CFO Alex Smith: Net1 to scale up South African business

Net1 is looking to take advantage of some of the emerging trends in electronic payment methods.

Financial services and technology group Net1 UEPS has announced that it is eyeing continued expansion into South Africa despite Covid-19. This after the group’s loan advancements showed strong recovery in June, when ATM utilisation returned to pre-Covid-19 levels. 

“SA is, and always has been, the engine room of Net1,” said Net1 CFO Alex Smith. “Following our strategic review, we intend to focus our incremental capital and management resources to scale up our South African businesses, and return Net1 to a sustainable, cash generative business.”

The group said in a statement that it is well positioned to provide value added financial services, looking to take advantage of some of the emerging trends in electronic payment methods and related areas. 

Net1 reported that its headline loss had narrowed to R881 million in the year to end 30 June, receiving a $192 million boost from the sale of its South Korean payment processor KSNET in January. 

The impact of the South African lockdown on the group’s fourth quarter was an ebitda loss of R32 million. 

Net1 said it was unable to charge about R27 million of withdrawal fees under the pandemic regulations and its micro-lending and insurance businesses were unable to operate during the initial lockdown period.