To issue prepaid cards to its clients, MFS Africa is acquiring U.S based GTP for $34M

To issue prepaid cards to its clients, MFS Africa is acquiring U.S based GTP for $34M

Pan-African digital payments company MFS Africa has announced plans to acquire U.S.-based Global Technology Partners (GTP) in a cash-and-shares deal worth $34 million. This deal, which is a very rare incident of an African company buying a U.S one will help MFS Africa consolidate on its next growth phase.

Dare Okoudjou, founder and CEO of MFS, said the purchase of Global Technology Partners would help create solutions and help international platforms “which are not able or willing to create the user experience that will accept mobile.”

MFS Africa’s infrastructure merges fragmented and disparate payment schemes across Africa into one seamless network so individuals and businesses within mobile money ecosystems can transact across borders and currencies. The Africa-focused and London-based company connects more than 320 million mobile money wallets across 35+ African countries and 700 corridors.

But despite these connections across borders, millions of Africans can’t still use their mobile money accounts to pay for subscription-based services run by international companies such as Netflix and Amazon.

More than 500,000 clients in over 30 countries use GTP prepaid cards. With MFS Africa’s merger, the total clientele reach could reach several millions, Okoudjou said. The acquisition also helps MFS to “expand its activities in the U.S.,” he added.

GTP is a developer of prepaid and mobile payment software. According to PitchBook, its prepaid and mobile payment platform integrates several prepaid cards with a single bank account and allows users to make prepaid payments for online shopping and ATMs.

This latest acquisition will provide MFS Africa an avenue to issue prepaid cards to its customers so they can perform these tasks.

“It’s mostly for international e-commerce platforms, which are not able or willing to create the user experience that will accept mobile,” MFS Africa CEO Dare Okoudjou said. He also mentioned that MFS had struck a deal with Spotify to allow the music subscription company to accept mobile payments from customers in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa.

MFS Africa is well known for expanding through acquisitions. Last year, it acquired Capricorn Digital LTD (owners of Baxi), one of Nigeria’s largest independent SME-focused electronic payment networks, with over 90,000 agents. This came after the company raised $100 million led by AfricInvest FIVE.  But buying GTS is its first purchase beyond the continent.

The GTP deal is a second win for the mobile money ecosystem — regarding online payments –within days. Last week, Visa partnered with Safaricom, the M-Pesa mobile money operator, to launch virtual cards for M-Pesa’s 30 million users to make digital payments globally.

Users can activate the virtual card through the M-Pesa mobile app or USSD. Previously, M-Pesa users could only make mobile money payments within the platform’s network of 400,000 merchants.