SOURCE: Net Element, Inc.

Net Element, Inc.

March 25, 2015 10:37 ET

Net Element Launches Joint Venture to Focus on GCC States and India

UAE-Based Joint Venture to Provide Net Element Payment-as-a-Service Solutions on an Exclusive Basis

MIAMI, FL--(Marketwired - Mar 25, 2015) -  Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) ("Net Element" or the "Company"), a global technology provider of mobile payments and value-added transactional services, today announced the formation of a joint venture between the Company and UAE-based industry professionals to sell and deliver Net Element's payment-as-a-service solutions to all Gulf Cooperation Council ("GCC") states and India.

The JV will be financed solely by the local partners, who will own 80% with the Company maintaining a 20% equity stake in the JV. Net Element will be the exclusive provider of payment services to the JV, which will in turn have the exclusive rights to sell Net Element's services in the territory and market such services under Net Element's brand. The new venture is organized under the laws of the United Arab Emirates under the name Net Element, LLC.

This year, the UAE is expected to become the first country in the world with a fully integrated digital payment platform supported by all banks operating in the country according to the Global Payments 2020: Transformation and Convergence report by BNY Mellon.

This report also cites recent acceleration in India's mobile payment growth bringing it even with China's where 66% of its population used mobile payments recently to settle a transaction. Only 13% of France's population was reported to have recently used mobile payments.

The region's potential is further illustrated in a study released in July 2014 by ResearchMoz. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Cards and Payments Industry reported growth of UAE card payments from 10.3 million in 2009 to 18.2 million in 2013, representing a compounded annual growth rate of 15.31%. The study projects that the card payments channel in the region is forecast to grow to 28.4 million by 2018.

The Company plans to apply its growing payment technology platform to this growing base of e-payment and mobile customers.

Suresh Menon, a 25-year senior financial services executive with a focus on payment systems, cards and process automation technology, will be General Director of UAE-based Net Element, LLC.

Suresh has significant experience in different executive leadership roles including as CEO of a leading UAE-based corporation and as founder of startup Ubiqu Group that focuses on delivering efficiencies in the payments sector.

Suresh has been instrumental in introducing numerous important payment technology solutions to UAE and the GCC States region, including Dubai's first Automated Fine Payment solution for Dubai Police, UAE's first cash deposit machine and project design of Wage Protection System in collaboration with Emirates ID Authority for both locals and expatriates.

Mr. Menon has introduced to the region solutions in retail management, government payments, government authority fees, credit bureau services, RTA and DOT Services.

"We've been tracking the growth of the GCC payments sector and believe its current critical mass would provide the Company with another outlet to scale our services," commented Company CEO Oleg Firer. "Collaboration with a local partner in the region is a natural extension of our expansion plans into growing emerging markets."

About Net Element
Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) is a global payments-as-a-service, technology provider with an integrated mobile and transactional services platform serving millions of emerging market clients. Wholly owned subsidiary TOT Group operates Unified Payments and Aptito, a next generation, cloud-based point of sale payments platform, and TOT Money, a leading mobile payments service provider, which captures a growing share of the mobile payments market in Russia and ranked as a Top 3 mobile payments provider for two consecutive years by Beeline, Russia's second largest telecommunications operator. Further information is available at www.netelement.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Any statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed forward-looking statements. Words such as "continue," "will," "may," "could," "should," "expect," "expected," "plans," "intend," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential," and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, whether Net Element or its business continues to grow, whether the proposed Joint Venture will be successful or will provide any additional scale to the Company's business, whether the Company will be able to replicate its successes in the UAE and other regions the joint venture conducts business in, whether the use of the Net Element name in the UAE and other regions will be detrimental to the Company, whether Net Element can secure any additional financing and if such additional financing will be adequate to meet the Company's objectives. All forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, many of which are generally outside the control of Net Element and are difficult to predict. Examples of such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: (i) Net Element's ability (or inability) to obtain additional financing in sufficient amounts or on acceptable terms when needed; (ii) Net Element's ability to maintain existing, and secure additional, contracts with users of its payment processing services; (iii) Net Element's ability to successfully expand in existing markets and enter new markets; (iv) Net Element's ability to successfully manage and integrate any acquisitions of businesses, solutions or technologies; (v) unanticipated operating costs, transaction costs and actual or contingent liabilities; (vi) the ability to attract and retain qualified employees and key personnel; (vii) adverse effects of increased competition on Net Element's business; (viii) changes in government licensing and regulation that may adversely affect Net Element's business; (ix) the risk that changes in consumer behavior could adversely affect Net Element's business; (x) Net Element's ability to protect its intellectual property; (xi) local, industry and general business and economic conditions; (xii) adverse effects of potentially deteriorating U.S.-Russia relations, including, without limitation, over a conflict related to Ukraine, including a risk of further U.S. government sanctions or other legal restrictions on U.S. businesses doing business in Russia. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements can be found in the most recent annual report on Form 10-K and the subsequently filed quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed by Net Element with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Net Element anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause its plans, intentions and expectations to change. Net Element assumes no obligation, and it specifically disclaims any intention or obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by law.

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