Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) Electronic Payment Solutions Set to Depose Cash

  • Fast-growing electronic payments business
  • Non-cash payments continue to grow
  • Flagship Aptito restaurant management solution

Cash may be king, but Miami, Florida-based fintech Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) seems set on deposing it. The innovative global technology company provides a range of non-cash payment solutions that are increasingly taking the place of cash as consumers expand their use of electronic means of payment. As global adoption of digital payments increases, the company expects its transaction processing business to continue growing at double-digit rates.

According to The Federal Reserve Payments Study 2016 (http://nnw.fm/J3eHI), non-cash payments in the U.S. in 2015, the last year for which data is available, amounted to about $178 trillion, taking the following forms and trillion-dollar amounts: debit cards ($2.56); credit cards ($3.16); checks ($26.83); ACH debits ($54.76) and ACH credits ($90.54). ACH (Automated Clearing House) transactions can be either debits, where someone authorizes a merchant, say, to withdraw funds from a bank account, or credits, where the holder of a bank account instructs his or her bank to transfer funds out of the account.

More details on the non-cash world come to light in the latest World Payments Report (http://nnw.fm/cJR8z), published by consultants Capgemini in collaboration with the French bank BNP Paribas, showing that cash may soon lose its crown. The report discovered that ‘global non-cash transaction volumes grew 11.2% during 2014-15, the highest growth of the past decade…’ For 2015, the last full year of data surveyed, ‘debit cards and credit transfers were the leading’ transaction instruments, with debit cards accounting for 46.7% and credit cards for 19.5% of global non-cash transactions. These are encouraging findings for NETE, since its transaction-solutions unit, which processes debit and credit cards, brings in the lion share of both revenues and income.

NETE’s North America Transaction Solutions unit, its major business division, provides a range of technology and services for retailers to accept cashless payments. These include both card-present (swipe) point-of-sale solutions and card-not-present alternatives, such as mail order or over the phone (MOTO) transactions, also called Merchant Acquiring transactions. The unit also offers mobile payment services, merchant performance analytical tools, merchant back office reporting, and the cloud-based Aptito point-of-sale platform.

Aptito is a unique restaurant point-of-sale product that aims to use mobility to give managers and staff greater control. The Aptito iOS cloud-based platform offers a comprehensive array of management and payment services specially designed for the food and beverage industry. It features digital menus (instead of traditional laminated paper stock ones), mobile point-of-sale (no running back and forth between tables and counter) and a Mobile Communicator that allows wait staff to send orders directly to the bar or kitchen. Aptito will reduce the time and energy wait staff expend going in person from diners to kitchen and back, undoubtedly improving customer service.

According to the latest SEC filing, the transaction-solutions business is doing extremely well. Revenues for the 12 months ended December 31, 2016, were up by 54 percent over same period 2015 revenues. As a result, the unit now contributes 78 percent of sales, up from the 68 percent one year ago.

In a recent update to investors, SeeThruEquity maintained the price target of $2.45 it had set earlier (http://nnw.fm/5wLcW). Net Element stock, under the symbol NETE, currently trades at $0.50 on the NASDAQ Capital Market.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.NetElement.com

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