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Network International's R500 million SA payment platform goes live

By , Africa editor
Africa , 16 Oct 2023
Network International's Group CEO Nandan Mer.
Network International's Group CEO Nandan Mer.

Network International's cloud-based, complete digital payment suite, Network One, is now available to South African banks, mobile network operators, and fintechs.

A large mobile network operator and global commercial banks are among the first South African users on Network's new tier one payments platform.

The company announced a R500 million investment in its platform, and an additional R60 million investment in a payment switch (an online payment transactions routing and authorisation system).

According to the company, the new payment switch is scheduled to be operational in 2024, ensuring the platform's scalability and continuity in South Africa.

The company said the Network One platform, hosted and supported in-country, is an integrated payment suite that provides both merchant and issuer solutions.

The company said: “With its own technology stack that is built, hosted, and maintained locally, Network is positioning itself to offer local and regional institutions looking for market-relevant digital payments capabilities.”

Speaking at a launch event in Rosebank, Johannesburg, Network International's Group CEO Nandan Mer said the company has been part of the South African business community for 16 years and is now seeking to further accelerate into the Southern Africa region.

Network International currently provides technology-enabled payments solutions to merchants and financial institutions in the Middle East and Africa.

Payment revenues in MEA are expected to climb 8.3% from 2021 to $2.2 trillion by 2026, according to Boston Consulting Group. The consulting firm says electronic payments are expected to increase from 12% of POS transactions in 2021 to 21% of POS transactions in 2025.

At the launch, Mer said: "The most recent investment is critical to the company's ongoing commitment to the country and continent. Our acquisition of DPO, an African e-commerce provider, provided us the confidence to move forward with our R500 million platform investment barely 18 months later. This next R60 million investment demonstrates how we are stepping things up a notch and moving Network into the fast lane of payment services."

The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Local talent

Furthermore, Network International says it is investing in growing local talent.

“By increasing its human capital in South Africa, Network will be able to engage and co-innovate with local banks and mobile network operators in areas where they have access to SMEs and payment specialists as close to where they operate as feasible.

“The company has already increased its personnel complement and will continue to expand resources and capabilities. Network has moved from level 8 BBBEE status (in December 2022) to level 4 (in July 2023), with plans to improve further in 2024,” said the company.

"In South Africa, we have over 1,000 years of collective payment knowledge and expertise. We are confident that by hiring the right talent, our local teams will be able to deliver 50% faster with less reliance on our remote teams, adding meaningful operational gains for local clients and beyond South Africa," said Dr. Reda Helal, Group MD: processing, Africa and co-head, group processing.

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