Etro, clothing chain Benetton and handbag maker Furla in the past couple of years.

Other Italian clients include the online operations of high-end grocery chain Eataly as well as national carrier Alitalia.

Italians have been slow to abandon cash in favour of card payments, which account for only around a fifth of total payments made in the country.

“It’s still a 220 billion euro market,” Adyen’s Italy head Philippe de Passorio said at an event in Milan, referring to last year’s volume of cards payments in Italy, which were up 10 percent from 2016.

“We want to become the silent engine of Italian commerce.” ($1 = 0.8709 euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Susan Fenton)