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Home » Featured » Standard Bank to fuel Payment24

Standard Bank to fuel Payment24

SOUTH Africa’s largest bank Standard Bank has acquired an influential 40% stake in Century City-based digital fuel management solutions and telematics company Payment24 Group.

Payment24 Group – which was only launched in 2014 – is a fast growing technology development firm that supports companies with large vehicle fleets.

The company was launched to fill a gap in the fleet fuel payment space, and already operates across Africa and boasts a wide adoption of its fuel management app in South Africa.

Payment24 has partnerships with major filling stations in the country.

The company’s solutions include the Payment24 fuel management platform, fleet fuel management solutions, mobile fuelling solutions and vehicle tracking as well as telematics and geofencing solutions.

These solutions are all developed locally.

The emergence of Standard Bank as a major investor in Payment24 is surprising – and CBN wonders whether with local telematics specialists like Mix Telematics and fuel companies like Kaap Agri’s The Fuel Company were interested in the company.

Joint CEO of Payment24 Shadab Rahil reported that the new deal was driven by a successful three-year relationship with various divisions of Standard Bank.

This included the roll-out of the BlueFuel Fleet Card system across Namibia – which ensures that only authorised vehicles are able to fill up and authorize transactions.

According to Derick De Vries – the executive head of fleet management at Standard Bank – the activities of Payment24 aligned to the Bank’s efforts and key strategic objectives of developing meaningful relationships that provide innovative solutions for clients.

“At the same time, the acquisition is set to fast-track Payment24’s growth as it can leverage new opportunities.”

De Vries believed that through Standard Banks’s strategic investment into Payment24, the bank’s fleet management segment would strengthen its footprint across the African continent. He reckoned the bank would also remain the leading digital and analytics-led fleet management services provider in Africa.

De Vries added that the investment in Payment24 would also allow Standard Bank to provide its customers and oil company partners with an effective and digitally enabled solution to facilitate fuel, repairs and toll purchases across the 35 transport hubs and corridors in Africa.

“These payment solutions provide mobile, RFID (radio frequency identification) and biometric capabilities that are cloud-based, infrastructurally light with short deployment timeframes…it’s exactly what our clients expect from their fleet management provider”.

Rahil noted that Payment24 had a good relationship with Standard Bank for some years. “Our new partnership presents opportunities for both Standard Bank and Payment24. Standard Bank is the biggest bank in Africa, so this gives Payment24 leverage for growth into new markets and customer segments across the continent.”

Rahil said Payment24 was already on a growth trajectory. “But this new deal positions us for further exponential growth. We see this as a very strong partnership, with synergies across a number of divisions.”

Payment24 had humble beginnings five years go when it was launched out of Paradigm Group, a Cape Town-based information and communications technology (ICT) company.

The big differentiator was Payment24’s ability to independently verify a specific vehicle on the forecourt together with the identification of the driver.

At that point the systems available tended to be very hardware intensive, were extremely susceptible to fraud and provided minimal real-time capabilities.

A major breakthrough came in 2019 when a partnership was launched with energy giant BP and supermarket chain Pick n Pay Smart Shopper – where a loyalty card now sees Payment24 technologies underpinning fuel transactions for 7 million-strong cardholder base. This effectively became the biggest fuel loyalty programme in South Africa, giving Pick n Pay’s Smart Shoppers loyalty points when they refuel at BP fuel stations.

Payment24 was also selected as one of 36 ventures to participate in the international 500 Startups Global Seed Accelerator programme in San Francisco in 2017 – which paved the way for an entry into the US.

However, while the company had planned to expand into North America last year, growth across Africa was so strong in recent months that a US foray had to be delayed.

Payment24 has been expanding across Namibia, Kenya, Ghana, Botswana, Nigeria and Mozambique, and aims to be one of the top three players in the pan-African fuel payment space within the next few years.

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