Serge Belamant was born in France in 1953 and moved to South Africa when he was 14 years old. He attended the Witwatersrand University in 1972 and initially studied engineering before switching to computer science and applied mathematics. He discontinued his studied after 2 years and started taking courses in information system through UNISA.
With an interesting career path, Serge Belamant has a number of patents to his name. In 1989, after he completed the development and implemented the SASWITCH system, he conceptualized the first RSA POS system, which was based on a network of X.25 workstations that were interconnected. Due to the fact it was not implemented by the banks at that time, Serge Belamant chose to leave SASWITCH and established his own company. He founded Net1, in 1989.
In the first few years of its existence, Net1 tried to provide to various institutions, such as banks, its UEPS system. Through Net1, Serge Belamant owns the patents to a verification of a transactor’s identity system and a financial transaction with a varying PIN system. Visa entered into an agreement with Net1 in 1995 allowing Serge Belamant to design and also develop COPAC, a new Visa application – the Chip Offline Pre-Authorised Card uses FTS/UEPS technology.
The founder of Net1 is also responsible for developing the technology for the Blockchain Smart Card, Net1 being the only company with the technology that allows them to provide the lowest cost banking services for a specific demographic of unbanked and under-banked. Back in 2016, World Bank invested a total of $107 million into Net1, being the largest fintech investment that the bank ever made in order to help promote financial inclusion for the poor. World Bank recognized that it was the only technology with a proven track record that can work on a large scale.
The blockchain smart card offered by Net1 is on all UEPS cards, including the EPE (EasyPay Everywhere) account. The EPE cards work on a transactional account designed to serve the needs of the unbanked and under-banked population of South Africa. The accounts work online, on mobile devices, and with the EPE smart card.
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