South Africa’s Altech Acquires Majority Stake in NuPay

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Allied Technologies Limited (Altech) today announced the purchase of 50% plus 1 share in NuPayment Solutions (Pty) Limited (NuPay), a payments processing company focused on the automation of electronic debit orders, providing authenticated and non-authenticated managed transactions within the card based and electronic funds transfer environments.

Altech signed a share purchase agreement to acquire the majority shareholding in NuPay, together with ancillary agreements from ABSA Bank Limited for a purchase consideration of R53.5 million, on 29 May 2009.

“This acquisition perfectly fits Altech’s strategy of growing its annuity revenue, which accounted for 79% of Altech’s total revenue before this transaction. It also grows the critical mass of our IT division, further complementing our existing operations. NuPay processes in excess of 500,000 successful transactions per month, via c. 2,800 points-of-presence. The acquisition allows Altech to supply the switching services, POS devices and related software, as well as provide ongoing maintenance and support to NuPay, which boasts the largest number of installed POS terminals in South Africa outside of the banking industry.” said Altech’s CEO, Craig Venter.

NuPay complements Altech Card Solutions’ transaction switching division by providing expansion opportunities into new markets, increased transaction switching volumes and the possibility of exploiting diverse transactional and processing capabilities. NuPay also offers additional services such as a call centre and field support, which will be expanded to include all of the merged products and services within Altech Card Solutions.

“The transaction has various positive spin-offs for Altech and NuPay. NuPay, through its extensive presence in the micro-finance payments industry, ensures that increased volumes of transactions will be processed through the combined switching capabilities. These transactions will continue to be acquired by Absa. The transactions are also largely done via Point of Sale terminals, which in future will be supplied by the Altech IT division” said Venter.

He added that substantial synergies exist between NuPay and Altech’s other business units, particularly Altech Netstar and Altech Autopage Cellular, which have 500 000 and 1 million subscribers respectively that manage their monthly subscriptions mainly via debit order.

NuPay was formed 10 years ago after the Usury Act of 1968 was changed to prohibit micro lenders from retaining borrower’s bank cards and PIN codes as security for payment. This change in legislation exposed an opportunity for an increase in banking automation in the area of loan repayment. The automation of payments increased the success rate of transactions processed through this payment stream, thus reducing bad debts for the major banks. NuPay has capitalised on the above, and has developed an impressive growth and profit profile over this period.

The distinguishing and main service offered by NuPay, is Authenticated Early Debit Orders (“AEDO”). AEDO transactions are originated via a Point of Sale (“POS”) device by swiping a debit card and entering a PIN, allowing consumers to repay loans using accredited and payment industry approved pre-authorised debit order processes.

NuPay also supplies Non-Authenticated Early Debit Orders (“NAEDO”), where no POS, debit card or PIN is required. Additionally, NuPay is a Transaction Service Provider (“TSP”), and apart from processing bulk debit orders for large organizations, also manages debit orders of institutions such as schools, clubs and churches which do not have the capabilities to manage complex systems.

The company’s focus has essentially been on micro-financiers, but its services have the potential to extend to any customer that has a need for a collection mechanism. This could include small businesses or large corporates that wish to manage their debtors more efficiently.

To preserve current efficiencies and standards, Altech will retain existing NuPay management and staff, whilst providing supporting administration services and strategic direction to the company.