22seven founder Christo Davel joins Direct Transact - TechCentral

22seven founder Christo Davel joins Direct Transact

From left, Hennie Dreyer, Christo Davel and Anthony De Gray Birch

Christo Davel, the co-founder of the 22seven personal financial management platform acquired by Old Mutual in 2013, is joining Direct Transact as chief commercial officer.

Davel, who also led the Saambou (and later Standard Chartered)-owned bank 20Twenty, will work with Direct Transact founders Hennie Dreyer and Anthony De Gray Birch.

Both Davel’s series of fintech ventures, including 22seven, and Direct Transact has their origins in Saambou and 20Twenty, the bank the three spearheaded together. They are now working to “drive open payments technology to enable more fintech players to take part in the payments and banking innovation game”. Already, Direct Transact is responsible for driving almost 10% of South Africa’s monthly transactional value through the BankservAfrica automated clearing house.

Direct Transact is the “biggest independent processor of financial industry transaction flows in South Africa, to the tune of R30-billion/month”. The company plays a big role behind the scenes in helping democratise the payments and banking ecosystem in South Africa with software-as-a-service solutions that allow smaller banks to get access to payment innovations.

In addition to Davel’s appointment, Direct Transact has also hired C-suite banking veteran Arina McDonald as non-executive director and banking technologist Clinton Haley as executive head of production and software development.

‘Behave like fintechs’

McDonald is a former chief financial officer at Standard Bank Africa and Atlas Mara; Haley previously held top technical positions at First National Bank, where he was in charge of credit card technology and enterprise finance solutions.

In a statement, Direct Transact explained that its technology allows banks, retailers and other businesses to “behave like fintechs that offer innovative payment solutions to the market”.

“Dreyer and De Gray Birch, who is chief operating officer of Direct Transact, will be working with their bolstered management team — with Davel playing a key role as CCO — to lead the local SaaS-hosted payments and retail banking services industry from its current infrastructure setup into a future of expanded open banking and cloud-based technologies,” the company said.  — © 2021 NewsCentral Media

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