TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2017 — The Mint Corporation (TSX VENTURE:MIT) (“Mint” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the addition of a significant new customer and developments with respect to employee linked insurance and deposit taking pilot programmes. Mint has also reached a number of technical and operational milestones that it would like to share.
“We are pleased by the progress made by the Mint team in transforming the company and growing the product offering. Key milestones include completing the insurance and deposit taking pilot programs, winning a major customer, migrating the card portfolio to our in-house processing network, as well as the launch of a number of ancillary products. We believe these steps will provide significant value to our corporate clients,” said Vishy Karamadam, President & CEO of The Mint Corporation.
Mint carries on business in the UAE through Mint Middle East LLC (“MME”), a company 51% owned by Mint, and Mint Gateway for Electronic Payment Services LLC (“MEPS”), a company 51% beneficially owned by Mint. MME and MEPS are referred to as the “Mint Group”.
Pilot deposit program
In connection with a UAE Central Bank licensed finance company, the Mint Group has implemented a deposit taking pilot program to assess the viability of that deposit taking model. The finance company originated approximately USD $3 million in deposits in July from the Mint Group’s corporate customers in the form of financial labour guarantees. These guarantees are mandatory deposits required on the part of employers who participate in certain UAE employment visa programs. Mint believes there is an opportunity for the finance company to use this deposit taking program to fund loans to cardholders. Mint, in conjunction with its majority shareholder Gravitas Financial Inc. (“Gravitas”), has announced its intention to acquire a finance house in the UAE and to offer cardholder loans through that finance company. See Mint’s news release dated September 15th, 2017.
Major customer win
The Mint Group has signed an agreement to be the white-label technology provider for an exchange house in the UAE, with over 100,000 cardholders. The Mint Group’s platform will create significant operational improvements in payroll management, through a more robust online reporting and card management platform. The Mint Group’s suite of value added services will also increase the revenue generating opportunities for the exchange house. Mint views this customer win as validation of the competitiveness of the Mint Group’s payments platform.
Launch of remittance product
The Mint Group is in the process of integrating remittance capabilities into its mobile application in partnership with a licenced exchange house. These remittance capabilities will enable the Mint Group to offer remittance services directly to the Mint Group’s cardholders. Almost all of these cardholders are foreign workers, most of whom have a cell phone and send money home. Mint believes there is a significant opportunity to sell money transfer services to cardholders.
Payroll cards and ATM network now in-house
The Mint Group has completed the migration of its entire card portfolio and ATM network from a third-party processor to the Mint Group’s in-house processing network. Completing a card portfolio migration of this scale demonstrates the significant capabilities and deep industry knowledge of the Mint Group team.
Mint sees an opportunity to consolidate the fragmented payroll market in the UAE. The Mint Group is evaluating opportunities to acquire additional card portfolios, in addition to the Mint Group’s organic growth efforts.
A major focus of the Mint Group has and continues to be the conversion of its cards from closed-loop to open-loop cards. Since partnering with Mastercard and Unionpay, the Mint Group has already converted over half of its cards to these branded cards. These are globally accepted chip and contactless cards. The Mint Group is proactively working with the employers who control the remaining closed-loop cards to complete the conversion to open-loop.
The Mint Group is preparing to launch the next version of its Hafed mobile application to allow cardholders to access
remittance, mobile phone top-up, lending, insurance, and other products directly from the app. A pilot launch was completed in early 2017 and the Mint Group received valuable feedback and participation from its cardholders. The Mint Group expects to launch the new version of the application in Q4 2017.
Launch of insurance products
Health insurance is a mandatory benefit required to be offered to all employees in the UAE. In the Mint Group’s continuing effort to offer greater value and increase the breadth of its relationship with corporate clients, the Mint Group launched a pilot program to offer health and auto insurance to cardholders. The response the Mint Group received has been encouraging. The Mint Group is seeking to acquire an insurance brokerage license in order to expand this program.
Mastercard and Unionpay gift cards
The Mint Group has signed an agreement with a corporate customer and an exchange house partner to provide Mastercard and Unionpay enabled gift cards. This is a new product line. The Mint Group has received strong interest from the market for such product offerings.
