SIA celebrates 40 years of innovation in payments

  • The company was born on 27th July 1977
  • SIA developed the Rete Nazionale Interbancaria (RNI – national interbank network) connecting all Italian banks and is now creating the first pan-European platform to manage credit transfers in real time, to be operative from mid-November
  • From contactless payments using HCE technology to the Jiffy service that enables instant money transfers and payments at retail outlets via smartphone, from trading and post-trading platforms for the LSE Group to the high-speed network SIAnet

It was 27th July 1977 when in Milan the Bank of Italy, ABI (Italian Banking Association) and the major Italian banks established SIA – shareholding capital 300 million Italian liras – with the aim of computerizing the domestic payment system also through the creation of the Rete Nazionale Interbancaria (RNI – National Interbank Network).

The company, chaired by Giuliano Asperti and led by CEO Massimo Arrighetti, is about to celebrate its first 40 years of existence. Today, thanks to its internationalization, SIA is leader in 46 countries – mainly European – in the fields of digital payment infrastructures and services for financial institutions, central banks, corporates and public administration bodies.

The Group closed 2016 with revenues of €468.2 million and it is estimated that it will close 2017 at over €550 million also thanks to the acquisition from UBIS of the e-money processing activities of bank group Unicredit.

The SIA Group has over 2,000 staff (230 hired in the last two years) and is made up of 9 companies including subsidiaries in Austria, Hungary and South Africa, branches in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Romania, and representative offices in the UK and Poland.

To celebrate this milestone in its development, SIA is committed to realizing RT1, the first pan-European instant payment platform of EBA Clearing that will be operative as of mid-November and that will manage real-time credit transfers. This is a particularly significant initiative with considerable impacts on the daily management of payments by citizens and, above all, businesses in the Eurozone.

For forty years technological innovation has been at the heart of SIA’s activities in both domestic and international markets, alongside the progressive growth in volumes. In 2016, the company processed in total almost 55 billion transactions relating to cards, payments and financial operations. The number of credit, debit and prepaid cards managed comes to around 75 million. In addition, SIA is technology partner of the London Stock Exchange for the trading (MTS) and post-trading (Monte Titoli) platforms. Currently about 40% of payments and collections in euro are processed through SIA’s top-quality, highly reliable and secure infrastructure with over 4,800 banks connected and a high-performance 160,000 km fiber-optic network.

What is more, 19 central banks (among which the European Central Bank and those of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Palestine and New Zealand) have chosen SIA to develop their payment infrastructures.

SIA also led the way in the field of new digital payment services for consumers and retailers. Following the development of wallets and mobile payments using HCE technology, SIA launched Jiffy, the service to transfer money person-to-person in real time via smartphone. There are over 110 subscribing Italian banks and 4.2 million users, putting the service in first place among P2P digital payments in the Eurozone. Jiffy has also recently made its debut in Italian stores and will soon be available for e-commerce.

SIA is European leader in the design, creation and management of technology infrastructures and services for Financial Institutions, Central Banks, Corporates and Public Administration bodies, in the areas of payments, cards, network services and capital markets. SIA Group provides its services in 46 countries, and also operates through its subsidiaries in Austria, Germany, Romania, Hungary and South Africa. The company also has branches in Belgium and the Netherlands, and representation offices in the UK and Poland.

In 2016, SIA managed 12.2 billion clearing transactions, 4.3 billion card transactions, 2.8 billion payments, 47.4 billion financial transactions and carried 654.3 terabytes of data on the network.

The Group is made up of nine companies: the parent SIA, the Italian companies Emmecom (innovative network applications), P4cards (card processing), Pi4Pay (advanced collection and payment services), TSP (front-end services), and Ubiq (innovative technology solutions for marketing), Perago in South Africa, PforCards in Austria and SIA Central Europe in Hungary.
The Group, which currently has over 2,000 employees, closed 2016 with revenues of €468.2 million. For more information: www.sia.eu