|South Africa||Bankserv and SARB launch PayShap in South Africa. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and Bankserv, SA's primary clearing house, have launched PayShap, a national instant payment service. PayShap enables South African bank customers to send and receive money instantly through bank accounts and phone numbers. TechCabal|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||As we mentioned in our article on NIP, the speed at which money can be moved directly affects the pace of financial innovation and the overall economy. PayShap is set to see explosive adoption and shift the fintech landscape in South Africa.|
|Nigeria||Kuda launches contactless payment solutions for businesses. Kuda, a Nigerian neobank, has launched a Tap-to-Phone payment solution called softPOS. With softPOS, Kuda Business customers can accept card payments through an NFC-enabled smartphone. Techpoint|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||As Tap-to-Phone reaches an inflection point, it could significantly transform payment methods in Africa, supported by rapidly growing smartphone penetration. For more on the shifting trend to Tap-to-Phone payments, check out Issue 130 where we explore this.|
|Nigeria||Nigerian fintechs are building an anti-fraud blacklist. A consortium of Nigerian fintechs including Flutterwave, Kuda and Branch are building a new network to tackle fraud on their platforms. Fintechs in the network will create a shared list of suspected customers that members can access and update. Semafor|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||The future of African payments will require new networks that will be built in new and interesting ways. As we’ve previously mentioned, there’s a competitive advantage to figuring out fraud faster than your competitors. Tackling fraud collectively not only speeds up the learning process but also pushes fraudsters towards non-network members with weaker fraud prevention measures. This creates a positive feedback loop that encourages network growth and ultimately reduces fraud across the ecosystem.|
However, there are still considerations around customer information sharing, data privacy and compliance with existing regulations. While fraud alliances are not new and have often struggled to succeed, payment networks can become difficult to displace once they gain momentum. It remains to be seen how this move will play out in the Nigerian payments landscape.
|Nigeria||The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) releases final guidelines for open banking. The CBN has published the final draft of guidelines for open banking in Nigeria. With these new guidelines, licensed financial institutions can compliantly share customers' financial data with third-party providers via APIs. TechCabal|
|Nigeria||CBN updates guidelines for agency banking in Nigeria. Nigeria's apex financial regulator has also released updated guidelines for agency banking operations in the country. Under the new guidelines, agents must maintain an exclusive relationship with financial institutions and are prohibited from using POS devices designated for agency banking in commercial transactions. New Telegraph|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||You can access the updated guidelines here.|
The shift to exclusivity raises questions about price and product quality in the long run. Previously, financial institutions (FIs) competed for agents by offering attractive commissions, and agents could switch providers during service downtimes. Now, FIs must compete more aggressively for agents by offering higher commissions and additional benefits. As agents will no longer have backup options, they’ll naturally expect improved product uptime and reliability from their exclusive partners.
The mandate to separate POS device usage for agency banking and commerce is an intriguing shift. As with the exclusivity clause, it should lead to better monitoring by the CBN but it also introduces challenges to emerging business models. Many agency banking providers have expanded into business banking and turned agents into direct customers. These players use POS devices as both payment points and sources of data for offering loans.
Also, using the same POS device for agency banking and commerce allowed revenue from agency banking to offset the fixed costs of POS terminals and variable expenses of merchant transactions. Following the CBN's update, businesses involved in agency banking will need separate terminals. While large business chains often have multiple POS terminals, this requirement may pose a challenge for cost-sensitive SMEs that may struggle to accommodate the expense of additional terminals.
Ultimately, the agency banking industry will witness seismic changes in the coming months and it’ll be interesting to observe the impact on this delicate ecosystem of FIs, agents and customers.
|Egypt||The Central Bank of Egypt issues regulations for mobile contactless payments. The CBE has issued new guidelines for the proper coding of payment cards on electronic devices. These guidelines will allow for mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Google Pay to operate in compliance with the country’s rules. Daily News Egypt|
|Global||What is the impact of SVB's collapse on African (fin)tech? Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a leading US bank for startups, was shut down during the weekend due to mounting losses and a bank run on deposits. Ngozi Dozie, Co-founder of Carbon, penned an interesting essay on the implication of SVB's collapse for African fintechs. Twitter|
|Africa||EchoVC launches $8 million fund for investments into blockchain startups. Pan-African venture capital firm EchoVC has announced a new $8 million fund dedicated to invest in startups leveraging blockchain technology. The fund will support fintechs, gaming ventures, and a variety of other blockchain-based applications. TechCabal|
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