Why JPMorgan (JPM) Is Buying A Stake In Viva Wallet

By Annie Baker ● Jan 25, 2022
  • J.P. Morgan (NYSE: JPM) announced it entered into an agreement with Viva Wallet to buy an ownership stake of about 49% in the company. This is why.

J.P. Morgan (NYSE: JPM) has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Viva Wallet Holdings Software Development S.A. (a leading European cloud-based payments fintech company) and its existing shareholders to buy an ownership stake of approximately 49%, subject to regulatory approvals. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Launched in 2000, Viva Wallet is headquartered in Athens, Greece, and focuses on serving SMBs in 23 countries. And the company built a proprietary cloud-based payments platform that is able to offer a broad array of value-added services to merchants, including tap-to-device technology, merchant cash advance, bill pay, expense management, virtual debit card issuance, cash disbursement, gift cards and loyalty.

J.P. Morgan’s Payments business is focused on growing their omnichannel merchant acquiring capabilities offered to European SMBs. And the strategic investment in Viva Wallet is a natural fit for J.P. Morgan’s Payments business – which combines corporate treasury services, trade finance, card and merchant services capabilities – for delivering an integrated payments experience to clients across the economy. The business also recently unveiled its brand for SMB payments, Chase Payment Solutions, in the US and the strategic investment in Viva Wallet will set the stage to develop future international products and services across European SMBs.

The strategic investment in Viva Wallet is further evidence of J.P. Morgan’s Payments business’ commitment for better serving global and European clients and comes on the heels of the firm’s recent announcement to enter into a strategic partnership with Volkswagen Financial Services AG with plans to acquire a controlling interest of close to 75% in the car manufacturer’s payments platform, subject to regulatory approvals.

KEY QUOTES:

“We are very excited to make a strategic investment in Viva Wallet to support their vision to empower new growth and payments innovation targeted at European small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and middle market merchant services clients. The European payments landscape is fragmented yet large in terms of opportunity, with more than 17 million merchants1 ready to implement scalable payments solutions and this is a big focus area for added growth for J.P. Morgan Payments in the future.”

— Takis Georgakopoulos, Global Head of J.P. Morgan Payments

“Viva Wallet’s mission is to change the way businesses pay and get paid in Europe with cutting edge technology, unprecedented agility and in-depth knowledge of the European payments landscape. This strategic investment from J.P. Morgan’s Payments business will enable us to complete the build out of our vision to deliver fully localized payments and transactions services to SMBs across Europe.”

— Haris Karonis, CEO & co-founder, Viva Wallet

“J.P. Morgan’s strategic investment in Viva Wallet signifies our confidence in their technology and team who already offer a holistic omnichannel merchant acquiring capability across Europe and better serve SMBs.” 

— Max Neukirchen, Global Head of Payments & Commerce Solutions, J.P. Morgan