EVO Payments has announced that it is forming a 10-year joint venture with Banco de Crédito e Inversiones (Bci), the third largest private bank in Chile. As a result of the joint venture, EVO will become the first international merchant acquirer to enter the Chilean market by partnering with a national financial institution.

Founded in 1937, Bci supports over 70,000 business customers and more than 325 retail branches throughout the country. The Chilean payments market was established with the creation of a single acquiring and issuing processor known as Transbank. Currently, Transbank provides essentially all acquiring and issuing services for banks in the market. Chilean regulators have recently announced legislation that will open the market for new entrants to create a broader set of products and services for merchants and their customers. As such, the joint venture will commence operations and begin to process for new merchants following closing.

Under the terms of the agreement, EVO will acquire a 50.1% ownership stake in the joint venture. Bci will provide exclusive referrals from its existing customer base and any new bank relationships. The transaction is expected to close after receiving regulatory approval.