According to the deal, Interswitch will acquire a majority shareholding in Paynet Group that will see Paynet’s existing shareholders become shareholders of the Interswitch Group.
The deal will create an unrivalled payment infrastructure across East and West Africa, uniting financial institutions on a single network, integrating transaction solutions seamlessly into businesses, and creating a secure and convenient way to make cross-border transactions.
The new combined network will connect over 100 financial institutions in West and East Africa enabling both companies to take advantage of fast-growing East-West Africa trade.
Interswitch Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mitchell Elegbe say the partnership will significantly expand their footprint in East Africa and uniquely positions Interswitch in the market.
“To build a successful payments business, customers are looking for trust, scale, efficiency and a proven track record of execution. The new business will provide comprehensive solutions for regional and international businesses looking to take advantage of growth opportunities in Africa,” Elegbe said.
Elegbe said that Bernard Matthewman will remain as Chief Executive of the Paynet business as the company intends to leverage the strength of Paynet’s existing management team.
“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,” she stated.
On his part, Matthewman 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.
“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,” he said.
The deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, comes at a time when governments and private institutions across Africa are looking to cashless solutions and financial inclusion to accelerate economic growth and drive business efficiency.