MFS Africa To Acquire US-based Firm Global Technology Partners


June 16, 2022, 11:35 a.m.

MFS Africa, an Africa-based digital payments network firm, has announced that it would acquire Global Technology Partners (GTP), an Oklahoma-based processor of prepaid cards in Africa, which works with over 80 banks in 34 African countries.

The acquisition will allow MFS to expand its ability to offer payment cards that connect to customer mobile money accounts, allowing African users to transact more easily with global merchants, including large international ecommerce brands.

Speaking to African Business about what the transaction means for MFS Africa and the continent's integration into the global ecommerce ecosystem, Filip Nilsson, MFS Africa's Director of Corporate Development, stated:

"MFS makes borders matter less when it comes to payments to and from Africa. We believe that access to financial services is a strong value proposition for people and businesses on the continent - they have payment problems that we want to solve."

"We became the first non-bank institution in Africa to get a principle membership as part of VISA. We have been building our capability to issue and process cards for mobile money users, and we want to connect mobile money users with the card ecosystem. In doing that project over the past year and a half, we started working with GTP as a processor. We didn't have that part in the stack - the actual integration into VISA and managing the balances on the cards. So we started working with GTP commercially and got to know them on those projects."

"We were impressed by them as a team, their technology, and their relationships across the African bank sector, where they are working with all the top bank brands across many markets. Their footprint is close to ours, they're in 34 countries, and we are in around 37, so it's almost a 100% match. It clicked in all the dimensions, and there was a discussion around investing in GTP. That became a takeover, a complete acquisition, and absorption into MFS Africa."

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"We want to continue investing in GTP and their offering to make it a complete card processor. To expand the offering and go deeper into existing bank offerings – connecting the MFS Africa Hub, which is about cross-border interconnectivity, to the backend of GTP's cards, as well as addressing fintech and mobile wallet operators with the debit card proposition. And we want to grow the team closer to the customer base. That's how we plan to invest in GTP over the next year. Last year we acquired BAXI in Nigeria, an agent network, and we're investing quite a bit into that. Looking at the next 12-24 months, it will be consolidating what we've done and achieving synergies in the acquisitions that we've made."

Also, this week, MFS announced that it had raised a further $100m equity and debt funding round led by Admaius Capital Partners, taking the total amount raised in the Series C to $200m. New investors Vitruvian Partners and AXA IM Alts, joined the extension. Existing investors AfricInvest FIVE and CommerzVentures re-invested in the extension. The new funding will further accelerate MFS's African expansion plans and its expansion into Asia through a joint venture with LUN Partners to enable cross-border digital payments between Africa and China.


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