EML Payments Buys Open Banking Firm Sentenial in Multi-Million Dollar Deal

open banking

Australian global payments platform EML Payments received the go-ahead from French and U.K. financial regulators Thursday (Sept. 30) to purchase open banking company Sentenial Group  for an upfront enterprise value of 70 million euros (A$108.6 million), in addition to an earn-out component of up to 40 million euros (A$62.1 million), the company announced in a press release. The acquisition includes Sentenial subsidiary Nuapay, a payments-as-a-service platform, and marks EML Payments’ launch into open banking, according to the announcement.

Starting in Europe and the United Kingdom, Sentenial’s open banking and account-to-account offerings will complement EML’s digital payment products, according to the announcement.

“Strategically, this is an important acquisition for us, continuing our transition over the last 10 years from a gift card company, to a General Purpose Reloadable company, and now extending that again to include digital payments, open banking and account-2-account payments, giving us a unique set of capabilities in the European market,” said Tom Cregan, EML managing director and group CEO.

The open banking concept is growing in popularity, with more consumers opting for greater financial transparency for account holders. With open banking, APIs are used that enable third-party developers to build applications and services around the financial institution. According to Statista, the number of open banking users worldwide is expected to increase at an average yearly rate of nearly 50 percent between 2020 and 2024, with the European market being the largest. In 2020, Europe had about 12.2 million open banking users. The number of users is expected to reach 63.8 million by 2024.

Yet, even with projected increases in open banking users, data security concerns keep 47 percent of U.S. consumers from switching to digital-only banks, according to a recent PYMNTS survey of 2,225 consumers in the U.S.

Related: Report: Data Security Concerns Keep Nearly Half of US Consumers From Switching to Digital Only Banks