Decode Fintech Logo
Issue 16
July 29 - Aug 4, 2019

Hi there,

I'm back from leave! 🛬❤️✨ Don't let the airplane emoji fool you 😌- this was a staycation where I took care of long-delayed personal projects, including repainting my room and cleaning/cataloguing my coin collection. This is a good time to mention: I collect coins! If you have any rare you'd like to share, please hit me up 🙏🏿

Also, the Decode Fintech team is growing! More members of the Paystack team are coming on board to help curate and distill the week's news, so you can expect to see some new names showing up in this section of the newsletter in the next few weeks.

Bolaji Akande
Product Specialist, Paystack
South AfricaNairobi-based payment services provider DPO Group acquires South Africa's PayFast, a payments processing service. DPO Group announced the acquisition and said it was completed through a mix of shares and cash. It's DPO Group's fifth acquisition since its inception in 2006. Following the acquisition, DPO Group will now serve over 100,000 merchants across 18 African markets. Ventureburn
KenyaKCB Bank, Visa partner to digitise boda boda payments in Kenya. The solution allows motorcycle taxis (boda boda) to digitise payments using a mobile phone, with the funds going directly to their bank accounts. The Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya (BAK) is also a part of the partnership that will kick off with a 3-month pilot in Nairobi with 100 operators, before a national rollout. Kenya has about 1.2 million motorcycles used in the passenger transport business. Business Daily
KenyaSafaricom invests Sh407m (~ $3.9m) in M-Pesa global business. Safaricom says the international money transfer arm of the business, branded M-Pesa Global, handled Sh101 billion (~ $977m) or a third of all diaspora remittances into the country in the year ending in March. M-Pesa Global allows customers to send and receive money, make payments, and participate in international e-commerce through partnerships with other payment platforms such as Western Union, PayPal, and AliExpress. Business Daily
AfricaTanzania's Nala has built a hassle-free, offline mobile money payment platform for Africa. In Tanzania, completing a single money payment requires a user to enter somewhere between 39-46 digits. Nala has taken all of the short codes from all of the transaction providers and created a router system that users can operate without having to memorize the different underlying codes. The company has over 100,000 users in Tanzania, and has plans to expand to at least two other African countries over the course of 2019. Techcrunch
NigeriaEcobankPay records NGN 1 billion (~ $2.7m) in cumulative transactions value. EcobankPay is the digital payments and collections service of Ecobank Nigeria. The product's unique offering is that all bank customers in Nigeria can pay with Masterpass, mVisa, and mCash with any phone by scanning the QR code or using USSD at merchant locations. EcobankPay is currently available at over 90,000 multiple merchant locations across Nigeria. The Guardian
CameroonAdwa introduces AdwaPay which aggregates almost all digital payment solutions in Cameroon. AdwaPay aggregates most of the digital payment solutions available in Cameroon - MTN Mobile Money, Orange Money, Express Union Mobile, bank cards, and even PayPal. With the app, users can make various transactions like pay for various invoices and book services. Business in Cameroon
KenyaKenyan startup Rent Hero launches online rental payment app. Rent Hero allows tenants to pay their rent online via mobile money services, PayPal, & credit cards Landlords are also able to keep track of payments, view payment history, generate bulk rent invoices, and send SMS reminders. Rent Hero has no setup fees, but charges 5% commission on every payment made through its platform. It is currently operating in the major towns and cities of Kenya, and hopes to expand to Ghana within the next year. Rent Hero founder, Ronald Ngoda, says the business is actively looking for funding. Disrupt Africa
GlobalMastercard CEO notes strong growth in cross-border, tourism volumes. Mastercard posted results that showed continued strength in consumer spending, international transactions, and cross-border volumes. CEO Ajay Banga highlighted the robust international business, noting that tourism (and the flow of tourist dollars) remains strong, even from China. He said cross-border growth should be sustainable due to the continued embrace of account-to-account payments. PYMNTS
GlobalPayPal launches invoice API for online sellers. PayPal is introducing an electronic invoicing API for online sellers in an effort to promote PayPal’s presence on eCommerce and other digital platforms. The API allows sellers to invoice regardless of the online platform through which they are selling, and works on eCommerce solution providers, online marketplace, crowdsourcing platforms, and other portals. PYMNTS
TwitterHead of Global Brand Development and Strategy at Hover, Wiza Jalakasi (@wizaj) is putting together a list of all mobile financial services in Sub Saharan Africa and their mobile interface type. See link to tweet here, If you'd like to contribute or view the current list.
TwitterShould MTN introduce a debit card as part of their offerings in the financial services space? Follow this tweet by Jesse Holmes (@Jessetheranter) to share your thoughts.
EthiopiaEthiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) introduces receipt financing to access loans. ECX started a new system that allows farmers to deposit their commodities in a warehouse as collateral to obtain loans. This enables the farmers store their commodities until the demand and the price of the commodity increases, allowing the farmers to achieve a higher sales value. The commodity exchange helps farmers during the post-harvest period where there is high supply and lower prices of the products. Farmers can get a loan up to 70% of the value of the commodity stored. Addis Fortune
KenyaPoint of Sale financing startup Julla launches operations in Kenya. Julla allows customers to purchase items digitally within 3 minutes, providing a more inclusive alternative, especially for customers without a credit history. Funded by angel investors and currently raising a pre-seed round, Julla plans to partner with local banks interested in financing its loan portfolio later this year. Disrupt Africa
Banking & Finance
NigeriaNigeria considers new 5% tax for online purchases. Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says from next year, it may ask banks to charge customers a 5% Value Added Tax for online purchases when using bank cards Premium Times
EthiopiaEthiopia softens banking rules to boost foreign exchange reserves. Ethiopia has softened its banking rules and opened up the financial space in the country to about five million citizens who have changed to other nationalities. The initiative is one of many new financial reforms being pushed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, to boost Ethiopia’s foreign exchange reserve. The government also has plans to give two telecom licenses to firms that are not Ethiopian, which is notable because Ethopia is one of the world’s last closed telecom markets. PYMNTS
South AfricaSouth Africa's First National Bank (FNB) expands roll-out of contactless Tap & PIN ATMs. The bank is expanding the roll-out of contactless Tap & PIN functionality to 600 more ATMs across South Africa in the next 12 months. This is in addition to over 100 FNB ATMs which have been equipped with the functionality since 2018. The Tap and PIN functionality allows FNB customers with contactless-enabled debit and credit cards to perform convenient and secure ATM transactions without the card leaving their hand. Tech Financials
TunisiaTunisian startup Kaoun aims to boosts financial inclusion by helping Tunisians create free bank accounts remotely. The company’s first product is Flouci. Flouci facilitates the account opening process through a smartphone verification system. The Flouci on-boarding process can authenticate the customer’s national ID and uses facial recognition to confirm their identity. Flouci wallets are then linked to the bank account and used to carry out their essential financial activities, such as paying merchants or making domestic remittances, by phone number or by scanning a QR code. Disrupt Africa
GlobalThe United States' Federal Reserve announces plans for a real-time payments system that will be available to all banks in the country. The new service called FedNow will allow all banks in the United States to offer 24/7 real-time payment services every day of the week. However, FedNow puts the Federal Reserve at loggerheads with big banks in the country as a federal real-time payments system would compete with the one being developed by the Clearing House. The Clearing House is owned by some of the world’s largest banks, including Capital One, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Deutsche Bank. Techcrunch
EgyptEgypt’s MoneyFellows raises over $1 million in a bridge round to digitize money circles. Cairo-based fintech MoneyFellows has raised over $1 million in a bridge round (Pre-Series A) from 500 Startups and Dubai Angel Investors, both of which had previously invested in the company’s seed round. Founded in late 2016 by Ahmed Wadi, MoneyFellows is digitizing the concept of money circles, commonly known as gam’eya in Egypt and other Arab countries. The practice allows a group of people contribute a fixed instalment every month to a pool with one of the members taking whole pool as payout every month. The circle ends when everyone receives their payout. Menabytes
NigeriaLagos-based mobile solutions startup GONA raises multi-million dollar fund for expansion. The mobile payments platform recently announced the completion of a multi-million dollar Pre-Series A round of financing. GONA, among other solutions, is enabling cashless payments on informal transit public buses in Lagos. Although GONA is headquartered in China, Lagos remains its primary market. This new investment will be used to employ more locals to help develop the product and expand its popularity. Techpoint
EgyptEgyptian digital payments company Fawry IPO oversubscribed 30 times The initial public offering for Egyptian digital payments company Fawry was oversubscribed by 30.3 times at a price of 6.46 Egyptian pounds (39 U.S. cents). Radwa El-Swaify, Head of Research at Pharos Securities Brokerage, says the subscriptions for both the public and private offerings for Fawry were strong because the industry itself is new to the market and has greater than average growth. The company made a core profit of 152 million pounds in 2018, up 41.2% on the previous year. Reuters
NigeriaCentral Bank of Nigeria unveils guidelines on disclosure, transparency for banks, and other financial institutions. The Central Bank of Nigeria has issued fresh guidelines to give effect to the Disclosure and Transparency Principle contained in the Consumer Protection Framework (CPF) for institutions under its regulation. According to the Bank, the objective of the guidelines are to protect consumers against provision of inadequate or misleading information, and to generally guard against the lack of transparency by financial institutions in their dealings with consumers All Africa

