BNP’s Nickel payments subsidiary preparing to enter local market

  • Lusa
  • 7 January 2021

Nickel payments service, a BNP's subsidiary, is preparing to enter the Portuguese market in the first quarter of 2022.

The Nickel payments service, part of the BNP Paribas group, will this year prepare its entry into the Portuguese market, probably in the first quarter of 2022, its chief executive officer, Thomas Courtois, has told Lusa.

“The commercial launch will take place in the first quarter of 2022,” said Courtois, CEO of France’s Nickel, in a telephone interview with Lusa in which he explained the pre-launch process.

The first step, he said, is “to obtain the operating licence, which we have already started and we have started the process to do so, to transport our licence to Portugal.”

Nickel is also already looking for a retail partner, as it works with physical points of sale, and is already in “close contact” with some Portuguese operators, Courtois said, though he declined to give names when asked.

“We are looking for very large networks, with a lot of traffic in the shops, managed by independent people who are willing to diversify and provide new services,” he said.

Courtois noted that in France the company works with tobacconists, as it does in Spain, where it also works with ticket sellers for the national lottery.

“We will also be a local team, because in Portugal we will be a Portuguese company, and we will distribute a Portuguese bank account,” he said. “Finally, we will need to adapt our technological platform to local specificities, starting with the language, but also specificities that they may have in terms of payment systems.”

That is a reference, in part, to Portugal’s home-grown Multibanco system of automated teller and POS machines, which continues to dominate the offline national market.

According to a Nickel press release, the company’s goal is to have 450,000 customers in Portugal in five years.

It already has 1.9 million customers in France and Spain and plans to enter the Belgian market at the same