In Fintech's Race for Customers, Adyen Lands Gap's EU Business

(Bloomberg) -- Around the world, digital payments processors are racing to sign up as many big customers as possible. And one of the largest, Adyen NV, is having a good week.

On Wednesday, the Dutch payment processor announced that it was adding the European businesses of Gap Inc. to the roster of companies using its platform. On Tuesday, Tiffany & Co. joined the list of named customers on its website. That news follows the announcement earlier this year that EBay Inc. planned to ditch PayPal Holdings Inc. and switch to Adyen.

The company is already starting to roll out its payments technology, which helps process transactions both in-store and online, across more than 150 stores in Europe for Gap Inc.’s brands Gap and Banana Republic. The addition is significant: Last quarter, the European segments of Gap and Banana Republic had about $150 million in sales, according to Gap’s most recent earnings report.

While it’s not the cheapest payments provider on the market, Adyen’s Chief Operating Officer Sam Halse says that retailers value the company’s global scale and analytical abilities. The company also provides merchants with tools to scan payment data so they can better target shoppers.

“The one thing that is most important is the ongoing innovation on our platform,” Halse said. “While we’re also out there hunting for customers,” he says, “we’re getting a lot of in-bounds given where our brand is now.”

Adyen isn’t the only one in the industry signing up large partners, however. San Francisco-based Stripe Inc. recently closed a funding round that more than doubled the company’s valuation, to $20 billion. At the same time, the list of customers on its website was updated to add major companies including Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Uber Technologies Inc. (Companies often use more than one payment processor for a variety of reasons, which is why both Stripe and Adyen list Uber as a partner.)

While Stripe has wowed private investors, Adyen has emerged as a fintech darling in the public markets since its June IPO. Adyen’s shares rose from 240 euros at the time of the IPO, to as much as 758.90 euros in mid-September. The firm issued its first earnings report in August, when it said it processed 70 billion euros in payments in the first half of the year, an increase of 43 percent from the year before. It also reported a 67 percent rise in net revenue for the period, to 156.4 million euros.

In addition to Gap and Tiffany, the Dutch company recently signed deals with Valve Corp. and donut maker Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. and more announcements are due before the end of the year, Halse said.

Large companies are increasingly seeking out technology-driven payments providers that can consolidate their current systems. Right now, many retailers are working with a patchwork of different payments partners in different countries. Adyen’s technology allows them to instead link up with customers anywhere from Germany, where shoppers prefer direct debit over credit cards, to Brazil, where most retail sales are paid in installments. That ability is especially useful in Europe, where the landscape is generally more complex for merchants than in the U.S. due to the variety of currencies and payment methods accepted across the 28-nation bloc.

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