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Issue 103
Aug 16 - Aug 22, 2021

Hi there,

Earlier this week, we announced Pay with SnapScan - a new payment method for Paystack merchants in South Africa. SnapScan is a mobile payments app used by millions of customers in South Africa to pay via QR codes. We are excited about this and we trust that our South African merchants are excited too :)

Please remember to stay safe, and enjoy the rest of your week.

Kharis Lawson
Product Specialists, Paystack
Cryptocurrency
AfricaCoinbase enables cryptocurrency purchases with bank cards in Ghana and Kenya. The global cryptocurrency exchange platform recently announced that users in Ghana, Kenya, and 18 other countries will now be able to purchase Bitcoin, Etherium, Dogecoin, and other popular cryptocurrencies on the Coinbase platform using their debit cards. Tech Nova
EDITOR'S NOTE

This announcement comes after the company went public earlier this year. Coinbase was already supported in 13 African countries - Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zambia. Previously, Coinbase users in these countries were only allowed to trade between two cryptocurrencies. This new development means these customers can now buy cryptocurrency directly. Nigeria which is reportedly the largest P2P market in Africa is not on the list due to restrictions by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Conversations
TwitterOn Visa's business model and how it can add value in Africa. In this article, Samora Kariuki does a deep dive into how a Bank of America experiment birthed Visa, the global payment giant. It goes into the details on how Visa makes money and rounds off with recommendations on the different ways that Visa could help solve some of the pressing payment challenges in Africa.
EDITOR'S NOTE

It's important to remember that much of what is known today as "card payment processing" was conceived by Visa. Despite the fast and wide-spreading adoption of mobile money in Africa, card payment still dominates online and in-person payment in 3 of the biggest markets in Africa — Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, and Visa plays a prominent role. The Nilson Report’s September 2014 issue highlights that Visa and Mastercard collectively have the biggest presence in Africa among all the card networks with Visa accounting for 57% of all credit card purchases and Mastercard coming second at 39%.
In the conclusion of the article, Kariuki makes some crucial recommendations on how Visa can help solve some of the pressing payment challenges in Africa - most importantly cross-border payment and remittance. With cryptocurrencies showing a lot of promise in their ability to make cross-border payment easier across the continent, it will be interesting to see the role that Visa and other card networks play in the near future.
Fundraising
South AfricaSouth African API fintech startup, Pngme raises $15m Series A round. Pngme, a company that collects and aggregates financial data for fintech and financial institutions, has raised a Series A round led by Octopus Ventures, with Lateral Capital, EchoVC amongst others. The company now has a total investment of $18.5 million and plans to use the funds to expand its customer base. TechCrunch
KenyaKenyan Insurtech startup, AiCare, secures funding. The Nairobi-based provider of telematics systems for insurance companies in Kenya has secured an undisclosed amount from Nairobi Business Angels Network (NaiBAN). One of the co-founders, Arthur Mulwa, said in a statement that the funding will help them continue to pursue their vision of providing motor insurance companies with telematics technologies. Afrikan Heroes
EDITOR'S NOTE

In issue 91, we reported that AiCare secured funding from Toyota Tsusho through Mobility 54 Investment — a corporate venture capital subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho group.
Telematics systems are various devices such as GPS installed in a car that helps insurance companies make better decisions on how to price insurance premiums charged to customers.
Nigeria8 African fintech startups selected for GreenHouse Lab accelerator program. GreenHouse Lab is an accelerator program run by GreenHouse Capital, a Lagos-based fintech investment fund. Some of the fintechs selected for the accelerator program are MyInvest, Collect Africa, Payhive, GetEquity, amongst others. They will each receive $10,000 direct investment from GreenHouse Capital and will be eligible for an additional $50,000 from the GreenHouse Capital Founders Fund if they go on to be accepted into a top global accelerator. Disrupt Africa
Regulation
NigeriaCentral Bank of Nigeria(CBN) freezes the bank accounts of six fintech companies for 180 days. The CBN has sought a court injunction to freeze the accounts of six fintech companies - Rise Vest Technologies Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited OPNS, Chaka Technologies Limited, CTL/Business Expenses, and Trove Technologies Limited for 180 days to investigate “illegal foreign exchange trading” by the fintech companies. The CBN stated that these companies were operating without a license as asset management companies and utilising foreign exchange (FX) sourced from the Nigerian FX market for purchasing foreign bonds/shares. Nairametrics
EDITOR'S NOTE

This comes after previous restrictions from the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) earlier in April, warning the public against unregistered online investment and trading platforms facilitating access to foreign markets and also calling on capital market operators who deal with these platforms to desist from the act. Since then, some of these fintechs have obtained the relevant SEC licenses or are in the process of getting one.
Mobile money transaction volume surpasses cheques again this year in Ghana.

According to the Central Bank of Ghana, in the first half of 2021, a total of GH¢476.7bn (~$78.9b) was processed through MoMo in the country. This is a 360% increase from GH¢101.9b (~$16.9b) that was processed through cheques over the same time period and has almost met the total GH¢389.0b (~ $64.4b) the country processed in MoMo payments in the whole of 2020.

This underscores the huge growth of mobile money in Ghana, which does not seem to be slowing. Currently, the country, with a population of about 30 million, has about 18 million active MoMo accounts. In July, the reported value of mobile money transactions for June alone hit a value of GH¢89.1 billion which represents a 96.6% jump from the same period last year and making it the fastest-growing payment system in the country. In comparison, all other payment systems combined – cheques, ACH, E-zwich, Gh-link, and GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP) – recorded a transactional value of GH¢26.3 billion, just about a third of the value of the mobile money platform.


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