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Bloomberg   KEYW BB
Cartes à puce -sécurité  /  Belgique  Web Site   |   Investors Relation
The soft bet is paying off
Activités et tendances

Keyware, created in 1996 and listed since 2000, is an independent Network Service Provider operating almost entirely in Belgium. The company provides electronic payment solutions and associated transaction management. The group currently operates in three divisions: the terminal rentals/sales division, the authorisations/transactions division and the software division, and it is on the latter that Keyware has decided to refocus its strategy. In 2017, the company started its transformation from a hardware provider to a software developer, as the terminal payment division was declining. This transformation began with the acquisitions of Magellan and EasyOrder, both involved in growing markets.

The non-cash payment market

Keyware can be considered as the tip of an iceberg, as one of its activities is to provide the entry point (namely the payment terminal) to a complex chain of players in the ecosystem of the electronic transaction industry (a detailed explanation of the processing of an electronic transaction is provided in the Worth Knowing section). The dynamism of this industry is a deep-rooted trend in the European Union and particularly in Belgium (but with the notable exception of Germany, which still favours cash transactions). Certain factors are driving up the number of electronic transactions.

According to the 2020 ECB Payment Statistics report, over 2016-120, the number of non-cash transactions (including credit transfers, direct debits, card payments, cheques, e-money and other payment services) in the EU grew at a CAGR of 6.6% and the number of transactions reached 102bn in 2020. Of these non-cash transactions and over the same period, the share of card payments increased in the EU by more than 6% to reach a growth of 50%. Belgians rank no. 10 in the EU in terms of card transactions per capita.

As mentioned above, the increase in the number of card transactions is likely to be fuelled by several drivers, amongst which are:

  • the rise of new types of payment solutions, such as smartphones and NFC (through electronic wallets like Apple Pay) or electronic meal vouchers,
  • the dynamism of e-commerce (+15% in Europe in 2020), and
  • the increasing restrictions on the use of cash in transactions as a way of fighting the shadow economy (a max of €1,000 in France since 2015, and €3,000 in Belgium since 2014).

The POS terminals market

Point Of Sales (POS) terminals are the interface required to process electronic transactions: debit and credit cards, vouchers, coupons, smartphones…

The global market is expected to be worth $181.2bn by 2030 (according to Grand View Research) and the worldwide CAGR for 2020-30 is expected to be 8.5%. Some drivers allow a continuity of the activity with the renewal of the device at the end of a terminal’s life, such as:

  • the obsolescence of the terminal regarding security standards (called PCI-DSS), which are regularly upgraded,
  • the rise of new technologies which leads to the upgrade, to accept new payment methods (NFC, vouchers…) or to integrate new functionalities (automated reporting, friendly interface, business apps…), and
  • the introduction of new devices, such as the mPOS, which brings more versatility by being able to function away from the merchant’s traditional counter-top.

However, the European market is currently facing saturation. Customers’ changing requirements, leading to e-commerce and m-commerce globalisation, have increased the number of online shoppers. Vendors are concentrating on replacing their physical stores with e-commerce channels. This rising penetration of the internet and payment solutions, and online and mobile payments, has lowered the number of POS terminals in circulation.

The key important point is to understand that, while the number of terminals is decreasing, the number of transactions on these terminals continues growing.

Food delivery market

The new strategy followed by Keyware is betting on the food delivery market, through the EasyOrder app, acquired in 2016. The market for food delivery is currently very dynamic, and steadily growing and innovating. The process is very basic: customers can order food on the app and have it delivered to their doorstep or they can collect from the shop within a specific timeframe.

In FY21, revenue in the food delivery market reached $126.9bn (+10.3% yoy) with the number of customers rising even more significantly. The CAGR over 2018-22 in revenue is expected to be 11.1%, as demand is exploding and as this is expected to continue.

Lines of business

In 2017, the group implemented a fintech strategy in which it would grow from a pure service company to a software developer. The terminal division, currently in a mature stage, will decline in favour of the growing software division. The authorisations and transactions division, which is still profitable, will remain a key division in the following years.