Here's the direct link to the full text of CBN's Consumer Protection Framework Guidelines on Disclosure and Transparency
KenyaThree fintech startups admitted to Kenya’s capital markets regulatory sandbox. The startups have been admitted to live-test their solutions. The regulatory sandbox serves to continuously improve Kenya's Capital Market Authority’s understanding of emerging technologies as well as the risks and opportunities that the innovations portend for investors, financial institutions, and the regulator. The insights from the tests allow for a more evidence-based approach to regulation. TechTrends Ke
GlobalWestern Union misses on earnings, announces 10% staff cut. Western Union adjusted earnings per share (EPS) came in at $0.45 per share, missing analyst consensus estimates of $0.48 per share. Revenue came in a $1.34 billion in the second quarter, ahead of analysts estimates of 0.07% but down from revenue last year at this time by $1.41 billion. Western Union also announced that it plans to reduce its work force by 10%. The job cuts are part of the company’s new global strategy designed to improve efficiency, profitability, and long-term revenue growth with a focus on expanding its cross-border money movement solutions. PYMNTS
GlobalMoneyGram places big cross border bet on Ripple. MoneyGram International posted results that missed top-line expectations, but beat at the bottom as restructuring efforts continued amid weakness within the company’s domestic money transfer business but growth in international corridors. In reference to the Ripple partnership announced in June, CEO Holmes said the two companies had begun facilitating cross-border transactions through a commercial agreement, in which MoneyGram is utilizing Ripple’s xRapid blockchain product, as well as XRP, Ripple’s cryptocurrency. PYMNTS
Carbon (formerly Paylater)
Senior IOS Developer New
Lagos, Nigeria
Full-stack Developer New
Lagos, Nigeria
Head of East & Southern Africa Sales
Nairobi Kenya, Johannesburg South Africa
Sales Consultant
Dakar, Senegal
Peach Payments
Sales Associate
Nairobi, Kenya
Operations Lead - Customer Success
Cape Town, South Africa
Product Designer
Cape Town, South Africa
Backend Developer
Lagos, Nigeria
Android Developer
Lagos, Nigeria
iOS Developer
Lagos, Nigeria
Other Positions
Lagos, Nigeria
Senior Paid Media Manager
Cape Town, South Africa
Integrations Analyst
Cape Town, South Africa
Data Engineer
Cape Town, South Africa
Senior Product Owner
Cape Town, South Africa
Transit & Contactless Manager
Johannesburg, South Africa
Solutions Delivery Manager
Johannesburg, South Africa
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