Actis, a private equity investor in emerging markets, has announced the 100% management buy-out of Mediterranean Smart Cards Company (MSCC), one of Africa’s leading electronic payment processors.
According to Actis, Africa is the last continent to move away from a cash society, and the acquisition of MSCC reflects the company’s belief in the fundamental shift in consumer and business behavior from cash transactions to electronic payments.
MSCC, founded in Egypt in 2001, has offered its smart card payment processing and support services to over 20 countries in Africa. A third of Egyptian banks currently outsource their card processing to MSCC, according to Actis.
Actis Senior Partner Paul Fletcher comments, “The growth of the payments industry is a key feature of the emerging markets story. We believe it shows the same potential as the telecoms sector did ten years ago. MSCC offers a platform upon which we can build, bringing modern personal finance products to many more people and providing them with greater choice in the management of their finances.”
The MSCC acquisition follows Actis’s $244 million investment in Egypt’s Commercial International Bank (CIB) in July 2009.