Telnet partners Barbados company to transform e-payment in Africa

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Telnet, one of Nigeria’s earliest fintech companies, has partnered with Global Integrated Fintech Solutions (GIFTS) and its subsidiary iPayAnywhere (iPay) to transform electronic payment in Africa.

The partnership was consummated at a signing ceremony between the companies, hosted by Barbados High Commission, Ghana, and Caribbean Export, in collaboration with Export Barbados/BIDC and CBC TV Channel 8.

Folorunso Aliu, CEO of Telnet said the partnership aligns with the company’s mission which began over 30 years ago, of democratizing ICT and ensuring everyone has access to IT solutions in not just Nigeria but the entire West African region. As part of the partnership, Telnet would become the vehicle for deploying solutions from iPay and GIFTS.

GIFTS offers a range of services including core banking, internet banking, AML software, and card processing. iPayanywhere makes it easy and convenient for merchants and consumers alike to send or receive payments from the convenience of their mobile phones, laptops, or any other mobile device.

“This is a journey of integrity and understanding for us,” Aliu said.

Telnet expects that the competence it has built over the years and which has led to the spin-off of companies like Interswitch which became the first fintech company to hit a $1 billion valuation in Africa and Paycom which was acquired by OPay, would aid its journey in creating opportunities in the market.

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The partners plan to kick off with the Anti-money laundry (AML) solution. According to Aliu, this has become expedient due to the growing adoption of e-commerce and fintech in Nigeria and West Africa and the exposure of customers to cybercrimes. From deepening its presence in Nigeria, Telnet and its partners hope to spread their net to every addressable market in West Africa.

The partnership, therefore, allows GIFTS access to an initial market of over 200 million people by utilising Telnet’s large database of customers and permits Telnet to extend its operation’s competencies into the Nigerian fintech market. It also allows GIFTS to expand the operation of Barbadian homegrown technologies in the near future.

Deodat Maharaj, executive director, Caribbean Export said the partnership is a clear indication of the opportunities for commercial relationships between Caribbean Africa.

“It is time that we translate our inextricable historical and cultural connections into business opportunities for the people of Africa and the Caribbean,” Maharaj said.

Dave Sahadath, founder and executive chairman of GIFTS and iPay said the decision to partner with Telnet was carefully taken.

“It was important to us to form a partnership with an organization whose core values mirrored ours, and whose operating ethos did the same,” Sahadath said.

Products and services under the new partnership include the AML and know your customer product; a full suite of payment and payment processing services; fraud reduction through an early detection product which is powered by artificial intelligence, ‘Fred’; as well as iPayAnywhere solution, which is an end-to-end, mobile-based payment solution that services both government, private sector and consumers alike.