MIAMI, FL--(Marketwired - Dec 5, 2016) - Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) ("Net Element" or the "Company"), a provider of global mobile payment technology solutions and value-added transactional services, announced today that its subsidiary, PayOnline, has entered Azerbaijan's growing e-commerce market by securing a contract with Flight.az, a leading online travel agency in the region. Flight.az is a subsidiary of Delta Group, Ltd, an accredited International Air Transport Association ("IATA") agency and a member of the American Society of Travel Agents.
Secure online, mobile payments acceptance and PayOnline's proprietary "Avia2Split" technology was integrated into Flight.az's booking system, minimizing processing costs through PayOnline's unique Pay-Travel integration with the leading international Global Distribution System ("GDS").
A new agreement with AGBank, one of Azerbaijan's leading banks, allows PayOnline to process online transactions for merchants in this growing market in Southwestern Asia with a population of 10 million.
Azerbaijan is still considered an emerging market. Since the appearance of specialized online stores in the early 2000s, e-commerce and e-travel markets in Azerbaijan are experiencing rapid growth fueled by the combination of greater Internet penetration (70% of population are Internet users), more expansive cellular connection and stable growth of bank cards. With e-commerce market growth of more than 100% in 2015 alone, experts predict rapid growth to continue and expect to see the stable index of annual market growth rate equal to 30-35% by year 2021, with expected growth of approximately 75-80% in 2016.
Fahri Mammadly, head of Travel Solutions for Delta Group, commented, "The opportunity to buy air travel online is a new but high-demand service for consumers in Azerbaijan, and thus the e-travel market is rapidly growing. As an example, Qatar Airways has experienced considerable popularity because of its online services in Azerbaijan. Today, the airline sells 35% of its tickets online and is continually seeing gains in the number of online sales. The well-timed launch of PayOnline payment service allows us to provide an easy-to-use, cost-effective and safe payment service at an international level. We are confident that PayOnline's payment solutions will be essential in Azerbaijan -- not only in the e-travel segment but also in the overall e-commerce market that is rapidly developing."
The agreement with Flight.az is one of several significant achievements for Net Element and its subsidiaries in 2016. This year has been well marked by active expansion in the Central Asian market. As previously announced, the Company also opened an office in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and formed partnerships with leading banks in the regions.
About Delta Group Ltd.
Delta Group Ltd. ("Delta Group") was founded in 2002 and was accredited by IATA in 2004. Since 2013, the agency is an associate member of the American Society of Travel Agencies. In the same year, Delta Group has opened Lufthansa City Center and Delta City Center affiliate offices in the region. In 2014, Delta Group launched Flight.Az.com, which was created for individual bookings of flights and hotels. Delta Group's team is comprised of highly qualified, professional staff certified by IATA, Amadeus, Gabriel, Sabre and SIRENA and is available round the clock. For more information, visit www.FlightAz.com.
Open Joint-Stock Company "AGBank" was established in 1992 and has become one of Azerbaijan's leading banks over that period. The Bank's shareholders include 2 largest organizations: International Finance Corporation ("IFC") and US Investment Fund "Kazimir Investment Ltd." At present AGBank offers a wide range of modern banking services including cash and settlement services, consumer and business loans, corporate loans, deposits, plastic cards, urgent money transfers, documentary operations, travel checks and commercial checks. For more information, visit https://www.agbank.az/en/.
About Net Element
Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) operates a payments-as-a-service transactional and value-added services platform for small to medium enterprise ("SME") in the US and selected emerging markets. In the US it aims to grow transactional revenue by innovating SME productivity services such as its cloud based, restaurant point-of-sale solution Aptito. Internationally, Net Element's strategy is to leverage its omni-channel platform to deliver flexible offerings to emerging markets with diverse banking, regulatory and demographic conditions such as UAE, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan where initiatives have been recently launched. Further information is available at www.netelement.com.
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. 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 whether the contract with Flight.az and PayOnline's entry into the Azerbaijan's e-commerce market will positively impact the Company. Additional examples of such risks and uncertainties are: (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, 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.