Ukheshe acquires EFT Corporation in “landmark” African fintech deal

Ukheshe acquires EFT Corporation in “landmark” African fintech deal

Ukheshe International, a South African fintech enablement partner with an expanding footprint in key emerging markets, has acquired EFT Corporation, an Africa-focused payment and e-commerce solutions provider, from parent Loita Transaction Services (LXS), a pan-African payment solutions and financial switching provider.

The businesses say they will continue to operate as separate entities and maintain their respective brand identities for the foreseeable future. They add that the partnership ensures EFTCorp’s customers will continue to engage with a trusted brand while gaining access to an expanded suite of innovative digital services through Ukheshe.

As a 23-year-old pioneer of digital payments in 35 African markets supporting over 100 banks and processors, EFTCorp is known for its core switching skills and issuer processor technology. Ukheshe’s offerings encompass a comprehensive range of end-to-end digital services that assist in digitising banking partners.

This deal allows the wider group to access new technologies and opportunities in a diverse market, enhancing exposure to different customers, projects and business opportunities across Africa and the Middle East.

Ukheshe says that its expertise in digital onboarding, know your customer (KYC), digital wallets, and various payment channels will open new opportunities to digitise EFTCorp’s traditional customers who rely on established electronic payment processing systems.

Ukheshe has certainly been active in this market in recent years. This transaction follows on from Ukheshe’s 2022 acquisition of Masterpass, Mastercard’s QR code payments service, in South Africa, and the closing of a funding partnership with Development Partners International (DPI) in 2023, not to mention Ukheshe’s 2020 purchase of Oltio from Mastercard. Oltio developed the digital payments platform for Masterpass.

More recently, in 2021, Ukheshe Technologies and Infobip, a global cloud communications platform, developed what they called South Africa’s very first WhatsApp payment gateway.

It remains to be seen whether this latest deal is, as Ukheshe claims, “a significant move for the African fintech ecosystem”, let alone “a landmark deal that positions the new group for market dominance”. But Ukheshe clearly has major ambitions in this market.

As co-founder and CEO Clayton Hayward says, “The market is ripe for consolidation and disruption; bringing together these like-minded executive teams and our great products positions us to dominate the African continent as  the preferred banking solutions partner.”