|Nigeria||Interswitch launches biometric authentication solution for in-person payments. Interswitch launched a new biometric authentication solution that will help reduce the rate of fraud committed via terminals and ATMs. The feature is said to have a level of security that is superior to PINs and passwords. This announcement was made at their product showcase event called TechConnect. Tech Economy|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||This is an interesting product from Interswitch. In theory, it does seem like a feature that will drastically reduce fraud committed through stolen and compromised cards. It is however not clear what biometric repository the collected information will be matched against. Being a Nigerian, the only knowledge I have of submitting my biometric is during BVN enrolment. If this happens to be the repository used, it will be interesting to know what other parameters can be leveraged to provide reliable and safe payment services|
|South Africa||Mastercard partners Ukheshe to launch Track Instant Pay. Ukheshe Technologies, a payment processor in South Africa, has partnered with Mastercard to process payments for Mastercard’s Track Instant Pay solution. Track Instant Pay is a virtual card solution that is targeted at suppliers and buyers. With this solution, invoices from suppliers can be authorized and paid easily and quickly IT News Africa|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||Up until now, buyers had to manually check and approve loads of invoices thereby consuming administrative time while suppliers had to endure slow, extended payment terms. Using machine learning to analyze and score the invoice, Track Instant Pay automatically executes payments on a buyer’s behalf as soon as they receive suppliers’ invoices.You can read more on the Track Instant Pay solution in the white paper published by Mastercard. |
|Tanzania||Flutterwave launches in Tanzania. The African payments company has obtained a licence from the regulator to launch payment services in Tanzania. This brings the number of East African countries with Flutterwave’s presence to four; Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda Business Day|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||Tanzania has a population of ~63 million people and according to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), about 1.5 million online shoppers. This makes them the fourth-largest e-commerce consumer base in Africa hence the potential opportunity Flutterwave is trying to explore.|
|Kenya||Safaricom and Gulf African bank partner to launch Halal Pesa. Safaricom, Kenya’s leading telecommunications service provider and Gulf African Bank have announced a partnership to launch the first Shariah-compliant mobile loan solution in the country. Halal Pesa exists to serve M-Pesa users that were previously unable to access Shariah-compliant financial services, and will be administered through Safaricom’s USSD & M-Pesa mobile app. Kenyan Wall Street|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||Sharia does not permit interest on loans, and so, financial institutions have to offer alternative Sharia-compliant lending products known as Halal loans. Halal Pesa, which is a Halal loan product based on the practice of Murabaha, allows Gulf Bank to remit interest-free loans into M-Pesa customers’ wallets and still make a profit on those loans through a complex multi-party commodity trading.|
For Gulf bank, this allows them leverage M-Pesa’s huge base of customers to provide financial services. And with M-PESA, this unlocks value and aids in customer retention for a historically underserved portion of their users.
|Africa||Visa partners with i2c for card issuing and processing. i2c, a payments processing and financial technology infrastructure company, has teamed up with Visa to offer financial services to fintechs in the MENA region. This partnership will make it easier for fintechs in the region to issue and process Visa cards through i2c’s issuing and processing platform without the need for a direct integation with Visa. PYMNTS|
|Africa||Can B2B Vendor Lending scale in Africa? In this article, Samora Kariuki evaluates the possibility of scaling B2B Vendor Lending in Africa Frontier Fintech Newsletter|
|Kenya||Central Bank of Kenya begins regulating digital lenders. The central bank of Kenya has announced the publication of regulations for digital lenders. The CBK has also issued a six months notice to unregulated digital credit providers to apply for licenses or cease operations. Kenyan Wall Street|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||This is great news for the industry as these regulations seek to address the growing concern raised by the public on the high-interest rate, abuse of personal information, and unethical debt collection methods. In Issue 102, we reported the acceptance of the CBK’s amendment bill by the Kenyan parliament. See here|
|Ghana||Ghanaian parliament passes e-levy bill. The Ghanaian parliament has passed the controversial electronic transfer levy (e-levy) bill which introduces a 1.5% tax levy and is applicable to mobile money payment, bank transfer, merchant payment, and inward remittances. This levy excludes transactions below GH¢100 ($16) per day. Nairametrics|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||Although the Ghanaian government claims that the e-levy will help raise $900m in much-needed revenue, the newly passed bill has drawn widespread criticism from Ghanaians (both members of government and regular citizens) who believe that this additional tax will increase the financial burden on citizens. The citizens believe that this will worsen inflation and the soaring cost of living that has already been impacted by high fuel prices.|
It’s also possible that this e-levy will disincentivise the use of digital payment methods and encourage a return to cash-based transactions. Ghana has been recognized by the World Bank as the fastest growing mobile money market in the world for the past five years. Policies like this might slow down the adoption of mobile money and the transition of Ghana to a cashless economy.
|Egypt||Lucky raises $25m Series A funding. The Egyptian Fintech, which offers loans and cashback rewards has raised $25m in Series A funding from Nclude Fintech Fund by Global Ventures, PayU, Endeavor Catalyst, and a host of other investors. The funding will be used to expand to other regions, and to deepen market penetration. Disrupt Africa|
|Egypt||Khazna raises $38m series A round. Cairo-based Khazna, which describes itself as a “financial super app” raised $38 million Series A in debt and equity. The round was led by Quona Capital and Lendable. According to Omar Saleh, Khazna’s CEO, this raise will help them reach their goal to increase the number of Egyptians users to 1 million by the end of 2022. TechCrunch|
|Nigeria||CredPal secures $15m in debt and equity funding. Nigerian Fintech, CredPal, has recently secured $15M in debt and equity funding to expand its consumer credit offerings across African markets. The debt financing is backed by Credit Direct, a subsidiary of First Bank Monument Bank (FCMB), and a few other financial institutions. TechCrunch|
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