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Issue 109
Sep 27 - Sep 05, 2021

Hi there,

Paystack is hiring! We're looking to fill the roles of User Ops (Chargeback Operations), and User Ops (Fraud Operations). If you're interested or know anyone who is, kindly check it out and share with your network!

Have a lovely rest of the week!

Kharis Lawson
Product Specialist, Paystack
AfricaS2M partners with UnionPay to enable payment solutions. Headquartered in Morocco, S2M provides payment solutions to financial institutions and large enterprises in Africa. This partnership will enable S2M to extend UnionPay's digital cards and payment services to their customers. The partnership also promises expansion plans to other parts of Africa. PYMNTS

UnionPay is a leading global card network with a limited market presence outside China where it has its headquarters. The financial services company has issued only 0.5% of cards outside its home country. UnionPay has been focused on expanding its footprint and last year, it partnered with Interswitch East Africa to enable payment processing for UnionPay cards. With this partnership, UnionPay is looking to leverage S2M's vast presence in 27 African countries to drive the adoption of its payment services on the continent.
AfricaOrange Money is set to migrate to Ericsson's wallet service. Orange Money has teamed up with Ericsson to provide the Orange Money service by leveraging Ericsson’s Wallet Platform. The Ericsson Wallet Platform is a financial services API that any mobile wallet provider can ride on to provide mobile money services to their customers. This partnership will see Orange Money moving its mobile money service to Ericsson's Infrastructure in phases across 14 of its Orange Money nations starting with Senegal. Tech Gist Africa
AfricaWho is building blockchain solutions in Africa? In this Twitter thread, Michael Kimani (@pesa_africa) highlights different programs being undertaken to stimulate the development of blockchain technology and fintech ecosystems in Africa. Twitter

These initiatives signal the direction of the flow of capital i.e. the projects that investors are looking to fund. This trend could serve as an indicator of the leading role that Africa could play in the evolution and development of Web3 (the new internet) in the coming years. Much has been written about the endless possibilities of blockchain networks like Ethereum, EOS, etc. These networks still need developers to build usable applications on top of existing crypto infrastructure for the average person to adopt. 
NigeriaWhat does the eNaira actually solve? In this editorial article, Fadekemi Abiru, Stears Business' Editor in Chief did an assessment of what the launch of the Central Bank of Nigeria's eNaira would mean for existing financial services. Stears
EgyptCentral Bank of Egypt approves new merchant licenses for contactless payments. These licenses will allow merchants to offer contactless payments to customers from their mobile phones. Contactless payment will allow merchants to transform mobile devices into POS machines through which payments can be accepted using contactless cards. This follows new laws and changes in regulations in Egypt that allows the Central Bank of Egypt. (CBE) to give banking licenses to Fintech companies. Reuters

The CBE has been making positive regulatory moves to open up investments in the country. In September, MNT-Halan was granted the first non-bank license by the CBE to operate a digital wallet. The country is also preparing to pass new legislation to govern other non-banking fintech industries such as digital lending, B2C, and insurtech. 
NigeriaYellow Card raises $15m Series A. The cryptocurrency exchange serving Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and 8 other African countries says the raise is to further expand across the continent. The raise was led by Valar Ventures, Third Prime, and Castle Island Ventures with participation from Square, Inc., Ventures, Coinbase VenturesTechMoran
NigeriaNigerian B2B payments platform, Verto, raises $10m Series A. The B2B payments company provides a platform for SMEs to make payments to businesses in over 200 countries across 39 currencies. They have raised a US$10 million Series A round to boost their geographical expansion, two years after they raised $2.1 million in seed funding. The funding round was led by Quona Capital, alongside Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), TMT Investments, Unicorn Growth Capital, and other investors. Disrupt Africa

While there are a lot of African cross-border consumer solutions, there seems to be very little focus and yet a large opportunity to solve this problem for businesses. Verto which started off as a currency exchange marketplace is one of the few B2B payment platforms that makes it possible for businesses to move multiple currencies across different countries. As intra-continental trade ramps up, we should more activity from this space. 
UgandaUgandan fintech startup Fin-e Innovations raises $300K funding. The Uganda-based digital lending company that provides funding for solar entrepreneurs has raised $300K in pre-seed capital from an undisclosed US investor. Wee Tracker

In issues 107, and 108, we reported on a rising trend of fintech companies building specialized solutions for specific user sets.
EgyptEgyptian Banks roll out a new $63.6m fund for fintech startups. The fund is being majorly set up by three state-owned Egyptian banks - National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, and Banque du Caire, with participation from other banks and financial institutions. This new fund will provide capital for local and international fintech startups looking to enter the Egyptian market. Fintech News Africa

Fintech is rapidly gaining relevance in Egypt, and there has been a recent startup fundraising explosion in the country. In 2019, the CBE also launched a EGP 1 billion Financial Technology Unit Fund, to finance Egypt’s fintech startups. The country has also been implementing new sets of regulations including licensing non-banking financial companies and fintech startups, and announcing regulations for cashless payments, digital banks, and crypto in a bid to grow Egypt's fintech sector.
GlobalVisa set to launch a universal payment channel for blockchain payment networks. In a recently published paper, Visa proposed a new multi-currency payment channel for blockchain-based payment networks. The proposed switching solution will be interoperable and allow for the exchange of value across different cryptocurrency networks including stablecoins, CBDCs, and other decentralised cryptocurrencies. PYMNTS

The progression of Visa's crypto efforts has been very interesting to see: from partnerships with crypto fintechs by issuing credit cards tied to crypto wallets to enabling settlement rails on the Visa network. With the proposed cryptocurrency switching platform, Visa is hoping to replicate its existing fiat money network and quickly gain distribution in a new financial paradigm that has crowned very few institutional winners.  
AfricaKamPay launches blockchain-based payments. The fintech startup has launched a blockchain financial system that comprises a payment channel, digital wallet, and a lottery app. The wallet will be specialised for Binance Coin, but also support the KamPay Coin token. Kampay is a crypto-based wallet app, that allows users to store, save, and receive digital tokens. These digital tokens are processed by ZymPay, a fiat payment gateway that helps facilitate easy crypto-to-fiat exchanges. Disrupt Africa
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