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Issue 131
May 09 - May 15, 2022

Hi there,

Lots of good music came out this weekend. Compton’s finest Kendrick Lamar finally released Mr. Morales and the Big Steppers, his long-awaited follow-up to DAMN. We got a new Burna Boy single and a new LP from Florence and the Machine. My favourite drop from the weekend, though, was Some Nights I Dream of Doors, the ethereal debut album from Obongjayar.

On the film side, I was a bit disappointed to hear that Everything Everywhere All At Once had been inexplicably pulled out of Nigerian cinemas’ schedules. I had been looking forward to seeing it, and hope the powers that be bring it back soon.

As always, stay safe and enjoy the rest of the week. 

Tochukwu Ironsi
Market Intelligence Specialist, Paystack
KenyaM-PESA revenues cross $900M. From March 2021 until March 2022, Safaricom’s M-PESA hit Ksh 107.7B (~ $921.6M), a 30.3% Year-on-Year (YoY) increase from the previous year. This increase in revenue was driven by continued growth in P2P transfers and business payments, which grew by 55.4% and 37.2% respectively from the previous year. Safaricom

The growth in business payments revenue and the number of registered merchants is an interesting signal of maturing mobile money usage. It’s also possible that some merchant payments are registered as informal P2P transfers. As more merchants continue to sign up, M-PESA has the opportunity to extract more value from its ecosystem and create an alternative payment rail to card networks. 
AfricaMTN records 2.8m mobile money transactions. Africa's largest telecommunications provider recorded 2.8 million mobile money transactions worth $5.9Bb in the first quarter of 2022. The volume and value of these mobile money transactions represented 32.5% and 12.6% YoY growth respectively. MTN

MTN also announced plans to launch its Payment Service Bank in Nigeria before the end of Q2 2022. Given the telco's distribution and history of mobile money execution in other African markets, we expect to see an increase in fintech volumes from Nigeria next quarter.
AfricaAgency banking: competition creates costs. In this Twitter thread, Peter Oriaifo (@P_Oriaifo) points to a risk in increased customer acquisition costs and erosion of profit margins for agency banking operators. Twitter
AfricaRising P2P crypto transactions. Wiza Jalakasi (@wizaj) and Marvin Coleby (@marvincoleby) share interesting insights on P2P cryptocurrency transactions in Africa and suggest a more receptive approach from regulators towards these digital assets. Twitter
NigeriaNigeria's SEC releases new regulations on digital assets. The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued new regulations that cover the issuance, exchange, and custody of digital assets. The new regulations target digital asset issuers, cryptocurrency exchanges, and infrastructure providers. The regulations also introduce new edicts on registration, capital requirements, and financial reporting. Nairametrics

Here’s a link to the full SEC regulations. The requirements introduced in the regulation might result in significant changes to operations for many cryptocurrency operators. The Decode Fintech team is working on an article to break down the new regulations and its impact on the industry. 
Central AfricaCentral African Bank pushes back on Bitcoin adoption. Last week in issue 130, we reported that the parliament of the Central African Republic had passed a law adopting Bitcoin as its official currency. The country’s apex financial regulator has however prohibited banks from working with cryptocurrency platforms or recognizing cryptocurrencies as an asset. Bloomberg
NigeriaInterswitch closes $110m funding. The financial services company has raised $110m in funding from LeapFrog Investments and Tana Africa Capital. The deal follows a $200m investment from Visa in 2019, which valued the fintech at about $1b. Kenyan Wall Street
AfricaMara raises $23m in funding. Mara, a cryptocurrency trading and infrastructure platform, has raised $23m from Coinbase Ventures, FTX, TQ Ventures, and other investors. The fintech will launch in Kenya and Nigeria, and work with the Central African Republic government as an official partner for cryptocurrencies TechCrunch

It’ll be interesting to see how Mara’s reported partnership with CAR will play out given the above-reported restrictions put on by the Central African Bank. 
NigeriaBrigdecard raises $440k in pre-seed funding. Afrikan Heroes
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