Allied Technologies has acquired 100& of the equity in Eyenza Mobile Money, a wallet-based system.

Using Eyenza Mobile Money, a user registers to create a wallet and can then make a deposit into a central pool account linked to the user’s MSISDN number. The user can then transact to the value of the funds in their wallet.

Altech CEO Craig Venter comments: “”Altech has long identified the need to become  involved in this rapidly-growing area in the mobile payments market, but it has taken time to identify what we believe is a suitable point of entry. We believe that Eyenza incorporates all the necessary components that will allow Altech to successfully move into this progressive market.

“Eyenza`s offering is unique as it can offer very competitive prices on its services due to its low cost structure and convenience factor. Currently, the unbanked population of South Africa has large monetary and inconvenience costs associated with transferring money to family members, paying of bills and purchasing pre-paid products. This service is set to change that.”

According to Johan van der Westhuizen, CEO of Eyenza, the acquisition by Altech will have a positive impact on Eyenza going forward.

“Altech has a successful track record of developing new and innovative products and services for the ICT sector and now with their backing and support we will be able to take our mobile money services to the next level and become an important participant in this growing market,” he says.

The Eyenza service offering is bank and mobile network operator-agnostic in that it offers vending services with no requirement for pre-registered bank accounts and no restriction on existing banking partner or cellular provider and can be directly marketed to the unbanked.

Eyenza is not affiliated to any mobile or banking brand so it does not require an existing registered bank account and can be directly marketed to the unbanked.

“Eyenza incorporates a range of key success factors,” says Venter. “It is both bank and MNO (Mobile Network Operator) independent; it does not require a special cellular phone or SIM card; user registration is easily accomplished from the handset; and it can be operated via any of the four primary mobile communications channels (USSD, SMS, Java and data).”

Services currently offered include prepaid airtime, prepaid electricity, third party payment services, and making transfers to other account holders.

In time, Eyenza mobile money services will be expanded to include: insurance cover; microloan distribution; lotto and sports betting; third-party bill payments; retail payments; payroll; government grants; agri-aid distribution and payment; money transfer to third parties; loyalty programmes; public transport; pre-approved medical funding distribution; online fast food ordering; wireless-G data top-up; and toll-wallet top-up.

Venter says there are significant market opportunities in mobile money services.

“Mobile money payment services are expected to reach $245-billion in value worldwide by 2014. At the same time, mobile money users are expected to total 340-million, equivalent to 5% of all global mobile subscribers.”

The acquisition is part of Altech’s strategic aim to capitalise on its existing businesses and grow market share through a range of value-added services.

“Exploiting the synergies between our operations and moving customers up the value chain is all part of our growth drive and we see opportunities with other Altech operations, from the selling of prepaid airtime by Altech Autopage to Altech Card Solutions developing the Eyenza POS front-end applications for deployed terminal devices,” says Venter.