In what is accurately described as a rare acquisition of a US tech company by an African tech company, MFS Africa, Africa’s largest digital payments network, has reached an agreement to buy Global Technology Partners (GTP), which specializes in creating innovative processing and payment solutions for the prepaid industry.
GTP is described as the number one processor for prepaid cards in Africa, with over 80 banks – including UBA, Ecobank, BIA, Stanbic, Coris, NSIA and Zenith Bank – using its platform.
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.
In many ways, of course, this acquisition makes a lot of sense as GTP’s strengths seem to complement those of MFS Africa. Indeed, MFS Africa sees the acquisition as a way 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.
The deal also expands MFS Africa’s bank and fintech base and provides tokenisation for the mobile money world in connecting with traditional card scheme ecosystems such as Visa and Mastercard. This is a trend we noted earlier this week when Kenya’s Safaricom and financial services giant Visa announced the first M-Pesa GlobalPay Visa Virtual card.
Following GTP's acquisition, MFS Africa 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 digital payments hub – including seamless interoperability with mobile money.
The company will also leverage GTP's stack to fast-track card programmes for operators and fintechs across Africa. In addition MFS Africa intends to leverage GTP's presence in the USA to expand its commercial activities in North America.