Domestic debit program
Mint is actively working in partnership with an international payment network and the UAE government to pilot a domestic debit scheme in the UAE. This will reduce interchange fees for local payments and promote a cashless economy in UAE.
Mint is in default of payments due under its Series A debentures, Series B debentures and Series C debentures. (See Mint’s news releases of February 22, 2017 and March 30, 2017.)
Gravitas has completed its offer to purchase Series B debentures of Mint. Gravitas intends to use the voting power associated with those debentures to amend the trust indenture under which they were created. That amendment will allow Mint to redeem the remaining Series B debenture on the same basis as the cash and shares offer made by Gravitas. Gravitas also intends to sell its Series B debentures to Mint in exchange for the same number of Mint common shares, and a promissory noted for the same amount of cash, which Gravitas paid to acquire those debentures (being 15,066,548 common shares and a promissory note for $188,808.40).
Mint expects to complete the purchase of Series B debentures from Gravitas prior to October and to exercise the new redemption right in early October. Gravitas has agreed to loan Mint sufficient funds to complete the redemption. Upon completion of the redemption and the purchase of debentures from Gravitas, Mint will have eliminated all of the Series B debentures. (See Mint’s news releases of August 31, 2017 and September 13, 2017.)
The elimination of the Series B debentures is a condition of the non-binding term sheet entered into between Mint and the holders of all its Series C debentures and substantially all its Series A debentures. (See Mint’s news release of April 28, 2017.) Draft documentation implementing the term sheet has been circulated by Mint for comment.
Strengthening the team
Mint is pleased to announce that the Mint Group has strengthened its product and business development teams. The Mint Group has hired a senior insurance professional, with a track record of growing the insurance business and deep knowledge of the UAE insurance market.
The Mint Group also added a UAE national and seasoned senior business development executive with deep knowledge of the payroll market, several corporate relationships and significant experience in growing card portfolios in the region. In addition, the Mint Group has increased its technical and operational team as it scales up its business.
Changes of Directors
Graeme Johnson and Sam Webster have stepped down as directors of Mint. Mint is in active discussions with potential board members who can assist the Company as it evolves.
“We express our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Graeme Johnson and Sam Webster for their support and contribution on the board and helping Mint transition its business and grow its capabilities,” said Vishy Karamadam, President & CEO of The Mint Corporation.
Mint has made a significant investment of time and money to enable the Mint Group to develop a vertically integrated payments platform with robust technical capabilities. Mint believes that the Mint Group’s payments platform is very competitive and capable of handling significant growth both inside and outside the UAE. The Mint Group is working through a healthy pipeline of opportunities and will provide updates when they occur.
Mint, through its 51% owned subsidiaries (the “Mint Group”), is a globally certified payments company focused on offering financial services to the unbanked salaried worker in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Mint Group provides employers with payroll cards for their unbanked employees. These employees earn regular salaries and have long-term work permits. The Mint card effectively becomes a cardholder’s bank account. The Mint Group is in the process of creating a comprehensive suite of value added services for its corporate clients and their employees. Mint is proud that the Mint Group is the only end-to-end, globally certified payments platform in the UAE. The Mint Group network covers the entire spectrum from issuing, processing and acquiring, all through its in-house platform.
Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking information includes statements with respect to the acquisition of a finance company, the integration of remittance capabilities into the Mint Group’s mobile application, the migration of its card portfolio to open loop, the launch of the Mint Group’s Hafed mobile application in Q4, 2017 and the timing of the purchase and redemption of Series B debentures by Mint. The forward-looking statements are based on certain expectations and assumptions made by the Company. Although the Company believes that those expectations and assumptions are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements because the Company can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Since forward-looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated due to a number of factors and risks. Among other things, the acquisition of a finance company is dependent on factors referred to in its news release of September 15, 2017, developments in the Mint Group’s mobile application involve software and other developments which could take longer than expected, the migration of the Mint Group’s card portfolio is dependent on the cooperation of its corporate customers and the timing of the purchase and redemption of Series B debentures by Mint is dependent on the timing of certain senior creditor approvals. The forward-looking statements contained
in this press release are made as of the date hereof. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities laws.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
The Mint Corporation