Ecentric Payment Systems, a payments company in South Africa, announced that Financial Software and Systems (FSS), a global digital payment and financial technology company, has made a strategic investment in the company to accelerate growth momentum into Africa.
FSS has acquired a 46 per cent stake in Ecentric through a combination of primary and secondary investment, with the potential to further its stake-holding.
Ecentric, a Standard Bank subsidiary, is a payments services provider. With a customer portfolio comprising 50+ tier one banks and retailers, it has a strong presence in domestic and other African markets for its acceptance solutions. Ecentric processes transactions for the majority of Tier1 retailers as well as smaller but specialised retail outlets. The product and service offering includes Switching, E-commerce, Remittances, Issuing, Cash Management and Reconciliation. Ecentric also develops and runs a managed service offering covering the entire Payments and Collections lifecycle.
Headquartered in India, servicing over 130 customers globally and with two decades of experience in the payments domain, FSS delivers integrated payment solutions. Its service portfolio spans the complete payments spectrum including Issuance, Acquiring, Smart Reconciliation, Digital Banking, Digital Security, Payment Processing and Switching and Payment Analytics.
Ecentric’s established market presence combined with FSS’ deep technology expertise and knowledge of working in emerging markets across the globe, creates a formidable partnership to strengthen and ramp up payments in Africa.
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.
Ecentric’s vision is to be the largest payment processor operating in Africa and this transaction will enable it to leverage FSS’ proven technology expertise and funnel the investment proceeds to fuel its next phase of market growth and product development.
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 would 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.
Commenting on the development, Hassen Sheik (Ecentric CEO) 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 to 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.”
Speaking on the association, Nagaraj Mylandla (FSS Founder and CEO) said, “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 payments space in the continent. The partnership will help us leverage mutual synergies to strengthen our presence in Africa’s largest markets to drive increased growth for FSS acquiring and other payments solutions.”
Speaking on the transaction, Larry McCarthy (Head Strategic Investments and Alliances, Standard Bank Group) said: “The introduction of FSS India 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.”