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Issue 105
Aug 30 - Sep 05, 2021

Hi there,

It is Tennis season again! For the Lawn Tennis fans out there, I hope you've been following the US Open? I really enjoyed watching the quarter-finals between Djokovic and Berrettini and can't wait for the semis.

As always, remember to keep safe, wear a mask and try to get vaccinated as soon as you can.

Osaro Aiwekhoe
Product Specialists, Paystack
Payments
South AfricaZip acquires Payflex for an undisclosed amount. South African-based Buy Now Pay Later giant, Payflex, has been acquired for an undisclosed amount by Zip. Zip is an Australian BNPL company that recently acquired other BNPL players (Twisto and Spotii) in Europe and the Middle East. The acquisition comes six months after an initial investment that saw Zip own a 25% stake in Payflex. TechCrunch
EDITOR'S NOTE

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about BNPL in Africa. In our issue 101, Dapo commented on a BNPL deep-dive with a focus on Africa, highlighting Payflex as one of the industry's forerunners. The huge potential of purchase financing in the continent and the growth opportunities that exist for the digital BNPL payment method have been reported by many. In South Africa alone, the adoption of BNPL increased by ~31% in 2020 with 73% of customers reportedly seeking financing options at the beginning of their purchasing journey. This is huge and possibly explains Zip's interest in Africa.
NigeriaThe Central Bank of Nigeria partners Bitt Inc on eNaira. The CBN, in a press release by the Director of communications, announced the formal engagement of a Barbados-based fintech company, Bitt Inc, as the technical partner for its eNaira project scheduled for a pilot on October 1. Bitt Inc is said to be experienced when it comes to building a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)—they began to work with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in 2019 to conduct a pilot for a blockchain-issued central bank digital currency (CBDC). CBN
EDITOR'S NOTE

We first reported the initial conversation around launching the eNaira in our issue 94.
Regulation
TanzaniaTanzania reduces mobile money transaction levy after public outcry. The East African country finally reduced the amount levied on mobile money transactions by 30% of the initial Sh10 and Sh10,000. The levy which was initially brought about by the country's effort to finance their 2021/22 budget, received lots of criticism from the citizens who claimed that it was counter-productive to the country's financial inclusion agenda.  Mobile Money Africa
EDITOR'S NOTE

Just like we commented in our issue 99, this levy is a potential threat to the mobile money adoption and financial inclusion initiatives of the country. Glad to see that the government yielded to the outcry and reviewed down the levy.
Conversations
AfricaWill super apps take off in Africa? Samora Kariuki highlights the macro trends that ensured the success of the biggest supers apps in Asia and outlines key factors under which a super app will thrive in Africa. Frontier Fintech Newsletter
EDITOR'S NOTE

In China, super apps are typically designed as a marketplace for offline and online services e.g movie tickets, restaurant meals, flight tickets, home delivery and, pharmaceutical services amongst others.

Some countries in Africa are also experiencing an emerging trend of super apps. Mobile apps like OPay (Nigeria), M-Pesa super app (Kenya), VodaPay (South Africa), Halan (Egypt) are all active in their respective markets. Except in Kenya where it could be argued that M-Pesa has attained massive adoption, super apps is still trying to achieve ubiquity in most geographies across Africa.

Factors such as low smartphone penetration, low literacy, and low discretionary income level have posed challenges over the years. There have been efforts through increased capital injection, cheaper smartphone offerings from players like Transsion Holdings and non-mobile solutions like Wave's QR card to solve these problems. However, adoption is still nascent and the challenges still persist. Despite these persisting challenges though, we expect adoption to still grow albeit quite slowly with more investments and cheaper hardware. 
Fundraising
NigeriaArab Bank launches fintech-focused accelerator in Egypt. Arab Bank launched their fintech-focused corporate accelerator program — AB Accelerator — in Egypt. The program aims to speed up the adoption of emerging technologies and solutions within the Arab Bank and support entrepreneurs with the opportunity to scale their market-ready fintech startups across the MENA region. Afrikan Heroes
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