Net1 chief executive Herman Kotze is quite relieved that the Sassa contract is over. Photo: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – Contrary to expectations, Net1 chief executive Herman Kotze is quite relieved that the Sassa contract is over and done with, allowing his company to focus on its core competencies in the fintech business and map out its own space around the country and  the globe where it has a presence.

“The reputational damage has been enormous. The controversy around it overshadowed everything else we did. It’s unfortunate that there was so much focus on it and we were seen as the villains. That it was our fault that contract was nullified,” Kotze said in an interview yesterday.

Instead, he is more enthusiastic that Net1 will now demonstrate how robust its technologies are. He said Net1 had an “ability to deliver innovative financial services through innovative technology in a range of products, including insurance policies, micro-loans and banking services” where the company had acquired a myriad licences either wholly owned or held in partnership with hi-tech partners.

The first of Net1’s pillars he is focusing on is the South African market, where it still continues providing financial services distribution to more than 3 million EasyPay cardholders in urban and rural areas who access products, including cash, through fixed and mobile ATMs, insurance, loans, airtime and electricity purchases. 

Net1 has 1 100 fixed ATMs and 1 200 mobile ones, which Kotze said would be the base for their relationship with new partner DNI.

He said Net1 had built a set of international payment assets, including in South Korea where there is a partnership with KS-NET, which “has more than 250 000 merchants serviced through point-of-sale devices back-end switching and all that”. 

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