Payment terminals

The devices are sourced from the main suppliers of the market (mainly Ingenico and Worldline, and to a lesser extent Verifone) and then rented or sold to the company’s customers.
The most common contract has a duration of 60 months, with a rental for each quarter which covers the operating and maintenance costs, while an installation fee is also charged at the start of the year. A customer can choose to upgrade to a newer terminal during the contract and, in this case, another 60 months contract is automatically signed in replacement of the previous one. At the end of the 60 months, either the contract is automatically renewed (as the life cycle of a terminal can reach 7-8 years), or the customer can choose to sign another 60 months contract with a new device. If the customer chooses to terminate the contract before the end of the contract, a penalty is applied (€750).

Keyware also proposes a customisation service, with the development of custom software addressing the potential special needs of customers. This customisation provides an added value for the company, as it allows it to reach some customers who demand specific features in their terms of reference.

This division is becoming less and less profitable as the number of payment terminals is currently decreasing. However, the number of transactions on these terminals are still increasing, with the democratisation of card utilisation (contactless, meal vouchers…) and the increasing number of small amounts paid by card.

Payment authorisations

A terminal alone is merely a brick full of useless electronic components if they were unable to process the payment scheme and connect to the financial institutions, which will, in fine, move the funds between the shopper and the merchant’s accounts.
Keyware thus provides such services (for credit cards/debit cards and vouchers), sending the transaction details to the acquirer through the appropriate payment network, for authorisation and then settlement. The position of Independent Network Service Provider allows the company to propose the services of several partners, among which are: Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, V-Pay, Bancontact, JCB, Amex, Ingenico, Worldline, SixPay, PaySquare, EMS… giving its customers the greatest flexibility according to their needs.

For each transaction, the whole payment chain is remunerated through fees packaged into a so-called Merchant Service Charge, corresponding to a fraction of the transaction value, which varies depending on the use of the Keyware’s platform or a partner’s.


The software division is currently becoming Keyware’s main division, developing principally in France and in its overseas departments and territories. In 2017, the group decided to diversify its activities and implement a fintech strategy. This conversion has been pushed by the acquisitions of the French company Magellan and the Belgian company EasyOrder, two companies at early stages of their product life-cycles which are rapidly developing in the market.
Through Magellan, Keyware is able to propose numerous SAAS (Software As A Service) components:

  • Set2U: payment transaction software for banks and financial institutions.
    Payment data is processed so that it is impossible to reconstruct the card data, even using the most advanced techniques.
  • S-Token: a process of replacing bank data (card number…) with disposable data called “tokens”,
  • Split: instalment payment solutions. This represents the most significant potential in the next few years.

EasyOrder offers a universal ordering and payment app, allowing customers to pay and order quickly and easily. It provides businesses with their own apps and webshops with their own logos and branding.

Potentiel 114 %
Cours (€) 1,02
Capi (M€) 24,0
Chiffre d'affaires par division
Chgt 22E/21 Chgt 23E/22E
  Secteur 12/21A 12/22E 12/23E 12/24E k€ % du total k€ % du total
Chiffre d’affaires 17 689 19 539 21 662 22 660 1 850 100 % 2 123 100 %
Terminals Cartes à puce -séc... 7 072 6 365 6 047 5 140 -707 -38 % -318 -15 %
Authorisations Cartes à puce -séc... 5 995 7 494 9 367 10 772 1 499 81 % 1 873 88 %
Software Cartes à puce -séc... 4 897 5 681 6 249 6 748 784 42 % 568 27 %
Corporate Cartes à puce -séc...
Other -275 275 15 %
Principales expositions
  Revenus Coûts Fonds propres
Devises "émergentes" 0,0 % 0,0 % 0,0 %
Dollar 0,0 % 0,0 % 0,0 %
Risque climatique à long term 0,0 % 0,0 % 0,0 %
Géographie du chiffre d'affaires
Belgique 86,0 %
France 12,0 %
Other 2,0 %
Changements d’analyse : 18/05/2022, Changements de prévisions : 18/05/2022.