Pan-Africa fintech company MFS Africa has announced its acquisition of Sochitel, an international airtime top-up provider, in a move that creates the largest value transfer payment network focusing on Africa.
The MFS Africa Hub enables cross-border, cross-currency, cross-network payments within and into Africa, reaching an estimated 100 million mobile wallets across all major mobile money networks. The Sochitel acquisition adds airtime top-up to the MFS Africa portfolio, which already includes remittances, e-commerce and bill payment.
Established in 2007, Sochitel enables international airtime top-up services through a variety of channels and partners. The firm delivers airtime top-ups to over 320 mobile network operators in 100 countries, and enables value-added services and digital transfers through its network of over 50,000 direct outlets across the US, Canada, UK, and Europe, and over 400,000 indirect outlets in Europe, the Middle East, and Southern Africa.
MFS Africa is the largest mobile money interoperability hub in Africa, connecting the leading mobile network operators across the continent through a single API. In addition to mobile remittance services, the MFS Africa API enables merchant payment, bulk payment, bank-to-wallet transfers, and an array of other cross border digital payments services.
“The time is clearly ripe for consolidation in this industry,” said Faisal Khan, a payments expert specialising in international money transfer. “Airtime top-up is a natural complement to money remittances. It’s exciting to see a Pan-African company such as MFS Africa take the lead in consolidating digital cross-border payments. This acquisition makes a lot of sense both from a product portfolio and network synergy point of view.”
Through the transaction with Sochitel, MFS Africa expands its service offering and footprint considerably, offering more value and flexibility to its hub participants and their end users. MFS Africa will also be able to leverage Sochitel’s deep reach and understanding of the African diaspora in Europe and North America to develop innovative value added services for its partners.
“We are thrilled to join forces with another leader in African fintech,” said Jerry Ejikeme, founder and CEO of Sochitel. “Money transfer is a logical next step for us and we are eager to bring this service to our client base, while also extending airtime transfer services to MFS Africa Hub clients.”
Dare Okoudjou, founder and CEO of MFS Africa, added: “Our mission to reduce remittance costs and enhance digital payments in Africa is considerably strengthened through the partnership with Sochitel.”