IFC invests in Adumo to boost digital payment solutions in Africa

09 Mar 2021

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund, are helping to increase access to digital payment solutions for small and medium-sized businesses in several countries in Africa through an investment in South Africa-based fintech group Adumo.

IFC's investments will support Adumo to make digital payment systems more affordable and accessible to smaller businesses in Africa, many of which currently rely on cash transactions. Adumo, South Africa's largest independent payment provider with a presence in 13 African countries, owns merchant acquirers Sureswipe and Ikhokha and payment processor Innervation Pan African Payments.

"The pandemic and associated impact on consumers and businesses are transforming the face of the payments industry with interest in cashless payment services at an all-time high. The funds we have raised from our new equity partners will help us roll out new payment innovations and purpose-based lending services to support consumers and retailers as they navigate an uncertain 2021," said Paul Kent, CEO at Adumo.

The investment by IFC and the IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund, a fund managed by IFC's Asset Management Company, consists of up to $15 million in preferred shares to fund the growth of the company. IFC combines investments and advisory services to help financial intermediaries reach more small businesses in Africa and other emerging markets.

"Through this investment in Adumo, we will be helping small businesses tap into the digital economy, which is more important now than ever before. Digital payments are often the first step for a small business to build a credit history, which opens the way to access further financial services such as financing to grow the business," said Sérgio Pimenta, IFC's Vice President for the Middle East and Africa. "Supporting small businesses to access finance and financial services affordably and sustainably is a priority for IFC because of their potential to not only grow the economy but also create jobs."

In South Africa, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises employ over 50 percent of the work force and contribute around 34 percent of GDP, but many don't have access to key services that would help their business grow. Digital and mobile payment solutions can help businesses increase footfall and improve customer retention by supporting the transition away from cash-based transactions.

Adumo, previously known as Crossfin Transactional Solutions, processes more than $5 billion in transactions annually through more than 30,000 active clients and across 50,000 active card machines.

About Adumo

Adumo is South Africa's largest independent payments processor, offering a range of smart payment solutions to large multi-national and independent retailers as well as entrepreneurs and informal traders. Adumo's group companies, which include Sureswipe, iKhokha, Humble, Innervation Pan African Payment Solutions and Innervation Rewards, process more than R66-billion in transactions annually across more than 30,000 active clients and 50,000 card machines in 13 African countries. For more information, please visit www.adumo.com

About IFC

IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In the fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About IFC Asset Management Company

IFC Asset Management Company (AMC), a division of IFC, mobilizes and manages capital to invest in businesses in developing and frontier markets. Created in 2009, AMC provides leading institutional investors with unique access to IFC's emerging markets investment pipeline and investment expertise, while providing positive development impact in the countries in which it invests. Investors in AMC managed funds include sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, and development-finance institutions. It has raised over $10 billion across 13 investment funds covering equity, debt, and fund-of-funds products. For more information, visit www.ifcamc.org

About the IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund

The US$505 million IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund is a follow-on fund to the IFC Capitalization Fund and makes equity and equity-like investments in financial institutions across global emerging markets.

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