UK-based Change Group International Plc (ChangeGroup) has become the world’s fourth largest retail foreign exchange business after its acquisition of the retail arm of Swedish finance group, SVEA Ekonomi. This is ChangeGroup’s 18th acquisition and increases its reach to 118 branches in 10 countries.
The latest acquisition of 16 branches and 100 staff from SVEA Ekonomi comes at a time when Swedish banks are moving to becoming cashless. This is creating a growing demand for cash services offered by ChangeGroup, which include currency exchange, money transfer, tax refund, ATM services and bill payments for local people, businesses and inbound tourists.
According to Mastercard, 80% of all consumer transactions worldwide are in cash* and the number of Euros in circulation has increased from €220m at launch to €1.2trillion. Even in Sweden, which is currently the most cashless society in the world and aiming to be cashless by 2025, demand for cash year on year has actually increased by 7.23% in 2018 with this trend continuing in 2019*.
Sacha Zackariya, CEO at ChangeGroup, said, “This acquisition strengthens our position in the Swedish market, and comes at a time when cash services being offered by the banks are decreasing, yet the requirement is still very apparent. This is part of our continued strategy to expand across new regions, airports and city centres with our currency exchange, money transfer, tax refund, ATM and other cash services to support the continued and growing demand for cash. Our Travel Money Online offering in Sweden launches this week. This gives customers the opportunity to pre order and pre pay for all their foreign currency needs and either have them delivered to their local post office or pick up at one of our 24 branches across Sweden. To take advantage of this service please visit us at www.changegroup.se”
SVEA Ekonomi, the successful finance group , will remain focussed on its finance solutions for small and medium sized enterprises, as well as on its on- and offline payment services.
Anders Lidefelt, SVEA Ekonomi’s Deputy CEO said, “We are pleased to have agreed this transaction with ChangeGroup, which has an excellent track record in this industry. This strategic sale allows us to focus and strengthen our core proposition and digital offerings.”