Dublin fintech CR2 acquired by Moroccan payments firm HPS

27 May 2024

CEO Fintan Byrne. Image: CR2

Led by CEO Fintan Byrne, CR2 generated revenues of nearly €24m in the 12 months leading up to June 2023.

Irish fintech firm CR2 has been acquired by Morocco-based payments software company Hightech Payment Systems (HPS).

HPS said the acquisition will enhance its digital banking and payments capabilities and accelerate its growth within the space globally.

Based in Dublin and led by CEO Fintan Byrne, CR2 has been around for more than two decades, initially focusing on the self-service banking market within the international operations of big banks such as Standard Chartered, Absa and Standard Bank.

Today, its proprietary BankWorld software platform powers more than 90 banks across more than 50 countries, providing them with digital banking, digital wallet and payment functionalities. Outside Ireland, CR2 has offices in Dubai, Jordan, India and Australia.

Byrne, who took over as CEO in 2017, said that the acquisition by HPS is a “recognition of what the team in CR2 have created and the opportunity within our business for future growth”.

“Importantly, it aligns with our continued international scale ambition. With additional scale comes even more opportunity to invest and innovate,” he said.

“This is an exciting time to be in the digital banking and payments technology sector. Together, we look forward to continuously delivering for customers and all stakeholders with confidence.”

For HPS, the acquisition is an opportunity to gain from “new potential revenue opportunities” in complementary markets already served by CR2, which generated revenues of nearly €24m in the 12 months leading up to June 2023.

Abdeslam Alaoui Smaili, CEO and co-founder of HPS, said that the acquisition marks a “significant milestone” in the Casablanca-listed company’s growth.

“CR2 has a differentiated and exciting capability set, which is a strong fit for HPS and adds significant depth and breadth to our platform. Both companies share a common passion for excellence in digital payments and for providing high-value solutions to customers,” Smaili said.

“With similar cultures valuing customer focus and high performance, we believe that HPS will be an excellent home for CR2 to thrive and deliver long-term growth.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic