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Issue 128
Apr 11 - Apr 17, 2022

Hi there,

The eNaira’s launch in October last year was accompanied by a lot of hype, but not much has been heard about Africa’s first CBDC since. However, PwC recently released a report ranking the eNaira as the number 1 retail CDBC in the world.

We discuss the details of this ranking and other interesting fintech news from around Africa in this edition of Decode Fintech.

As always, my heart goes out to Manchester United fans, whose team lost 4 - 0 yesterday to my outstanding Liverpool squad. You will never walk alone.

I hope you enjoy this issue, and I wish you a wonderful rest of the week.

Ejiro Esigbone
Product Specialist, Paystack
NigeriaKudi changes name to Nomba and expands services. Kudi, a Nigerian payments fintech, has announced a change of name to Nomba. The fintech startup which previously only provided offline agency banking services has also expanded its product suite to enable both offline and online payments for businesses. TechEconomy
NigeriaKippa launches Kippa Payments. Kippa, which provides accounting and inventory management solutions to SMEs, has launched Kippa Payments. With Kippa Payments, their SME customers can now send and receive money through invoices and payment links and also pay their bills.   Techmoran

In Issue 115, we reported that Kippa had raised $3.2m to enable them to offer new products to their customers. Many SME-focused service providers usually start off with one simple solution to attract business customers and expand to other high-margin services in order to provide more value and retain these SMEs. We, therefore, expect Kippa’s suite of products to expand to other critical SME business operations like lending and insurance. 
NigeriaAfrica’s first Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), eNaira, ranks first on PwC global index. PwC has released a CBDC Index and Stablecoin Overview which ranks retail and wholesale CBDC projects based on 3 parameters: a.) the CBDC project status, b.) the Central Bank speech stance on CBDCs, and c.) public interest proxy. Using these 3 parameters, the Nigerian eNaira has ranked first among all CBDC retail projects in the world with a total score of 95/100. The other retail CBDC projects in the top 3 are the Bahamas and Mainland China. Nairametrics

The three parameters used by PwC in ranking the CBDCs have different weights, with the CBDCs’ project status representing 75% of their total index score. This ranking indicates that from a product delivery point of view, the eNaira is further along compared to most other CBDCs. However, the public interest parameter only contributes 8% to the total score. It is arguable that if public interest contributed more to the total score the e-Naira would rank lower.

Also, since its inception, the eNaira app has been downloaded 756,000 times, but only 35,000 transactions have been performed on the app, which is a ratio of about 20 downloads to one transaction. Compare this to the digital yuan which has been launched in 12 Chinese cities, with 261 million wallets and $13.7 billion in total transactions. The main challenge with the e-Naira was always going to be user adoption, and it will be interesting to see how the Central Bank of Nigeria tackles this going forward.
NigeriaMTN Nigeria receives final approval for Payment Service Bank (PSB) The Central Bank of Nigeria has granted a final approval to MTN’s MoMo PSB. This comes after an approval-in-principle was granted in November 2021. The PSB expands on MTN’s existing super-agent license and enables the telco to hold deposits, offer savings, issue cards, and process payments. The license however restricts MoMo PSB from engaging in lending, insurance, and certain foreign exchange transactions.  TechCabal
EgyptOPay Egypt has been granted approval to issue prepaid cards by Central Bank of Egypt. With this approval from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), OPay in collaboration with the Egyptian Cards Company will now be able to issue prepaid cards to OPay users. Customers will be able to deposit money into their cards and thereafter use the funds for cash withdrawals and purchases.  Techmoran
NigeriaLemonade expands to 7 new markets. Nigerian cross-border payments company, Lemonade, has now expanded to 7 new markets - Senegal, Ivory Coast, Benin, Cameroon, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda. Lemonade users who live in the UK and Canada can now send funds to beneficiaries located in these countries. Afeez Gbotosho, Lemonade’s Head of Products, stated that the expansion to these countries was data driven as they observed that nationals from these countries often needed to remit funds back home. Disrupt Africa
NigeriaUmba raises $15m Series A. The Nigerian digital banking platform has raised $15 million in Series A funding. This round of fundraising will support Umba as it launches into new markets including Egypt, Ghana, and Kenya. The funding round was led by Costanoa Ventures, while Lux Capital, Palm Drive Capital, Banana Capital, and Streamlined Ventures also participated.  WeeTracker
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