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Net Element, Inc. (NETE) Omni-Channel PaaS Platform Versatility Demonstrated by Expanding Emerging Market SME & Consumer Footprint

The rapid proliferation of mobile devices around the world, for which Gartner recently projected 2.8 percent growth this year to over 2.5 billion units being shipped worldwide, has been a major contributing factor to the ongoing state of flux within the payments industry. The fact that active mobile phone accounts now outnumber credit and debit card accounts by over 460 percent, totaling some 7.3 billion (according to information from credit card processer First Data and the International Telecommunications Union), means that for SMEs in particular, the ability to surmount logistical challenges and provide consumers with access to mobile credit and currency will be a major factor in determining their growth potential.

A recent forecast by MarketsandMarkets indicates that the $12.34 billion mobile money market is on track to grow at an impressive 44.6 percent CAGR through 2019, hitting upwards of $78 billion on the strength of continued development in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as Russia, the Middle East, and Africa. However, these regions present persistent cross-border regulatory challenges and complexities related to the nature of emerging markets, complexities like language differences which are increasingly expressed within developed nations like the U.S. and EU as well due to the constantly changing face of the resident populations, as people stream in from countries all over the world.

These underlying market dynamics, which may seem daunting to some in the payments and financial services industry, are bread and butter for an omni-channel PaaS (payments-as-a-service) tech provider like Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE), which already has over 1 million recurring mobile payment subscribers. Through the company’s global mobile payments and transactional processing subsidiary, TOT Group, Inc., Net Element possesses an enviable capacity to on-board businesses and consumers alike through a single interface. This capacity to offer a universalized, highly secure and yet extremely simple means for purchases to be made without a credit card or a bank account has given the company a strong footing in emerging markets such as the Russian Federation.

The recent move to acquire major Russian Federation payment processor PayOnline – which has around 10 million active consumers and also provides payment solutions to thousands of merchants throughout the Russian Federation, as well as in Europe and Asia – is a major milestone for NETE that has further cemented the company’s established presence in these regions. PayOnline recently dropped an SDK for iOS that allows for easy integration of PayOnline transaction processing into iPad and iPhone apps, further opening up the market of over 390 million mobile users in Russia alone, and with one of Russia’s top six airlines, Ural Airlines, being one of the first iOS app clients, NETE already has the ball rolling fast.

A 3-year contract to process transactions for Social Discovery Ventures’ online dating and social networks – including AnastasiaDate, AmoLatina and AsianDate, which have over 4 million registered users and over 150 million visitors each year – is another big win right out of the gate for NETE when it comes to the PayOnline acquisition. This one deal on its own opens up a revenue stream of some $1.2 million over the life of the contract and offers a minimum processing commitment of $300 million.

Leaping over varied banking, demographic and regulatory hurdles, NETE pursues a dynamic vision of leveraging technology to empower consumers, as well as SMEs, when it comes to handling billing and payment acceptance, whether it is via ecommerce and mcommerce pathways, or through traditional card-present transactions. TOT Money’s extensive integration and relationships with mobile operators throughout the Russian Federation region, enhanced by the PayOnline acquisition, which is rapidly being dovetailed into NETE’s existing operational footprint, brings comprehensive mobile payment processing services to this vast and growing mobile market, where PayOnline already sees nearly 20 percent of all online payments being processed via mobile.

Given that this 20 percent figure represents a 157 percent uptick year over year and that over half of all such payments processed were iOS-driven, the company is extremely confident of its ability to garner continued market share regionally and to expand its presence further into neighboring regions. To wit, NETE has launched its payment processing business in Kazakhstan via an agreement with the country’s largest bank, Kazkommertsbank, and secured a key contract with the second biggest online merchant in the country,, which also happens to be Kazakhstan’s number one online events ticketing website.

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