In a rare acquisition of a US tech company by an African tech company, MFS Africa, Africa’s largest digital payments network, on Tuesday announced that it has reached an agreement to buy Global Technology Partners (GTP).
Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, GTP is the number one processor for prepaid cards in Africa, with over 80 banks – including UBA, Ecobank, BIA, Stanbic, Coris, NSIA and Zenith Bank – using its platform. GTP’s client base covers 34 countries and is fully connected to the Visa, Mastercard, GIM, GIMAC and Verve networks for which it provides the processing.
This acquisition enables MFS Africa to further deepen its offering to Africa’s gig economy, the business travel market and the millions who eagerly want to participate in the global digital commerce through card credentials linked to mobile money wallets – rather than bank accounts – for seamless and secure online purchases. It also expands MFS Africa’s bank and fintech base and provides tokenisation for the mobile money world in connection with the traditional card scheme ecosystems such as Visa and Mastercard.
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Founder and CEO of MFS Africa, Dare Okoudjou, said: “This is a momentous milestone for us and Africa’s tech ecosystem – on many levels. It’s something of a first for an African tech company to acquire a US tech company of GTP’s size and stature, and we’re delighted to be welcoming the GTP team to the MFS Africa family. Their expertise enables us to extend our value proposition of last-mile connectivity to African banks and to accelerate our offering of card connectivity to mobile money users and other fintech companies operating across the continent. The combined operations have immense and exciting growth potential, and with our extended portfolio, we are now truly an omnichannel payments company.”
Robert Merrick, founder and chairman of Global Technology Partners, commented: “GTP’s established position as Africa’s number one prepaid card processor has been built on its unique, flexible platform that actively helps prepaid cards to succeed. We have become the leader of prepaid cards in Africa because of our people, who have genuine in-depth knowledge not only of the prepaid card business but also of the realities that African card users face. We connect the right solution to the right markets with the right products. MFS Africa is an ideal home for GTP, and we are focused on adding new features and functionalities to our platform, signing up new clients, expanding into new countries, driving growth and making a significant contribution to growing MFS Africa’s business and its network of networks.”
Following GTP’s acquisition, MFS Africa plans to further invest in GTP’s current card programmes with banks and bring to these all the innovation and possibilities offered by the MFS Africa HUB – including seamless interoperability with Mobile Money.
The company will also leverage GTP’s stack to fast-track card programmes for MNOs and FinTechs across Africa. Lastly, MFS Africa intends to leverage GTP’s presence in the USA to expand its commercial activities in North America.