Mastercard buys into ‘potential Polish unicorn’

Transaction giant Mastercard buys one seventh of the shares of Blik, the payment system founded by six Polish banks, which was described by one of their chairmen as being “a potential Polish unicorn” (a company worth more than a trillion dollars), a Polish daily reports.

Blik , which is the brainchild of Polski Standard Płatności (PSP - Polish Payment Standard), founded by six Polish banks, has a 45 percent share of internet sales transactions - more popular than payment cards. Two thirds of its business is from enabling internet payments. Last year the total value of transactions using the service topped EUR 2.5 bn, nearly tripling the number from 2017.

The deal, which was reported by Rzeczpospolita daily, will allow the company to access foreign markets, due to the global reach of Mastercard, after which Blik users will be able to make transactions abroad both in shops and on foreign internet sites.

A further announcement is expected of a deal to sell the technology license for the use of Blik technology abroad. The entry of the global strategic investor will make such a licence more attractive.

The banks which currently have six-way ownership of Blik are PKO BP, Santander Bank Polska, mBank, ING Bank Śląski, Millennium and Alior. Rzeczpospolita reports that Mastercard, which is already a trading partner of Blik, will likely invest around EUR 16.5 mln to become the seventh shareholder.