Riding a wave of success that has delivered record half year revenue, digital payments company Novatti Group (ASX: NOV) is making waves across the fintech industry with a big recruitment push setting them up for lucrative new business opportunities.
Despite reporting $11.1 m in revenue for the half year ended 31 December 2021 which represented a 51% increase on the previous year, Novatti has further growth ambitions on the agenda. These will be driven by the large recruitment drive recently undertaken.
In the past 12 months, the Melbourne-based fintech has doubled its headcount to now have more than 150 staff, with a particular focus on growing their merchant acquiring and issuing teams. Making the drive all the more impressive is the fierce war on talent in the tech industry where the likes of Google and Apple are offering substantial pay rises to retain key talent. Much of this has been catalysed by international border restrictions which have limited access to foreign talent, but one that Novatti has overcome at a critical time in their global expansion.
“We expect this scaling to continue as all our businesses, but particularly processing, increasingly leverage our now global operating base including Asia, North America, Europe and the UK, and of course Australia,” said Novatti Managing Director, Peter Cook.
“Across the half we continued to invest heavily in our ecosystem and expanding our operations globally. We see the strength of our ecosystem, including our technology, licences, partnerships and team, as being central to our continued growth as it is increasingly leveraged globally to scale our revenue base.”
As processors of digital payments, Novatti has been steadily increasing their geographic reach over the past 12 months while also being at the forefront of alternative payments, including cryptocurrency.
This has included their acquisition of leading Malaysian fintech ATX while expanding their RippleNet network across Australia, Thailand and the Philippines. Through their large footprint in China, Novatti is tipped to be a big winner from the return of international students, many of which use Novatti services to transfer money between Australia and China.
Another region flagged by Novatti for growth of their ecosystem is Europe where they recently launched Verv, a digital payments platform. Once signed up to Verv, Europeans can open a digital bank account with its own unique IBAN – International Bank Account Number – for standardised banking services worldwide. This is the international equivalent of Australia’s BSB system, but on a global scale.
Once an account has been set up on Verv, European-based customers will be able to send and receive money, make payment requests, schedule recurring payments and withdraw funds from ATMs. The suite of business account services is even greater with invoicing analytics and payroll functionality.
While Verv is actively signing up customers, the platform is part of Novatti’s wider plans in Europe where they have an application pending for an E-Money licence that would enable Novatti to issue a range of financial products in the EU.
In Australia, the fintech company is making strong progress with their merchant acquiring division which provides payments services enabling businesses to receive payment from major payment providers including Visa or Mastercard. Unlike other operators that have copped massive profit downgrades due to their reliance on foot traffic that dried up throughout the pandemic, Novatti’s merchant services are primarily online-based which is a trend more businesses are starting to adopt.
Further accelerating the growth of this division, Novatti is in discussions with accounting software company Reckon (ASX: RKN) to offer digital payment services to their 114,000 users.
Novatti currently has a banking licence application pending for which they are working closely with Australia’s banking regulator to fulfil its ambitions to launch Australia’s newest neobank.
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