Arab Financial Services and Euronet Worldwide join to offer ATM and POS Driving in Middle-East and North Africa
Arab Financial Services Company B.S.C (c) (AFS), a regional leader in card outsourcing business has announced the formation of a joint venture with Euronet Worldwide, Inc. (Nasdaq: EEFT), a leading electronic payments provider. The new joint venture company, ‘Euronet Middle East’, will offer outsourcing capabilities to financial institutions across the Middle East, North Africa, Gulf region and Pakistan.
Euronet Middle East will be based in the Kingdom of Bahrain and will provide financial institutions with debit card management and operational services, ATM and POS outsourcing services, Chip card issuing services, and Gateway services to Visa/MasterCard and National switches. The company will also provide value added services including bill payment and GSM top-up transactions, among others.
As part of the agreement, Euronet and AFS will establish a new state-of-the-art processing centre in Bahrain, utilising Euronet’s core software product, Integrated Transaction Management (ITM), which currently drives Euronet’s processing centres in Europe and Asia Pacific.
Ghazi AbdulJawad, chairman of AFS, said: “The joint venture allows AFS to leverage its card outsourcing market leadership in the region with Euronet’s proven software solutions. Our strong business foundations and cultural affinity in the region, along with the technical and management support from Euronet, will ensure the success of this new venture.”
AFS will provide Euronet Middle East with the market reach required to gain a strong foothold in the identified territory and Euronet will provide the technical expertise to operate the debit switching business model.
“The new joint venture allows Euronet to take advantage of the growing demand for innovative financial outsourcing solutions in the region and establish a world-class processing centre locally,” said John Romney, Euronet Worldwide Managing Director of EMEA region.
“This mutually-beneficial venture ensures that customer banks in the region will benefit from the combined strengths and capabilities of Euronet and AFS.”
The agreeement will cover the technical and commercial management aspects of the business and ensures both partners are in a good position in advance of the global EMV compliance regulations, which will come into play in 2006. Euronet Middle East has obtained the no-objection from the Bahrain Monetary Agency and is expected to be operational by the end of 2005.
About Arab Financial Services (AFS)
AFS is the leading Arab company for electronic banking, personal payment instruments and related services. Established in 1984, AFS is in a strong financial position with backing from leading international financial institutions in the Arab World. The company pioneered the concept of outsourcing card processing in the region and was the first company to set-up an end-to-end state-of-the-art card-outsourcing environment in Bahrain. AFS is the largest payment card processor in the Middle East and North African regions. AFS is Principal Member of Visa and MasterCard Payment Associations and an authorized third party processor centre. Over 50 Banks in the region are connected to AFS’s online card management integrated solutions. AFS offers diverse services ranging from “get-started” to fully-fledged on-going card processing & related services, assisting banks to issue Visa and MasterCard to their customers through sponsorship card programs. AFS offers flexible and customized solutions to suit the specific requirements of financial institutions in the region, including full Arabic language functionality.
About Euronet Worldwide
Euronet Worldwide is an industry leader in processing secure electronic financial transactions. The company offers outsourcing and consulting services, integrated EFT software, network gateways, and electronic prepaid top-up services to financial institutions, mobile operators and retailers. Euronet operates and services the largest pan-European group of ATMs and operates the largest India shared ATM network. Euronet is also the largest provider of prepaid processing, or top-up services, for prepaid mobile airtime. The company has processing centers located in the U.S., Europe and Asia, and processes electronic top-up transactions at more than 205,000 point-of-sale terminals across more than 94,000 retailers in Europe, Asia Pacific and the U.S. With corporate headquarters in Leawood, Kansas, USA, and 21 worldwide offices, Euronet serves clients in approximately 70 countries. Visit the company’s web site at www.euronetworldwide.com.
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