South Africa: Actis buys Paycorp to improve access to banking
In a bid to improve ATM penetration across Africa and to create more aligned financial services across the continent, private equity firm Actis LLP has bought the leading South Africa payment company Paycorp Holdings Pty for 937 million rand ($94.7 million).
According to Reuters, Paycorp already “owns and operate 5,000 automated teller machines in southern Africa and also offers card services” for banks such as Barclays Africa Group in South Africa and Namibia. The company also runs Visa-certified pre-paid card solutions.
Following the acquisition, Actis shared its hopes that the move would improve access to finance throughout the region with a population currently under-banked.
Releasing a statement to celebrate the buy, Actis explained that each South African lives on average 22 minutes away from the closest ATM and that queuing time of 60 minutes are common.
The private equity firm tends to invest its $5.2 billion funds in emerging markets such as Africa, Asia and South America. Buying Paycorp will be the company’s fifth investment in the payment space since 2010.
Previous Actis acquisitions have seen it develop its credit and debit card businesses as well as merchant terminal services.
Actis is now Paycorp’s majority shareholder but its founder and CEO Steven Kark will keep playing a key role as co-investor.