ACI Worldwide, a leading global provider of electronic payment and banking solutions, announced the expansion of its relationship with PKO BP, the largest bank in Poland. ACI will support the bank’s ambitious growth plans in one of Europe’s most innovative and fastest-growing markets.
The new agreement will see PKO utilize ACI’s UP Consumer Payments offerings over the next seven years. One key element is PKO’s migration from its current BASE24 system to ACI’s next-generation UP BASE24-eps payments platform, which will support the bank’s extensive network of more than 3,000 ATMs. UP BASE24-eps supports the acquiring, authorizing, routing and switching of consumer transactions, including card and non-card payment types such as mobile and email addresses. UP BASE24-eps leverages ACI’s Universal Payments (UP) framework, a set of technologies that orchestrates all aspects of payment processing for any payment type, any channel, any currency and any network.
PKO has been an ACI customer for almost 20 years, with ACI’s UP solutions behind the successful roll-out of PKO’s IKO payments initiative. IKO is a mobile app that allows PKO and Inteligo (its Internet brand) customers and non-customers to make mobile payments across a wide network of stores – both traditional and internet-based – and transfer funds to beneficiaries identified by their telephone numbers. Additionally, it allows users to withdraw money from ATMs via their mobile phones. Thousands of retailers and restaurants across Poland have already joined the scheme, which is globally regarded as a market-leading payments innovation.
In 2013, six Polish banks decided to build a common mobile payment standard based on the IKO technology. The new payment system, which is called BLIK, will be launched this year and will connect the different banks via a common payments platform, while allowing them to develop their own application software. The project is unique in terms of its scale, considering the market share of the participating financial institutions, and in terms of the many offerings it will deliver to users.
The agreement between ACI and PKO BP also includes an upgrade to ACI Issuer to support the bank’s card issuing business, a new license for the ACI Payment Testing tool (ASSET), and a Premium Customer Support arrangement.*
“This is an exciting time for the payments industry in Poland, which is quickly emerging as one of the largest, fastest growing and most innovative markets in Europe. As with many well established banks, the challenge for Bank PKO BP is to grow while also maintaining a reputation for reliability,” said Sylvie Boucheron-Saunier, vice president and general manager, Continental Europe, ACI Worldwide. “We are delighted that Bank PKO BP has strengthened its longstanding partnership with ACI, bringing the best payments capabilities to its customers.”
PKO BP currently operates nearly 1,200 branches in Poland and manages accounts for more than eight million customers, including a large corporate customer base. In 2014, PKO BP took over the Polish branch of Nordea, the largest financial group in Scandinavia. ACI is also expected to assist with the integration of Nordea’s and PKO BP’s systems.