GHL buys stake in Vietnam mobile payment facilitator

PETALING JAYA: GHL Systems Bhd has announced its entry into Vietnam by acquiring a 31.16% stake in MPOS Global Limited for US$3.32 million (RM14.04 million).

MPOS Global and Vietnam MPOS Technology provide the first and only non-bank mobile payment acceptance terminals and financial solutions for individuals and businesses through a 0%-interest installment scheme linked with 12 major banks across Vietnam.

GHL said the move is part of its ongoing transaction payment acquisition strategy in the region. Its executive vice-chairman Simon Loh said it believes Vietnam is ripe for an explosion in e-payment adoption and the strengths of both companies will see it becoming a major player in the e-payment landscape in Vietnam and Asean.

Founded in 2013, Vietnam MPOS owns important innovations in card-present and card-not-present payment acceptance and self-operating end-to-end payment facilitator business. Vietnam MPOS operates 7,000 active mobile payment terminals for 3,000 merchants with an average monthly transaction payment volume (TPV) growth rate of 30% in 2017.

With a population of 93 million, Vietnam is an attractive electronic payment cards market with an estimated 121 million cards issued by 40 financial institutions, but is served by only 300,000 electronic data capture (EDC) terminals. This represents only two EDC terminals per 1,000 inhabitants, compared with 10 EDC terminals per 1,000 inhabitants in Malaysia.

Both GHL and Vietnam MPOS’s strategy is to cement a strong Vietnamese presence in mobile and internet payments, including next generation payment solutions such as QR-code and NFC (near field communication).

For FY16, MPOS Vietnam recorded an audited loss after tax of VND3.06 billion (RM570,000). The historical losses of MPOS Vietnam are not material compared with the audited profit after tax of the GHL Group for the FY16 of RM18.2 million.

“Nonetheless, the management of GHL believes that there are positive synergies to be established through the proposed acquisitions, which are expected to contribute positively to the earnings and earnings per share of the GHL Group moving forward,” GHL said in a stock exchange filing.

The proposed acquisitions are subject to regulatory approvals of Vietnamese authorities and are expected to be completed within the fourth quarter of 2017. GHL closed 4.52% higher at RM1.62 today with 1.13 million shares traded.