Our Story

Steven Kark and Rowan Swartz founded ATM Solutions, the first Independent ATM Deployer (IAD) in South Africa in 1999, from a small office in Johannesburg. ATM Solutions was to be the first of a number of successful Paycorp group companies.

In March 2000, we installed our first ATM in convenience retail, a dramatic move away from the accepted practice of ATMs only being supplied by banks at branch and select off-site locations. We were the first to offer merchants the ability to load their ATM with cash from their tills. Today we are a leader in ATM management and transaction processing across Southern Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and the United Kingdom.

From that early triumph we pioneered one innovation after another, and not just in our ATM business.

Through our start-up, Drawcard, we launched South Africa’s first Visa gift card, first Visa payroll card, an award-winning insurance claims card and a Visa-backed reloadable card that could be purchased off the shelf. In fact, Tutuka, previously one of our prepaid card issuing businesses, is now one of the world’s largest.

Shortly after launching EFTPOS, our merchant acquiring business, we were the first company to bring mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) to South Africa in 2013, adding to our range of extensive merchant acquiring services. We continued to extended our reach into sub-Saharan Africa through the acquisition of Kazang, a leading provider of micropayments and prepaid services.

In 2013, Paycorp was the subject of a management buy-out from Transaction Capital Ltd. Global private equity firm, Actis became Paycorp’s majority shareholder with Steven Kark and his executive team, co-investors.

Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, our 20-year journey of payments innovations has secured our position as a respected, global payments provider and a leader in our field of ATM management and transaction processing with 14 offices worldwide staffed by 500 highly skilled people.

We always have, and continue to provide locally relevant solutions underpinned by global experience and expertise.

Our customers range from small and medium businesses to some of the world’s largest banks. Acknowledged leaders in our industry, we are known for our commitment to setting standards and maintaining long-term partnerships with associations, banks, regulating bodies and customers.

Our History

  • 1999

    In late 1999, Steven Kark and Rowan Swartz founded ATM Solutions, pioneering independent ATM deployment in South Africa.

  • 2000

    On the 24th March 2000, our first ATM went live in South Africa in partnership with Saambou Bank.
    Later in the year we developed and introduced the country’s first wireless communication ATM in South Africa allowing us to install quicker and reach more under-serviced areas.

  • 2001

    The installation of our Postilion transaction switch enabled seamless integrations with new banking partners and card associations and the ability to introduce value added services on our ATMs.

     

    Horizon Equity took a minority equity stake in the company to invest for growth.

     

    Our Founder and Group CEO, Steven Kark was awarded Investec’s “Jewish Entrepreneur of the Year” award.

  • 2002

    We partnered with both Absa Bank and Nedbank to extend the banks’ network of ATMs in South Africa. In our quest to offer value added services to cardholders, prepaid airtime purchases were made available across the full fleet of ATMs.

     

    We gained ATM international industry recognition through ATMIA’s “Security Best Practice” award.

  • 2003

    In a year of more awards, ATM Solutions won Triton’s “Outstanding Achievement” award and our efforts were recognised when we were awarded the prestigious KPMG/Business Day “Non-listed Company of the Year” award.

  • 2004

    Looking to expand financial inclusion, we partnered with Standard Bank and Ithala Bank in South Africa to deploy and operate fully branded ATMs to service their cardholders.

     

    As a member of the ATMIA since inception, ATM Solutions was runner-up in ATMIA’s “Most Influential Member” award.

     

    We founded and launched DrawCard, South Africa’s first independent prepaid card issuer, with the first gift card transaction being processed for Occhiali Eyewear. In its first year of operation, DrawCard was awarded the “African Leadership Award in Card Technology” for innovation.

  • 2005

    A 3rd party processing agreement with Bidvest Bank in South Africa linked our ecosystem directly into Visa and BankservAfrica. This paved the way for our bank outsource offering for Bidvest Bank branded ATMs in branches and off-premise locations.

