Banco Santander announced on Friday it has acquired the majority stake in Mercury TFS, a Spain-based company that specializes in software solutions that automate the end-to-end management of trade finance transactions for corporate customers, for €30 million.
Mercury’s software will enable Santander customers to manage their entire trade finance activity online or via mobile phone with the aim of reducing response times and improving the service quality.
Mercury currently employs 130 people in Spain, Mexico, Chile, and Colombia.
One-third of Santander’s investment will be earmarked to subscribe for new shares, which will inject funds into the company to enable new services and boost growth in customer numbers and markets.
Mercury TFS’ chief executive officer and head of technology will continue to head up the company.
While Santander has used Mercury TFS’s services in Spain, Mexico, Chile and Germany for years, the bank’s UK and Portugal businesses will use the platform for the first time at year-end through Global Trade Services (GTS), Santander’s global trade platform.
The head of Santander’s global payments services, Javier San Félix, comments: “The investment accelerates our plans to build a service platform for SMEs and international companies to better serve our customers worldwide.”
“We are also helping to globalize Mercury TFS, a software company with huge potential and a team with enormous talent, by reinforcing their technical and commercial teams and complementing their already broad product range.”
In November Santander also bought a 50.1% stake in Ebury, a provider of corporate banking services to SMEs that trade internationally.
Santander currently serves more than four million SME clients worldwide, of which more than 200,000 do international business.