Grupo Bimbo, Blue Label Telecoms and Visa, Join Forces to Expand Electronic Payments in Mexico
Foster City and Mexico City, October 30, 2013 – Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) today announced it has signed an agreement with Blue Label Mexico, a joint venture between Grupo Bimbo S.A.B de C.V. ("Grupo Bimbo") (BMV: BIMBO), one of the largest baking companies in the world, and Blue Label Telecoms Limited ("Blue Label") (JSE:BLU), a leading provider of prepaid airtime. Through this agreement, more retail locations across Mexico will be able to accept debit and credit card payments.
There are more than 700,000 small merchants across Mexico carrying Grupo Bimbo merchandise, which requires a large distribution network for the daily delivery of baked goods. This network, combined with the trust in the Bimbo brand, provides Grupo Bimbo, Visa and Blue Label with a unique opportunity to expand the acceptance of electronic payments to small merchants in Mexico, enabling these "mom and pop" retailers to become more competitive by offering the latest payment processing technology.
From September 2013, a specially trained team focused on merchant activation has begun rolling out the installation of mobile payment terminals at merchants across Mexico. The new terminals allow small retailers to accept Visa and non-Visa card payments while also offering airtime top-up and bill payment services.
"Grupo Bimbo has long recognized that small merchants are not only the social center for many communities in Mexico, but also a key driver of Mexico's economic growth", said Hortensia Contreras, Grupo Bimbo's Vice President of Strategic Services and Blue Label Mexico CEO. "Grupo Bimbo is proud to provide our merchant partners with the latest payment technologies, ensuring they can continue to offer consumers everyday conveniences, from selling fresh groceries to accepting payment cards, prepaid products and services such as wireless airtime top-up."
Visa has worked with Planet Payment (Nasdaq:PLPM) (LSE:AIM: PPT), a provider of international payment processing services, to build a processing platform that enables merchants in Mexico to accept, process and reconcile card payments.
"Our work with Grupo Bimbo and Blue Label is a great example of how Visa can partner with merchants to eliminate the inefficiencies of cash while bringing the convenience of electronic payments to more consumers," said Elizabeth Buse, Global Executive, Solutions, Visa Inc. "In addition, increased use of payment cards can provide an important boost to the Mexican economy as shown in a recent study published by Moody's Analytics earlier this year."
Approximately 640,000 retail locations in Mexico currently accept payment cards, according to the Central Bank of Mexico. This joint effort is expected to increase significantly the number of mobile payment terminals and acceptance of electronic payments in small retail locations across Mexico, bringing their customers the convenience of an additional method of payment for goods and services.
Grupo Bimbo is one of the largest baking companies in the world in terms of production and sales volume. As the market leader in the Americas, Grupo Bimbo has 148 plants and more than 1,600 distribution centers strategically located in 19 countries throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Its main product lines include sliced bread, buns, cookies, snack cakes, English muffins, bagels, pre-packaged foods, tortillas, salted snacks and confectionery products, among others. Grupo Bimbo produces over 10,000 products and has one of the most extensive direct distribution networks in the world, with more than 52,000 routes and more than 126,000 employees. Grupo Bimbo's shares have traded on the Mexican Stock Exchange since 1980 under the ticker symbol BIMBO. For more information visit www.grupobimbo.com, www.facebook.com/GrupoBimbo and Twitter: @Grupo_Bimbo or contact Azul Alejandra Argüelles Rojas, Investment Relations.
About Blue Label
Blue Label's core business is the virtual distribution of secure electronic tokens of value, predominantly prepaid airtime and electricity, and transactional services across its global footprint of touch points. The Group's stated strategy is to extend its global footprint of touch points, both organically and acquisitively, to fulfil the significant demand for the delivery of multiple prepaid products and services through a single distributor, across various delivery mechanisms and via numerous merchants and vendors. For more information visit: www.bluelabeltelecoms.co.za.
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 30,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit corporate.visa.com.
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