Nigeria’s Interswitch Transnational, a pan-African integrated payments firm has acquired Kenya’s Paynet Group, East Africa’s leading multi-institutional payments provider in a move expected at widen to connect over 100 financial institutions.
The deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, will make Paynet’s existing shareholders, shareholders of Interswitch and Paynet’s CEO Bernard Matthewman will remain as CEO of the Paynet business.
According to Mitchell Elegbe, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Interswitch, “This partnership will significantly expand our footprint in East Africa and uniquely positions Interswitch in the market. The new business will provide comprehensive solutions for regional and international businesses looking to take advantage of growth opportunities in Africa.
“Paynet have done a great job at building an innovative and trusted payments company in East Africa and we are confident that between us we can drive growth by continuing to provide payment solutions that are highly tailored to the African market. Bernard Matthewman will remain as Chief Executive of the Paynet business and we intend to leverage the strength of Paynet’s existing management team. ”
The firms say the transaction will create an unrivalled payment infrastructure across East and West Africa, connecting connect over 100 financial institutions. The combined entity will have a presence in 9 African countries and support Interswitch’s strategic objective of becoming a truly pan-African electronic transactions business.
The new combined network will connect over 100 financial institutions in West and East Africa.
Bernard Matthewman, CEO of Paynet, said the payments market in East Africa is moving rapidly into an era where specific products are required for sectors like transport, health, government and county payments as well as the move towards secure Internet based payments. This deal will help the firm achieve it’s targets.
“Paynet has been looking for a partner that has both products and experience in these areas so we can rapidly deliver them in the most efficient manner. Interswitch has the most comprehensive range of products of any provider we have seen in an emerging market and this alongside their existing presence in Uganda provides us with additional strength as we continue to grow in East Africa,” said Mathewman.
Paynet was founded in Kenya in 2003 by the current senior management team, since then it has provided services to some 70 financial institutions and over 2,000 companies as well as numerous public sector entities. Its offering comprises three brands, Paynet, PesaPoint and Electronic Financial Technologies (EFT). PesaPoint is found at 1,200 ATM locations, some of which are owned by the company, and over 1,300 agent locations in Kenya.
Interswitch processes transactions from various channels namely: ATMs, Mobile, Point of sale, Online (web) and IVR.