It has been almost a year and a half since Deutsche Bank and Fiserv announced the founding of a joint venture for the German market called FSDB Merchant Services GmbH. This partnership has now officially launched the brand name Vert.
The joint venture, Fiserv 51% and Deutsche Bank 49% is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main and says they have launched a “comprehensive payment acceptance and banking service to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Vert is the only German provider to combine payment acceptance and processing and traditional banking solutions, meeting market demand for an integrated offering and streamlining access to innovative products for merchants of all sizes.
Vert also provides next-banking-day pay-outs, providing merchants with faster access to their funds”.
Initially, Vert offers three solutions, suitable for a wide range of businesses, from mobile food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants to retailers and medical offices.
- Clover Flex is a mobile-optimised, full-featured and portable payment device that makes it possible for merchants to accept a broad range of payments and better manage their business. Clover Flex offers a tip function and apps that facilitate business management.
- The Go by Vert app allows a merchant to use their own Android smartphone or tablet as a contactless payment terminal. Merchants can receive contactless payments in seconds – anywhere, anytime. Vert also offers secure PIN entry, the sole such solution in the German market, meaning merchants can accept payments above contactless-only limits.
- The PAX A50 is a portable and robust card reader that enables merchants to accept card payments at the counter and at the table without having to carry around a heavy device.
- As a first step, both sides are sending around 130 employees from different units to the joint company. At the same time, the two partners are providing the unit with a budget that is believed to be in the tens of millions. Definitely a commitment
- Fiserv gets some entrepreneurial leadership with 51% of the shares, although the Deutsche Bank faction is supposed to work the market
- Fiserv contributes technology and product expertise, including the Clover checkout solution and Omnipay processing – that’s complementary.
- Deutsche Bank can offer its brand to merchant customers in a more agile organisational form outside of the (cumbersome) group structures and add other banking products to the payment process. This gives differentiation potential compared to other payment providers
- The JV and its shareholders have the potential to also become active outside of Germany, because both partners have payment activities in the Benelux countries, Deutsche Bank even in Italy and Spain.
- EVO Payments, because that was Deutsche Bank’s strategic partner in this area up to now
- Nexi/Nets and Worldline/Payone, who wanted to divide up the German market among themselves, but are now facing a competitor
- The DZ Bank with its VR Payment, which might also have liked to have merged with Deutsche Bank, in order to leverage synergies, for example in processing, and to avoid new competition from small and medium-sized retailers
The German payment market is still extremely exciting. New partnerships also create new marketing opportunities. However, it is questionable whether a purely German positioning is sufficient. The new FinTech providers will certainly not be distracted from their own plans in Germany by this approach.
“With a unique combination of payment and banking capabilities, Vert is already helping small and mid-sized enterprises in Germany do business more easily, with less complexity,” commented John Gibbons, Head of EMEA at Fiserv.
“We look forward to helping thousands of merchants streamline their operations and continue to delight their customers.”
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