Mint Technology Corp. has made two important announcements today. The first is that the Company has formed a new subsidiary called Mint Money (“M-Money”), and the second is that the Company has signed a binding Memorandum of Understanding with transaction processing company Carta Worldwide for the formation of Mint Global Processing LLC (MGP). MGP will be owned 55% by Mint and 45% by Carta Worldwide. M-Money has been established to address the opportunity within Mint’s existing cardholder base for Money remittances within the UAE and internationally, Mobile top-up and Microfinance which will evolve through delivery channels starting with the card itself and then migrating to the next generation of electronic payments through POS and mobile channels.
Mint’s core business is in the UAE and is the largest non-bank financial firm servicing over 400,000 foreign labor employees with a payroll card. Mint will first launch its Microfinance program in Q1 2012 followed closely by its Money Remittance and Mobile top up programs.
Mint intends to offer Microfinance directly to its existing cardholder base and as such as virtually no cost of customer acquisition with a limit of up to US$1,000 each advance and with approval and settlement taking place within 24 hours through a credit funds load to the payroll card. Repayments will be deducted on pay day before available funds are allowed on the card thereby virtually eliminating repayment risk.
“Because of Mint’s current market share and direct servicing of cardholders, Mint has competitive entry advantages for rapid execution and growth in the remittance and microfinance business in the Middle East.” said Mint’s Executive Chairman, Chris Hogg. “Mint is positioned to be a key player in enabling these workers to utilize a microfinance advance on payday for any worthwhile purpose including sending money home to their families.”
“With 5 million potential micro borrowers in the UAE and 400,000 of these being Mint cardholders that don’t have access to financial services,” added Mint’s CEO, Nabil Bader. “There is clearly room for growth of microfinance in the region”.
Mint Global Processing will process Mint’s own prepaid and payroll card’s and in addition will be a full service, third-party transaction processing company capable of processing a range of mobile banking and other financial products throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for other financial institutions.
Business will only commence following certification and approvals from both the Central Bank of UAE and MasterCard as a Third Party Processor (TPP), which are now underway. Mint expects to make further announcements as required with regards to MGP as approvals and certifications proceed.
Speaking on this second business announcement, Mint Executive Chairman, Chris Hogg stated that “Mint’s business growth strategy includes extending our fast growing prepaid card management business into transaction processing and we chose Carta’s technology to be the engine for Mint Global Processing after a thorough review of a number of competing software solutions and are very impressed with the next generation platform they have built. This platform will enable MGP to offer an interoperable, market ready solution with NFC, EMV and chip based multi-application technology including online/offline, micro payments, data mining, dynamic F/X, fraud and security, micro financing and mobile banking solutions.”
Carta Worldwide Founder, Brian Semkiw added that “We are co-investing with Mint to form this new Company to take advantage of the extraordinary opportunities Mint has developed in the MENA region. The development of a full service transaction processing platform utilizing Carta’s next generation technology we expect will place this new venture in a highly competitive position to expand the range of payment solutions Mint offers to this market.”