     

    Partnering with Mercantile Bank in South Africa also enabled ATM Solutions to reach a milestone of 2 000 ATM installations across South Africa.

     

    Once again, Triton acknowledged ATM Solutions with the “Triton International Distributor of the year” award.

     

    Ethos Private Equity saw potential in the group and took a minority equity stake in the business.

     

    We launched South Africa’s first independent merchant acquiring business, EFTPOS, offering card acceptance to SMMEs in South Africa in partnership with our long-term partner, Absa Bank.

     

    DrawCard introduced its first Visa branded prepaid cards through a BIN sponsorship agreement with Bidvest Bank.

     

  • 2006

    Steven Kark, our Group CEO, was the founding member of the Association of System Operators (ASO), providing a platform for non-banks to participate in the formal payments system in South Africa.

     

    We opened our first branch outside of South Africa, deploying and operating ATMs in partnership with Bank Windhoek in Namibia.

     

    DrawCard launched South Africa’s first Visa branded shopping centre gift card for Canal Walk.

       

  • 2007

    We merged our group of payments companies with JMR Capital’s financial services assets to form Transaction Capital.

     

    Across South Africa and Namibia we expanded our network to 3000 ATMs.

     

    South Africa’s first independent Visa Payroll card was issued on behalf of Workforce.

     

     

  • 2008

    With a view to expand our financial service offering, we acquired BDB Data Bureau, providing EFT and ACH services in South Africa.

     

    Expanding our merchant acquiring offering, EFTPOS introduced a new range of terminals including a portable device, giving merchants more flexibility and choice for accepting payments.

     

    Through Drawcard, we launched a Visa branded general purpose reloadable card, the Prezzy card, in a BIN sponsorship agreement with Nedbank.

  • 2009

    Increasing our reach across the ATM value chain, we opened an in-house repair centre and warehouse that enabled us to assemble and repair ATMs ourselves.

     

    We introduced prepaid airtime and electricity sales as value added services on our POS terminals, increasing the revenue opportunities for our merchants.

     

  • 2010

    With a massive focus on compliance, we were one of the first payments providers on the African continent to achieve Level 1 PCI-DSS certification.

     

    We further successfully certified and upgraded our ATM and POS networks to accept EMV chip cards.

     

    Our network grew to 4 000 ATMs installations across South Africa and Namibia and DrawCard continued innovating and launched the first Visa insurance claims card in Africa for Santam.

     

  • 2011

    ATM Solutions was appointed as the first non-bank member of SABRIC (The South African Banking Risk Information Centre) to assist and contribute towards industry initiatives to counter banking scams, ATM vandalisms and card fraud.

     

    EFTPOS signed an acquiring and bank outsourcing agreement with Mercantile Bank, enabling the bank to launch their merchant acquiring solution.

     

    DrawCard processed in excess of R1 billion for the year and was a founding member of the Global Prepaid Exchange South Africa.

     

    PCI-DSS level 1 compliance was now part of the fabric of the business and compliance was once again achieved, and has been ever since.

  • 2012

    Transaction Capital Ltd listed on the JSE (Johannesburg Stock Exchange) in South Africa.

     

    Our research and development team developed and patented dye stain technology to curb ATM attacks and stain cash in ATMs across the network.

     

    It was DrawCard’s year for awards as a finalist in both “Best Global Prepaid Programme” and “Best Global Prepaid Innovation” categories and was awarded “Leading Prepaid Organisation MEA Region” at the Global Prepaid Awards in London, “Best Non-US based Prepaid Programme” and “Best Benefits Prepaid Programme” for Santam at the Paybefore Awards in Las Vegas.

  • 2013

    Actis, a global private equity company, co-funded a management buy-out of what is now the Paycorp Group from Transaction Capital, providing access to capital for acquisition and growth.

     

    We opened ATM Solutions Zambia and the first ATMs were installed in partnership with Cavmont Bank. Our ATM network was now over 5 000 ATMs across three countries.

