Interswitch acquires VANSO

Writer and Social entrepreneur.

Interswitch, a payment processing company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria has formally concluded the acquisition of Value Added Network Solutions Limited (VANSO), a company that provides security-focused financial technology to mostly banks.

The company was founded in 2002 by Mitchell Elegben. In 2010, two thirds of the company was sold to a consortium led byHelios Investment Partners. In 2011 Interswitch took a 60 per cent stake in Bankom in Uganda. In 2013 Interswitch entered into an agreement for payment processing with Discover Financial Services.

Interswitch acquires VANSO
Interswitch acquires VANSO

In September 2014 the company acquired a majority shareholding in Paynet Group, an East-African payments provider. In 2015 Interswitch launched a $10m investment fund for African start-ups in the payments sector and now they have acquired VANSO.

VANSO is a financial technology provider focused on delivering cutting edge and innovative solutions in Africa. Through their proprietary payments (MIMO), banking and messaging (VCP) platforms they deliver highly secure, world class solutions for their clients.

The transaction started in February this year when it was reported that Interswitch was acquiring VANSO in a N15 billion buyout. As of now, all documents have been signed and all relevant regulatory and shareholder approvals (including one from the Securities and Exchange Commission) have been given, making the acquisition official.

Interswitch Group MD and CEO, Mitchell Elegbe had this to say about the acquisition, “The acquisition of VANSO, both a market leader in the mobile financial services industry and a strong and profitable business, is a great opportunity to combine our respective technology offerings and skill sets, driving growth in our business. By integrating operations, we not only secure access to new payment channels, but a highly skilled leadership team as well, while VANSO now has access to new markets, a mutually beneficial step for both our companies.”

What this acquisition means for VANSO is that their current management team will be absorbed into the Interswitch management organisation, and VANSO CEO, Denis O’Brien will lead Interswitch’s mobile payment’s business unit. VANSO’s existing shareholders will also become shareholders of the Interswitch Group.

According to VANSO CEO, Denis O’Brien, he said, “In Interswitch, we have found a partner with ambitions aligned to our own, and the institutional backing and scale to rapidly accelerate their attainment. I would like to thank our Board, executive management team and all our staff, who have worked tirelessly over the last 18 months to identify the most appropriate growth option for us. We look forward to working with the Interswitch management and board over the coming years to deepen and broaden financial services across the continent,”

This will also result in VANSO’s mobile banking, SMS and security business lines being fully integrated into Interswitch’s digital commerce and technology operations in Nigeria, and across the Africa.

It is a great and giant stride on the part of interswitch, as it would help expand their customer base and operations across Africa. I think they have taken over this space and won’t let go anytime soon.