Telecom firm Digicel has acquired a majority stake in Jamaica’s first payments company Paymaster for an undisclosed sum. Founded by a former ambassador, the payment service provider has over 170 locations in the Caribbean country.
The news comes barely a week after Digicel acquired a controlling stake in a similar payment firm called Prism, which operates in 22 countries with offices in the Bahamas, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. With Prism and Paymaster in tow, Digicel seems to be gearing up to launch amobile wallet service.
Although a large majority of its clients are in Jamaica or the United States, Paymaster has agent relationships with over 40,000 locations in the US and Canada. Founded in 1997 by Ambassador Audrey Marks, Paymaster has reportedly developed and launched a proprietary Bill Payment Information System.
The Jamaican firm might use the proceeds to acquire new technology and capitalize on growing opportunities particularly in the areas of online and mobile-based payments. Digicel, struggling to compete with Cable and Wireless, is likely to use Paymaster to widen its service portfolio in the Caribbean.
Audrey Marks will remain the executive chairman of Paymaster, and she will retain some shareholdings in the company. Digicel Group CEO, Colm Delves said his company was expanding its products and services ‘consistent with the convergence of communications, e-Commerce and financial services.’
“Ambassador Audrey Marks has done a tremendous job in establishing and then growing Paymaster into the highly successful business it is today and we are looking forward to working with her and her team to take it to the next level,” Delves added.