Softline (Pty) Ltd (“Softline”), part of The Sage Group plc (“Sage”), a leading provider of accounting, payroll, CRM and ERP business management software and services to small and medium sized companies (“SMEs”), has announced the acquisition of 100% of Netcash (Pty) Ltd (“Netcash”). Netcash specialises in providing secure, online transaction processing services for SMEs in South Africa.
Netcash, which was established in 2002, provides transaction processing services to its fast growing base of 6 000 customers in three primary areas: electronic funds transfer (“EFT’s”) payments, debit order collections and credit card transaction processing. The Netcash system is a state-of-the-art internet based platform, affording SMEs a service in real-time, on a location-independent basis.
According to local research firm World Wide Worx, the internet user base in South Africa grew by 15% in 2009, from 4.6-million users to 5.3-million users, and is expected to grow at a similar rate in 2010, reaching the 6-million mark by the end of 2010. SMEs are increasingly using internet based services to manage their businesses and there is a growing demand for cost-effective and secure transaction processing services, coupled with high levels of support.
The potential synergies between the businesses of Softline and Netcash are readily apparent; both businesses predominantly serve SMEs and the addition of Netcash’s transaction services to Softline’s family of products such as Pastel Accounting, Pastel Payroll, VIP Payroll, Accpac and Sage ERP X3, will afford existing and future Softline customers a unique breadth of service offering, under a single banner.
The acquisition of Netcash is an important step in fulfilling Softline’s growth and vision to provide a business solution to SMEs which enables them to transact in EFTs, debit order and credit card transactions directly within their back-office accounting and payroll applications.
Ivan Epstein, Chief Executive Officer of Softline, commented:
“The Netcash acquisition gives Softline the capability to integrate a secure payment system with our accounting and payroll software, being Pastel Accounting, Pastel Payroll, VIP Payroll and Accpac. With SagePay in the UK, Sage Payment Solutions in the US and now Netcash in South Africa, Softline and Sage continue their strategy to expand into payment and transaction processing, and to broaden the range of services they can offer to SME customers.”