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Fintech firm MFS Africa acquires US-based GTP

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In a rare acquisition of a US tech company by an African tech firm, MFS Africa, a digital payments network, has reached an agreement to buy Global Technology Partners (GTP) for an undisclosed amount.

Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, GTP is a processor for prepaid cards in Africa, with over 80 banks – including UBA, Ecobank, BIA, Stanbic, Coris, NSIA and Zenith Bank – using its platform.

In a statement, MSF says 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 want to participate in global digital commerce through card credentials linked to mobile money wallets – rather than bank accounts – for online purchases.

It also expands MFS Africa’s bank and fintech base and provides tokenisation for the mobile money world in connecting with the traditional card scheme ecosystems, such as Visa and Mastercard.

Dare Okoudjou, founder and CEO of MFS Africa, says: “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 omni-channel payments company.”

Robert Merrick, founder and chairman of GTP, comments: “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. 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 says it 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 mobile network operators and fintech firms across Africa.

Lastly, MFS Africa intends to leverage GTP’s presence in the US to expand its commercial activities in North America.

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