Mauritius is an ideal FinTech location - Inter Pay Tech's Mark O' Sullivan

Mauritius-based payment solutions provider Inter Payments Tech will be one of the FinTechs pitching at the FinTech Africa Future of Payments event in Sandton, Johannesburg, on 14 March. Topics of discussion relevant to the exciting and expanding space on the evening will include the the death of credit cards and systems enabling digital currencies. We spoke to founder and CEO Mark O’ Sullivan to find out more about the company’s activities and involvement in the event.

  • Some 200 insiders, experts, startups and investors will discuss the developments and challenges for payments in Africa at CFO South Africa's Future of Payments event in Sandton, Johannesburg, on 14 March. Get inspired, extend your network and develop business. Register here.

How did you come to be involved in Fintech?
"I have been involved in the non-bank payment sector since 2005 and until 2011, was an operating board member of one of Europe's largest international payment companies. In that year, I relocated to Mauritius to advise and restructure a local foreign exchange business, which has proved to be a great success and the shareholders are now talking to a number of parties to sell the company. With that project completed and also keeping an eye on both the evolution of the FinTech space in London and also Africa, I realised there was an opportunity to offer African corporate clients the pricing and speed of international payments already regarded as normal in the European tech space.

"International Payments Tech was launched to capture this market and despite strong interest from investors looking for us to base ourselves in London or even Singapore, we felt Mauritius had to be our headquarters in line with our beliefs on the development of FinTech in Africa. Our platform now offers payments in over 30 currencies pairs and delivery either via SWIFT or domestic banking routes. The challenge going forward is to partner with African banks to increase the African side of our operation."

What does your role at Inter Pay Tech entail?
"Well, apart from being the founder and CEO, I work with the other shareholders to ensure we execute our five-year plan for Interpay. It's never going to be a straight road in executing, but that's Africa for you. However, the background of the shareholders is similar to myself in that we have built successful financial services companies in Europe and now are looking to replicate that in the African FinTech space."

What are in the company's plans for 2017?
"2017 is when we really look to raise the profile of Interpay and establish ourselves in Mauritius and then look to target several key African markets. Mauritius's location and its established financial centre make it ideal to service clients and identify flows of FDI into African markets, where we feel we can offer competitive pricing compared to traditional banking channels. All this will be accessible to clients direct from our online payment platform."

Are you looking forward to the event? What value do you see in attending?
"Yes, we are looking forward to the event and we will be pitching international Payments Tech. The decision to pitch is more about raising the profile of the company than seeking investment. As mentioned, we decided to base ourselves in Mauritius and by doing so had to initially fund Interpay ourselves. It's been the correct decision, as we are now live and can grow organically. But never say never, and if we feel there is an investor who understands our plan and the journey we are taking then of course, we will always be open to discuss investment. The FinTech community globally has always been very open and welcoming and I am sure at the event the African FinTech community will be just as passionate and driven and I am looking forward to meeting as many people as possible."