Spanish ICT firm Tecnocom has scored a multi-million dollar contract from Credibanco Visa to build a credit card processing facility in Colombia, Tecnocom's Latin American regional director, Luis Zanon, told BNamericas.
The center, which will be up and running by the end of this year, represents one of Tecnocom's most significant near-term projects in Latin America, according to Zanon.
"We have been selected by Visa Credibanco to build a payment processing center in Colombia," he said. "We will process credit cards from financial entities, savings and loans institutions, and retail companies. It's a significant investment... in the millions of euros."
Financial sector sales will continue to represent Tecnocom's bread-and-butter business in Latin America this year, Zanon said.
The Spanish firm provides banks with solutions such as payment platforms, and key sector clients include Brazilian federal savings bank Caixa Economica Federal (CEF), regional units of Spain's Santander (NYSE: STD) and Colombian bank Bancolombia (NYSE: CIB).
Other priority vertical markets include telecommunications and the public sector.
ORGANIC AND INORGANIC GROWTH
Tecnocom is carrying out a two-pronged Latin American expansion based on inorganic and organic growth.
Zanon said the firm is advancing on possible acquisitions and is closing in on three or four Latin American firms. Target companies include players with presence in one or multiple markets, including Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Mexico.
"We are looking for companies that have call centers, BPO, outsourcing, resources and their own products," he said. "We are looking for companies that create synergies with us."
With existing offices in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Peru, the company is also readying new facilities in Argentina, Central America and the British Caribbean.
"We are seeing opportunities there in banking and insurance and also telecommunications and media," Zanon said.
Panama, Costa Rica and El Salvador figure among the Central American countries on Tecnocom's radar, and the company expects new offices in that region by mid-year, with new Argentine facilities following suit in 2H11.
Tecnocom expects Latin American headcount to swell from 1,200 to roughly 4,000 this year as a result of organic and inorganic growth, according to Zanon. Also, the company expects to sign contracts worth US$150mn this year, with regional sales figures spiking to US$450mn-500mn by 2013.
Globally, Tecnocom saw revenues through the first nine months of 2010 slip 7.9% to 256mn euros (US$342mn).