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Fintech heavyweights join SA’s Direct Transact to take on global market

Members of the Direct Transact dream team.
Members of the Direct Transact dream team.

Fintech trailblazer Christo Davel, C-suite banking veteran Arina McDonald and banking technologist Clinton Haley have been recruited by Direct Transact, independent provider of transaction processing solutions for banks and businesses in SA, to expand the local industry’s open finance capabilities internationally.

Direct Transact confirmed that Davel has been appointed as as the company’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), while McDonald will serve as Non-Executive Director with Haley as Executive Head of Production and Software Development.

The company says it handles more than R30-billion in financial industry transaction flows per month - the flows of nearly 70% of SA’s second tier clearing banks and nearly 10% of SA’s monthly transactional value through BankservAfrica.

According to Direct Transact, McDonald is a former CFO at Standard Bank Africa and Atlas Mara, with extensive corporate advisory and governance experience. Haley previously held top technical positions at FNB, where he was in charge of credit card technology and enterprise finance solutions. Davel has built some of SA’s hottest tech start-ups over the past 20 years.

“Davel’s notable ventures include conceptualising and building SA’s first software-led direct-sales platforms for the insurance industry, later acquired by Old Mutual; SA’s first online-only and people-first bank 20twenty, later bought by Standard Chartered; SA’s first personal finance management aggregation platform 22seven, also later bought by Old Mutual; and most recently the Kin app for joint money relationships,” reads a statement from the company.

Direct Transact CEO Hennie Dreyer said: “We look forward to an exciting future in the global payments and banking innovation ecosystem, and we wish Christo, Arina and Clinton a long and happy future as part of the Direct Transact family.”

The company added that Dreyer and Anthony De Gray Birch, COO of Direct Transact, will be working with their bolstered management team - with Davel playing a key role as CCO - to lead the local SaaS-hosted payments and retail banking services industry from its current infrastructure setup into a future of expanded open banking and cloud-based technologies.

Davel told ITWeb Africa he is excited about the future of Africa’s payments technology market.

"We notice more non-banks, such as retailers and Fintechs, entering the payments game. This is great for consumers, who will have more, easier and more tailored transaction options. The African payments ecosystem is opening up and democratising at a rapid rate. We also envisage robust, scalable, cutting-edge payments solutions being developed on the continent that can compete with the best on the world stage. The industry is embracing more real-time, borderless and seamless online payments solutions as the internet and more open forms of payments technology evolve."

Dreyer added: "We have world-class tech innovators in Africa, but many of them run into regulatory compliance issues that stop them in their tracks. We have a deep understanding of regulatory compliance in Africa and can be the bridge between innovators and regulators to allow them to successfully launch their payment solutions in the marketplace. What we need are innovative solutions for Africa, developed and designed in Africa."

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