Washington, DC, April 11, 2016—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and funds managed by IFC Asset Management
Company (AMC) today announced a combined equity investment of $107 million
in Net1 UEPS Technologies Inc., an innovative payment solutions and transaction
processing services, to expand financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa
IFC promotes financial citizenship to
the world’s poorest by backing innovative companies that have proven,
scalable and sustainable business models and suitable technology solutions
with the intent to reach millions of previously excluded customers. Net1’s
core offering is basic, affordable financial services to low-income customers
and rural populations that are often excluded from established formal financial
services. It provides solutions that are card and mobile based and that
are interoperable with the globally recognized and widely available credit
card payment systems. Many Net1 financial technologies are patented, including
Virtual Card, Funds Transfer System, Variable PIN, and Emergency Finger.
Atul Mehta, IFC Director of Telecoms,
Media and Technology, said: “Net1 has created impressive propriety technology
for the delivery of services and demonstrated its effectiveness in South
Africa. IFC and IFC AMC’s funds’ investments will help Net1 expand regionally,
especially into African countries where there is limited banking infrastructure
and availability of financial services for the poorest segments of the
IFC has been tracking for some
time the company’s development in South Africa, its primary market, and
sees the potential for applying its technology to expand reach of services
elsewhere. Net1’’s management has more than 30 years’ experience creating
solutions designed to operate in areas where infrastructure is basic or
non-existent and can still be used in areas where connection and data options
operate at the highest standards.
IFC has been investing in similar disruptive
technologies around the world to help expand access to financial services.
As of March 2016, IFC has invested about $180 million in 26 FinTech companies
around the world servicing over 220 million people. This is on top of billions
of dollars already invested in its successful, decades-long program in
support of traditional banks and microfinance institutions.
Serge Belamant, CEO of Net1, said: “We
are proud to have been recognized by IFC as a company that can make a difference
to the live style of millions of the most vulnerable. IFC’s investment
recognizes our Company’s Net1’s acheivements, innovative and disruptive
technologies, and our business model. The investment endorses our management’s
integrity, transparency and focused drive towards making a positive difference
to the disadvantaged citizens of the world.”.
Gavin E.R. Wilson, CEO of IFC Asset
Management Company, said: “Our investment in Net1 recognizes the company’s
demonstrated ability to provide efficient payments services to the unbanked
and underbanked in South Africa while innovating in commercially viable
ways. Our goal is to help Net1 use its technology to broaden its product
offering and expand its customer base to other countries.”
Net1 is listed on the United States
NASDAQ stock exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
About Net1 UEPS Technologies Inc
Net1 UEPS Technologies Inc is a leading
provider of payment solutions and transaction processing services across
multiple industries and in a number of emerging economies. Net1 has developed
and markets a comprehensive transaction processing solution that encompasses
our smart card-based alternative payment system for the unbanked and under-banked
populations of developing economies and for mobile transaction channels.
Net1’s market-leading system can enable the billions of people globally
who generally have limited or no access to a bank account to enter affordably
into electronic transactions with each other, government agencies, employers,
merchants and other financial service providers.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where
it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries
rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential
role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org
About IFC Asset Management Company
IFC Asset Management Company LLC (AMC),
a wholly-owned subsidiary of IFC, invests third party capital, enabling
investors to benefit from IFC’s expertise in achieving strong equity returns,
as well as positive development impact in the countries in which it invests.
AMC has raised $8.7 billion of capital across 11 investment funds. Three
AMC managed funds, including the IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean
Fund (ALAC Fund), the IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund (FIG Fund)
and the Africa Capitalization Fund, are participating in the Net 1 investment.
For more information visit www.ifcamc.org.