Acquires 46% stake with a clear intent to expand its market presence in Africa
FSS (Financial Software and Systems), a global payments technology company, has announced a strategic investment in Ecentric Payment Systems, a Standard Bank subsidiary and a leading payment processor in South Africa. FSS has acquired a 46% stake in Ecentric through a combination of primary and secondary investments, with a potential to further its stake holding.
FSS is a global leader in delivering integrated payment solutions with a portfolio of 130 customers globally and with two decades of experience in the payment’s domain. The company’s product portfolio spans the complete payments spectrum including Issuance, Acquiring, Smart Reconciliation, Digital Banking, Digital Security, Payment Processing and Switching and Payment Analytics.
Headquartered in South Africa, Ecentric, a Standard Bank subsidiary, is a leading payment switching and retail value added services provider. With a customer portfolio comprising 50+ Tier-1 banks and retailers, Ecentric has a strong presence in domestic and other African markets for its payment acceptance solutions. Ecentric processes transactions for a majority of Tier-1 retailers and, small and specialized retail outlets. The product and service offerings include Card Processing, Value Added Services, Remittances, Issuing, Cash Management and Reconciliation.
FSS’ deep payments technology expertise and knowledge of working in emerging markets across the globe, combined with Ecentric’s established market presence creates a formidable proposition for the African payments market.
The World Bank forecasts Africa would record an average four per cent year-on-year GDP growth, higher than other emerging and developing countries. In the last decade, the continent has leapfrogged legacy banking models to take advantage of advances in digital technology and favourable regulation to improve efficiency, convenience and accessibility of payment systems.
The investment is in line with FSS growth plans to work with like-minded businesses to grow in target markets and to meet its strategy of being an integrated global payment processor and payment technology provider. With the investment, FSS gains immediate access to a ready customer base and can further tap into the fast-growing market for merchant processing and payment solutions in Africa.
The Ecentric investment will also provide FSS an ideal platform to build a Fintech hub focused on the development of payment solutions tailored to the unique requirements of the African region. Ecentric will leverage FSS’ proven payments technology expertise and funnel the investment to fuel its next phase of market growth. As part of the agreement, Ecentric will deploy FSS PoSabIlity, a market-proven integrated POS driving and in-store payment acceptance solution.
Commenting on the announcement, Nagaraj Mylandla, Managing Director, FSS stated, “We are pleased to join Ecentric as an institutional investor in the company. We see the investment as an extraordinary opportunity to achieve a leadership position in the African payments space. The partnership will help us leverage mutual synergies to strengthen our presence in Africa’s largest markets and drive increased growth for FSS payment acquiring and other solutions.”
Speaking on the transaction, Larry McCarthy, Head Strategic Investments and Alliances, Standard Bank Group, said; “The introduction of FSS as a Strategic Equity Partner into Ecentric will further cement Ecentric’s position as a leading provider of value-added payment services to its clients and accelerate its growth into new products, across new markets in Africa as well as furthering commercial ties between Africa and India.”
Speaking on the association, Hassen Sheik, CEO of Ecentric, said; “We are very excited to welcome our strategic partner, FSS, a global payments leader, as a new investor. The financial and strategic backing from FSS, will help Ecentric accelerate product innovation and grow the business in its home market as well as expand to more countries. This backing brings us a step closer to achieving our goal of creating a ubiquitous and universal digital payment acceptance market in the continent.”