Prism Holdings completes 10 years

As South Africa (SA) marks the tenth anniversary of the birth of democracy, Prism Holdings Ltd. has celebrated its first 10 years in business.

Prism Holdings was founded in 1994 following a management buy-out from Linkdata -- the EFT Group.

Says Alvin Els, Prism CEO: "There are very few technology companies founded during that period that still exist today, or are still recognizably the same business.

While Prism too has been greatly affected by the turbulence that has rocked the ICT industry over the past decade, we never strayed far from our roots, and, learning from our experiences over the past 10 years, we have built a strong organization."

Prior to 1994, certain of the founding members of Prism were involved in the development and initial operation of SA's earliest electronic banking and payment transaction networks, Saswitch and Pick 'n Pay's PayNet, which was later named TranSwitch Services.

Soon after Prism's listing on the main board of the Johannesburg Securities Exchange in October 1999, Prism acquired TranSwitch Services. Today, this forms the services arm of Prism, known as Prism TranSwitch Services (PTSS).

This acquisition was intended to enable the group to develop extensive intellectual capital and broad operational experience in the areas of electronic funds transfer (EFT), third-party value-added services, and reconciliation and settlement processing.

Earlier this year Gijima Technologies -- a 100 percent black-owned company -- acquired 25.1 percent of PTSS. This partnership is said to be creating opportunities for PTSS to provide innovative and advanced trusted transaction services to the government and parastatal sectors in SA.

Other key acquisitions over the years have included the chip card manufacturing plant from Telephone Manufacturers SA (Temsa), which today handles the production of Prism's GSM SIM cards and prepaid telephone cards. The plant has received the latest ISO 9001 (2000) certification.

The acquisition from Comparex of the Security Module Group division of security specialist company Nanoteq has further enhanced Prism's capabilities in the area of hardware cryptographic modules, extended the Prism Incognito security range and added to the company's expertise in the development of card payment terminals, Els continues.

Prism has also grown its offshore presence. In 2001 it expanded operations in the Asia-Pacific region, and, today, the Kuala Lumpur-based Prism Transactive operation plays a fundamental role in securing and servicing Prism's dollar-based business, Els concludes.

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