     

    We pioneered mobile POS, launching ZipZap, the first Visa and Mastercard certified mPOS solution in South Africa.

     

    DrawCard launched Reload, South Africa’s first general purpose reloadable Visa card that was easily available for purchase off the shelf at various retail and convenience locations, and Refuel, South Africa’s first Visa prepaid fuel card. DrawCard was recognised as the “Best Alternative Payment Programme” at the Card and e-Payment Africa Awards.

  • 2014

    Our offering in Namibia was expanded through a partnership with Standard Bank to expand their ATM footprint.

     

    Looking to expand our payments offering, we acquired Kazang a micro-payments and value added services provider to the informal markets in Southern Africa.

     

    Paycorp acquired a majority share in Tutuka, a leading prepaid card issuer to complement our existing issuing offerings. Tutuka went on to launch companion card programmes in Zimbabwe and Thailand.

     

    DrawCard partnered with Vodacom to power the m-pesa programme in South Africa.

  • 2015

    As our first venture into Eastern Europe, we acquired a majority share in ATM Point and achieved certification with both Visa and MasterCard as a 3rd party processor across 27 European countries. ATM Point’s first recycling ATM went live in Budapest.

     

    In Zambia, ATM Solutions extended our offering and long standing partnership with Standard Bank (Stanbic Bank) installing ATMs to provide convenient ATM accessibility to Stanbic customers.

     

    EFTPOS expanded its bank outsource offering through providing a white label mPOS solution, BluMobi, for Standard Bank in South Africa and partnered with Investec Bank to provide card acceptance solutions to medical practitioners.

     

    Kazang extended its offering by enabling Lotto sales on Kazang terminals.

     

    Tutuka launched an innovative carrier billing programme in the Philippines, a market with high smartphone penetration, enabling customers to create a store of value on a virtual card. It was also an opportune time to merge DrawCard with Tutuka, making it a leading card processor in multiple emerging markets around the world.

     

  • 2016

    ATM Solutions Zambia partnered with Access Bank to install ATMs in convenience retail locations in Zambia.

     

    Kazang opened up in Namibia, expanding its presence in Southern Africa, and introduced a ground-breaking cashless payments solution with Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages in South Africa.

     

    Tutuka launched its first contactless card, its first card programme in Pakistan and Cameroon and opened offices in Thailand to service the region effectively.

  • 2017

    With UnionPay cardholders becoming more prevalent, we certified with UnionPay International across a number of our partner banks.

     

    ATM Point Slovakia was launched with the first ATMs being installed in small towns to increase financial inclusion.

     

    ZipZap became South Africa’s first inflight card acceptance with Kulula airlines, enabling travellers to pay for inflight purchases by card on domestic flights.

     

    Kazang purchased a 49% equity stake in Sandulela and enabled the eThekwini and City Power municipalities to vend prepaid electricity through Kazang terminals. Kazang also acquired Kazang Botswana from their existing distributor.

     

    Tutuka launched companion card programmes in Vietnam and Cambodia and opened an office in Dubai.

  • 2018

    We certified and launched ATM processing services supporting independent ATM deployers in the United Kingdom and Ireland through our scalable and secure payments eco-system.

     

    KazangMoney cardless cash-out was enabled at Cavmont Bank ATMs in Zambia.

     

    We launched KazangPay in South Africa which enabled Kazang merchants to accept card payments through an mPOS device linked to their Kazang terminal, starting an alignment of the EFTPOS and Kazang businesses.

  • 2019

    Paycorp sold its 60% stake in Tutuka to the Apis Group, a global fund manager focused on investing in financial services companies in Africa, India and South East Asia.

     

    ATM Point Czech Republic was launched and offices opened in Prague where our first ATMs were installed.

     

    Albaraka Bank in South Africa partnered with ATM Solutions as an outsourced ATM provider extending their offering to their cardholders

     

    The ATM networks reaches 6 000 ATMs.

  • 2020

    Paycorp sold EFTPOS and Kazang to the Cash Connect Group.