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Payments Firms Netspend and Rêv Combine to Form Ouro

Payments firms Rêv and Netspend have combined their operations to form a new company named Ouro.

The new group will maintain Netspend as a flagship brand and prepaid card provider, while also continuing to expand use of Rêv’s X World Wallet, the company said in a Wednesday (Nov. 1) news release.

“With the successful integration and alignment of our people, platforms and purpose, we are primed to help more consumers worldwide access innovative financial solutions that provide exceptional value, control, flexibility and security,” said Ouro Co-founder, Chairman and CEO Roy Sosa

“The decision to rebrand as Ouro signifies the transformation we’ve undergone the past six months and reignites our shared commitment to our legacy of customer and partner-centric innovation and reminds us of the infinite possibilities that come with pursuing it,” he added. 

According to the release, the name Ouro is inspired by the Greek word “ouroboros,” an ancient symbol of circle with a dragon eating its own tail, designed to evoke — among other things — reinvention, renewal and “the unity of beginnings and endings.”

The company said the name is a nod to the “cyclical nature” of its transformation, as founders Roy and Bertrand Sosa launched both Rêv and Netspend. 

The Sosa brothers founded Netspend in 1999 from their apartment, building it into a business that they sold for $1.3 billion in 2013. They launched Rêv in 2009 and announced plans to repurchase Netspend in 2022. The acquisition was finalized in May of this year.

PYMNTS looked at the first of prepaid cards in a July interview with Chris Winter, managing director and head of APAC at Discover® Global Network, and Suresh Rajagopalan, CEO at digital payments firm Wibmo about the changes — and opportunities — an increasingly online economy is bringing to the payments sector.

“Over the last couple of years, what we’ve seen is an acceleration of the digitization of payments … and that digitalization has reinvigorated the [prepaid card] opportunity,” Winter told PYMNTS.

He added that this transformation has been driven by the expansion of eCommerce, contactless payments and the increased use of digital wallets, making prepaid products more viable, secure and cost-effective than before.

These developments have positioned prepaid virtual cards at the forefront of the payment industry in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region in particular, which Rajagopalan said is due to three factors: speed of issuance and use; frictionless interoperability; and the end-to-end security of prepaid payment options. 

“And this is a global trend, not just APAC,” Rajagopalan said. “Everything is being virtualized and driven by digital.”