SOURCE: Clickatell


January 19, 2010 04:01 ET

Clickatell Appoints Len Pienaar, Former First National Bank M-Commerce CEO

Clickatell Further Poised to Bolster Mobile Financial Services Deployments

REDWOOD CITY, CA and CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwire - January 19, 2010) - Clickatell, leader in high-value enterprise messaging, announced today that Len Pienaar, former CEO of FNB's M-Commerce division, joins Clickatell to strengthen the Company's management team and financial services market position. Len has many years of experience in mobile banking deployments and in providing banking services that consumers are able to easily use conveniently from their mobile phone. Len's expertise combined with Clickatell's decade of high value enterprise messaging experience will advance the use of the mobile phone in enterprise and financial services deployments in Africa and around the world.

"The intersection of mobile with all kinds of financial services applications are greatly anticipated and it's expected that 2010 will be a year of tremendous growth, which is in line with Gartner's recent predictions, which puts 'mobile transfers via SMS' at the top of the list for 2012," commented Pieter de Villiers, Clickatell CEO. "Len's leadership and vision in opening mobile channels for FNB is admired and respected by his peers and the competition. And, as mobile operators accelerate their financial services initiatives, banks will look to value added providers, such as Clickatell, to help launch strategic mobile banking deployments, of which our enterprise messaging platforms will form a core component. We're excited to welcome Len to our team as Clickatell continues to help innovate and advance the convergence of mobile and money."

Holding strategic positions at MTN and CellC, two leading mobile operators in Africa, Len joined FNB, the fourth largest bank in Africa, in 2004. During his tenure at FNB, Len led the strategy and deployment of several 'world first' mobile banking services and received local and international awards -- most recently FNB was awarded with the coveted Celent Model Bank Award for their mobile banking initiatives. All from the mobile phone, FNB customers can check account balances, get account mini statements, transfer money between FNB accounts, make 3rd party payments, purchase mobile prepaid airtime for themselves or someone else, purchase prepaid electricity, pay traffic fines, make 'Cell Pay Point' purchases on merchant's online websites, apply for loans and much more.

"I'm looking forward to applying what I've learned and broadly apply it to this remarkable market. Clickatell is fast emerging as the leader in Africa, trusted by operators and banks alike," Pienaar commented. "I am looking forward to become an 'offering provider' to help companies realize the potential that a solid mobile strategy can bring to their business. The successes we are seeing with mobile financial services in South Africa are a good indicator of the impact mobile phones can have on an industry. What specifically excites me is the opportunity to do this across a myriad of markets and regions. Clickatell's deep financial services experience, combined with a large geographical footprint positions them well to advance the mobile financial services marketplace abroad, specifically in the United States, where banks are just now starting to take a look at mass mobile banking services. I am looking forward to hitting the ground running and to begin working with their customers and Clickatell's team of mobile experts."

About Len Pienaar

Responsible for the ongoing operations of an entire business unit, Len spearheaded the entire mobile banking strategy for FNB, including Cellphone Banking, Prepaid Services and inContact. Having seen the success of the initial deployments, the business unit now operates in six countries: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zambia and is in the process of expanding to two more countries. Len held direct responsibilities for finance, human resources, marketing, risk and compliance, product development and management, quality assurance and all aspects of information technology functions. Len also served as a director on the Celpay board, while it was a wholly owned subsidiary, which operates as a mobile payment provider and prepaid distributor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia.

--  FNB Cellphone Banking: Since the launch, it has matured into a major 
    channel for the bank, with transactional value exceeding R1 billion per 
    month and year on year growth still exceeding 100%. FNB is considered the 
    leading bank in South Africa in this field and the service is 
    internationally recognized as groundbreaking.
--  Prepaid Services: Since 2005, sales have grown 10 fold. This has been 
    achieved by an aggressive role out plan for new products and delivery 
    channels positioning FNB as the largest bank in prepaid distribution in 
    South Africa. 
--  inContact: With 5 million customers getting daily updates through 
    inContact, FNB has extensively adopted SMS as a communication method to 
    reach customers. This service alone is responsible for delivering 65 
    million messages per month, in various countries.

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About Clickatell

Clickatell enables businesses, governments and communities to leverage the ubiquity of mobile messaging to inform, alert, notify, transact, interact and share information. Delivering mobile messaging solutions since 2000, Clickatell is a global leader in Value Added Services specializing in SMS messaging as a service across 815+ mobile networks in 220+ countries, Clickatell serves 10,000+ customers including several of the Fortune 500, leading governments and communities globally. Clickatell has also formed strategic partnerships with a number of industry leaders including RSA Data Security, Entrust, S1, mFoundry, Fundamo, IBM, and others. Clickatell products and services increase customer acquisition, improve loyalty and build trusted brands through direct, personal, easy, and immediate communications. Backed by Sequoia and Ethos, Clickatell is headquartered in Redwood City, CA, and has offices in South Africa.

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