Nexi reported strong growth across all markets as Europe’s economies bounced back from last year’s Covid lockdowns. Payment volume was up 18% overall powered by resurgent spend in travel and tourism with a particularly strong transaction flow from foreign cards used in Italy.
The geographical performance was mixed. Payment volume was up 13% in DACH, 18% in Italy and an impressive 33% in the Nordics. Italy – Nexi’s home market – accounts for 57% of the total.
Merchant Services and Solutions is Nexi’s largest division – just over half of total revenue – and sales grew 16% to €431m. The detailed picture was far from uniform. For example, SME’s outperformed corporates and eCommerce growth was restrained by recent standards.
Within Merchant Services and Solutions, SME volume grew 38% with DACH and Poland notably strong. The terminal base grew an impressive 150K year on year and we can see the emerging outlines of a good, better, best product strategy featuring:
- SoftPOS – recently launched in Hungary (in-house developed by Nexi, distributed by Unicredit) and a Nordic version working with Softpos.io. An Italian launch is in preparation
- Smartpay – commercialised by Concardis in Germany, a simple SME proposition to accept Giro and international cards with a PAX A920, online sign up and nice digital portal
- SmartPOS – a more highly configured SME terminal with an associated app store provided by Poynt which will be attractive to larger merchants and ISVs
eCommerce volumes grew 19% with attention drawn to the launch of Nets Easy – a simple proposition of payment gateway, reconciliation and payouts under a single contract. Large and key account volumes grew 17%. An interesting detail was that SoftPOS for retail and hospitality “showing good progress” which backs up the growing consensus that micromerchants will not be the primary target for this new technology. Significant partnerships were announced with Global Blue (hospitality and retail) and Zuora (subscriptions).
Like its competitors, Nexi is expanding its footprint through acquisitions and seeking synergies through platform consolidation. Three acquisitions are expected to close in the second half of the year totalling an additional €22bn volume:
- Italy – BPER and BdS merchants which brings €13b payment volume, 110K merchants and 150K POS.
- Croatia – Intesa San Paolo merchant book bringing €5bn volume from 13,000 merchants
- Greece – Alpha Bank’s merchant services division with €9bn volume from 150,000 POS.
Like every other processor, Nexi is increasingly focused on ISVs as a distribution channel and showcased a new partnership with Microsoft in which it becomes preferred European digital payment partner of the American software giant. This looks like a quid pro quo for Nexi selecting Microsoft Azure to accelerate its platform consolidation. In other ISV news, Nexi has taken full control of Orderbird, a Berlin-based restaurant ISV in which it inherited a minority stake from Concardis in a deal estimated at c.$140m.