This Announcement is Designed to Add More Power and Reach to Cuentas’ Growing Portfolio of Financial and Lifestyle Solutions for the Unbanked and Underserved, Enabling the Companies to Offer Next-Generation Location-Based Digital Services to Cuentas SDI’s Growing Network of over 31,000 Local Convenience “Bodega” Stores In the Greater New York / New Jersey Area Alone With the Opportunity to Expand Across the Nation.
MIAMI BEACH, Fla., July 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Cuentas, Inc. (Nasdaq: CUEN) (Nasdaq: CUENW) (“Cuentas”), the Company that is creating an alternative financial ecosystem for a hard working population who do not have access to traditional financial alternatives, announced today that OLB Group (NASDAQ: OLB), a leading provider of fintech, digital assets and payment, has acquired the remaining controlling interest of Cuentas SDI LLC (Cuentas SDI). Cuentas is a minority shareholder of Cuentas SDI which has over 31,000 convenience stores in its network, with locations across the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut tri state area. Cuentas had been seeking a new partner to acquire the outstanding 80% and invest in the expansion of and innovation around SDI. Management is very excited to see OLB take the stake. Subject to the acquisition, Cuentas will retain its 19.99% share in Cuentas SDI and will be providing additional services to the network, including the Company’s new Cuentas Mobile Wireless Service. Management’s goal is to use its growing partnership with OLB to increase its offerings to the underserved markets, providing an exciting new array of digital and traditional commerce services, from telco, OmniCommerce, discounts, debit, and credit opportunities, that can be fulfilled digitally or directly in store via OLB’s innovative POS solutions.
Cuentas further plans to work with its partner InComm, the global financial services giant, with whom the Company announced a partnership in 2022, to add innovative digital product offers and other services to its growing network ( Link CUENTAS and Incomm). Through these partnerships, Cuentas is working to connect the physical world to the digital world, bringing together digital point of sale solutions, physical incentives and cards, digital commerce and financial solutions, with Cuentas’ telecom and communications solutions, to provide deeper and more meaningful access to the underbanked and underserved who frequent the Company’s growing convenience store network. In a world where suburban big-box retailers threaten the smaller, urban outlets, Cuentas wants to empower convenience stores to offer similar levels of connectivity and digital resources including many of the biggest brands in today’s market.
“These small stores are often the heart and soul of the communities they serve,” said Cuentas Founder and CEO, Arik Maimon. “With this announcement we are well on the way to enabling Bodegas and other convenience stores to compete head-to-head with the big-box retailers”, added Maimon.
According to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), there are over 150,000 convenience stores in the US. (SOURCE NACS: LINK), and according to CNBC, over 60% of convenience stores are privately owned. Convenience stores are so common across the United States that 93% of Americans live within just a few minutes of one, yet many of these stores are struggling to stay relevant in a changing economic landscape (SOURCE CNBC LINK). Many of the Bodegas that are part of Cuentas SDI’s network are the first stop for local residents who need instant access, not only to goods but also to digital services from mobile phone bills to discount and prepaid cards. Cuentas SDI was established as a platform to enable individual convenience stores and larger groups to come together and take advantage of the network effect, combining offers, digital connectivity, modern Point of Sale (POS) solutions, and other innovations to enable stores to become increasingly important to their local communities. Management believes this announcement accelerates that journey.
“The Bodega is the place where locals go for a range of critical services beyond shopping, from paying bills to wiring funds, to obtaining discount and debit cards for a range of services,” said Cuentas President and Co-founder, Michael De Prado. “We are revolutionizing that relationship from both a physical and digital perspective,” added De Prado.
OLB has already worked with Cuentas on other initiatives and acquired the remaining equity in Cuentas SDI in this latest transaction. The Companies plan to re-brand the platform and integrate additional services to provide new revenue streams for the store owners, potentially including instant loans and advanced services to their network of customers. Both Cuentas and OLB share the mission of working together to provide new and increasingly innovative solutions to underbanked and underserved communities across North America, which has been estimated to be a trillion-dollar market opportunity.
Ronny Yakov, CEO of OLB Group, said, “We are excited to move forward with this exciting next step in our relationship with Cuentas. Our plan is to immediately focus on adding as many as 1,000 new stores to the network in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut area and then ramp up from that initial base.”
The OLB Group will offer additional products and programs from its list of services to store owners, including wallets with instant credit loaded based on approvals, potentially issuing loans, and providing other novel services as well as building out a common point of sale network that enables store owners to participate in larger promotions and initiatives.
“There is a growing urgency and need to reinvent old financial systems to accommodate the needs of capable, deserving Americans who been increasingly left out of the system,” concluded Cuentas’ Maimon. “This announcement puts us in the heart of the communities we serve and one step closer to providing the most meaningful alternatives for this growing segment of the population who need it the most!”
About The OLB Group, Inc.
The OLB Group, Inc. is a diversified Fintech eCommerce merchant services provider. The Company’s eCommerce platform delivers cloud-based merchant services for a comprehensive digital commerce solution to over 10,500 merchants in all 50 states.
About Cuentas SDI
Cuentas SDI, LLC. is the company that owns the platform of Black011.com and the network serving over 31,000 convenience stores (“Bodegas”) in and around New York and New Jersey. The Company is managed and controlled by The OLB Group, Inc. Cuentas Inc., and is a shareholder in Cuentas SDI, LLC. Black011.com is the network that will deliver a range of services to the network’s customers, including digital incentives, promotions, gift cards, discounts, top up services, telecommunication services, money transfer solutions and other digital and physical products and solutions true the network of financial partners.
Cuentas, Inc. (Nasdaq: CUEN & CUENW) is creating an alternative financial ecosystem for the growing global population who do not have access to traditional financial alternatives. The Company’s proprietary technologies help to integrate FinTech (Financial Technology), e-finance and e-commerce services into solutions that deliver next generation digital financial services to the unbanked, under-banked and underserved populations nationally in the USA. The Cuentas Platform integratesCuentas Mobile, the Company’s Telecommunications solution, with its core financial services offeringsto help entire communities enter the modern financial marketplace. Cuentas has launched its General Purpose Reloadable (GPR) Card, which includes a digital wallet, discounts for purchases at major physical and online retailers, rewards, and the ability to purchase digital content. In Q1 of 2023, Cuentas launched Cuentas Casa, an alternative housing development initiativethat secured a 10-year supply agreement for a patented, sustainable building system that will provide the bridge between its technology solutions and the affordable housing market. Cuentas has made investments to date in affordable housing projects for over 450 apartments. LINK: https://cuentas.com
This news release contains “forward-looking statements,” as that term is defined in section 27a of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and section 21e of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Statements in this press release, which are not purely historical, are forward-looking statements and include any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations, or intentions regarding the future. Except for the historical information presented herein, matters discussed in this news release contain forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements that are preceded by, followed by, or that include such words as “believe,” “plan,” or “expect” or similar statements are forward-looking statements.
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