Leading payments processor boosted by strategic global investment

By Paul Rogers   12 March, 2019
Leading payments processor boosted by strategic global investment

Hassen Sheik (CEO, Ecentric Payment Solutions) and Ram Chari (FSS, Group Business Head)

Ecentric Payment Systems has announced that FSS (Financial Software and Systems) has made a strategic investment in the company to accelerate growth momentum into Africa.

FSS has acquired a 46% stake in Ecentric through a combination of primary and secondary investment, with the potential to further its stake-holding.

Ecentric, a Standard Bank subsidiary, is a leading payments services provider. With a customer portfolio comprising 50+ tier one banks and retailers, it has a strong presence in domestic and other African markets for its acceptance solutions.  Ecentric processes transactions for the majority of Tier1 retailers as well as smaller but specialised retail outlets.

The product and service offering includes switching, e-commerce, remittances, issuing, cash management and reconciliation. Ecentric also develops and runs a managed service offering covering the entire Payments and Collections lifecycle.

The World Bank forecasts Africa would record an average four percent year-on-year GDP growth, higher than other emerging and developing countries. In the last decade, the continent has leapfrogged legacy banking models to take advantage of advances in digital technology and favourable regulation to improve efficiency, convenience and accessibility of payment systems.

Ecentric’s vision is to be the largest payment processor operating in Africa and this transaction will enable it to leverage FSS’ proven technology expertise and funnel the investment proceeds to fuel its next phase of market growth and product development.

The investment is in line with FSS growth plans to work with like-minded businesses to grow in target markets and to meet its strategy of being an integrated global payment processor and payment technology provider.  With the investment, FSS gains immediate access to a ready customer base and can further tap into the fast-growing market for merchant processing and payment solutions in Africa.

The Ecentric investment would also provide FSS an ideal platform to build a Fintech hub focused on the development of payment solutions tailored to the unique requirements of the African region.

“We are very excited to welcome our strategic partner, FSS, a global payments leader, as a new investor,” said Ecentric CEO Hassen Sheik.

“The financial and strategic backing from FSS will help Ecentric to accelerate product innovation and grow the business in its home market as well as expand to more countries.

“This backing brings us a step closer to achieving our goal of creating a ubiquitous and universal digital payment acceptance market in the continent.”


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