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Issue 18
Aug 12 - Aug 18, 2019

Hi there,

I spent most of last week conducting on-site interviews for Product Specialist roles at Paystack. Interviews can be quite emotionally draining, and I'm high-key relieved to have completed the process. However, I met and spoke with quite a number of amazing people who made the process well worth it, and I'm genuinely looking forward to working with more special people soon!

Bolaji Akande
Product Specialist, Paystack
Payments
NigeriaPaga, a Nigerian mobile money operator, crosses NGN 1.5 trillion (~$4.1b) in processed transactions. Paga CEO Tayo Oviosu recently announced on Twitter that the company has crossed 1.5 trillion Naira (~$4.1b) in transactions processed from inception in 2012 to date. The Fintech Africa
KenyaCash payments still king despite digital money growth in Kenya. According to the latest report released by Kenya's Financial Sector Deepening (FSD), cash is still the most preferred mode of payment in Kenya. The report showed that just under half of Kenya's domestic remittances and 30% of bill payments are made via mobile money. The Star
AfricaMTN releases mid-2019 financial results. Commenting on the results, Rob Shuter, MTN Group President and CEO, says “we had a good first half, reporting solid financial results, good commercial momentum and encouraging strategic progress.” IT News Africa
EDITOR'S NOTE

See the full report of MTN's Q2 2019 financial statements here
AfricaTranssion Holdings & Wapi Capital launch a $100K startup fund for African fintech startups. Transsion Holdings - the Chinese phone manufacturer behind TECNO, Infinix, and iTel brands - has partnered with Kenya’s Wapi Capital to invest up to $100,000 into early-stage fintech startups in Africa. The startups will be based at Transsion’s new tech hub named Future Hub, in Nairobi. Wapi Capital, owned by Nairobi-based Wapi Pay, will not contribute funds to the startup fund. However, it'll help identify startups from across Africa, screen them, and help with due diligence and deal flow. Techmoran
AfricaWhatsApp faces potential competition in Africa as MTN releases new instant messaging app Ayoba. The primary function of MTN's Ayoba is to send and receive messages. However, it comes with additional services that make it a rival to popular chat mobile app, WhatsApp. A major difference from other instant messaging apps is that Ayoba has SMS integration. This means a user can send a message to anyone, even if they are not using Ayoba. Ayo is another step by the telecommunication group in repositioning itself in Africa as a fintech brand for everyday activities. Technext.ng
Conversations
TwitterCommentary on Guaranty Trust Bank's H1 2019 results. Founder of @themoneyafrica Olúwatósìn Olaseinde (@tosinolaseinde) shares some insights from the bank's recently released financial reports in this tweet
Banking & Finance
NigeriaNigerian banks race to lend 60% of deposits to beat Central Bank deadline. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given all banks a deadline of September 30, 2019 to give out 60% of their deposits as loans. To ensure compliance as the timeline nears, Tier-1 banks, lenders with assets greater than or equal to NGN 1 trillion (~$ 2.7b), are luring credible borrowers in Tier-2 banks with mouth-watering interest rates. CBN says the aim of the regulation is to increase market liquidity and encourage banks to lend to all productive sectors of the economy. The Nation
GhanaGhanaian banks increase the minimum deposit required to open savings accounts. A survey carried out by Bank of Ghana showed that despite the emergence of mobile money in the country, banks are demanding more money from customers to open savings accounts. From 2014 to 2019 average initial deposit required for a savings account has grown by 17.3%. GhanaWeb
GhanaOver 70,000 Ghanaian investors locked out of over $1.6 billion in investments. Following a crackdown by the Ghanaian Securities and Exchange Commission, over 21 investments companies have been shut down. At least 70,000 investors have become collateral damage from this cleanup with their savings held up in these companies. Bloomberg
GlobalIndia turns 350,000 postmen Into bankers in order to serve customers in remote areas. Over 350,000 postmen in India are now offering doorstep financial services to people in even the most remote parts of the country. They're equipped with a mobile phone and a hand-held biometric scanner to perform tasks of bankers including opening savings accounts, transferring money, paying utility bills, top-up mobile phones, accepting cash deposits, and facilitating withdrawals. This model was made possible by the India Post Payment Bank (IPPB), a government-owned public limited company under the Department of Post. Fintech Singapore
Regulatory
GhanaMobile money operators in Ghana to submit data to credit bureaus. The Financial Stability Department of the Bank of Ghana has revealed new regulations currently before Parliament that will require mobile money companies to submit data to credit reference bureaus. The Central Bank of Ghana (BoG) in its 2018 annual report of the Credit Referencing Activity said the current regulatory framework made it difficult for credit bureaus to obtain data from a number of sources. The apex bank is looking to rectify this challenge with the introduction of the new regulations. The regulations are to be announced by the end of Q3 2019. GhanaWeb
KenyaKenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to tax income from apps downloaded in Kenya. The KRA has pointed out that provision of online platforms for use by third-parties is a taxable supply under the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act 2013 and would attract the standard 16% levy. The agency is prepared to work with the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) to obtain transactions data by resident and foreign-based app developers doing business in Kenya. Business Daily
Remittance
AfricaPaypal enters the African market with Xoom. Paypal bought Xoom in 2015 for $890m and the money transfer service is now available in 33 African countries. Through partnerships with Ria Money Transfer and African banks, Xoom allows people to send money online to 150,000 withdrawal points in Africa or to transfer funds directly to bank accounts. However, neither the option for bill payment nor cash delivery is available in African countries, although these services are marketed by Xoom. The Africa Report
Fundraising
South AfricaSouth African fintech startup uKheshe raises $500k seed funding to expand usage of its platform. The startup has announced the completion of its first seed investment round from Fitech Ventures and the Ocean on 76 Group to help with its expansion. Founded in 2015, uKheshe is a micro-transaction platform that allows cardholders to pay and get paid. It is Masterpass-certified and accepts payments from Zapper, SnapScan, and other banking apps. Disrupt Africa
South AfricaAlphaCode awards R16m in grants, support services to 8 South African fintechs. Rand Merchant Investment Holding (RMI), through AlphaCode, has awarded entrepreneurial packages valued at R16 million to 8 South African financial services startups. Each business will receive a package valued at up to R2 million including R1 million in grant funding and R1 million in support services. Dominique Collett, head of AlphaCode says the intention behind the initiative is for RMI to identify, partner, and grow the future of financial services in South Africa. Businesstech
KenyaKenyan Victoria Commercial Bank (VCB) gets Sh1 billion funding. The bank has secured a Sh1 billion, 5 year loan from Swedish Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM) as it intensifies debt-funded growth. With deposits of Sh25.3 billion, the lender relies on development finance for on-lending, which has helped it grow loans by 13% to Sh23.4 billion. VCB targets small and medium-sized enterprises, and was able to reach more than 800 borrowers and around 2,300 depositors in 2018. Business Daily
Cryptocurrency
GlobalChina’s central bank digital currency is ready after 5 years of development. A senior official at China's Central Bank announced that the country will soon roll out its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). According to Mu Changchun, Deputy Chief in the Payment and Settlement Division of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the currency has been in the research and development phase since 2014. The Block
Events
BusinessTech FinTech Conference 2019
September 11, Johannesburg
Jobs
Mastercard
Director, Area Marketing & Communications New
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Specialist New
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Developer - Full Stack/Java developer New
Johannesburg, South Africa
Yoco
Senior Product Manager New
Cape Town, South Africa
Head of Customer Support New
Cape Town, South Africa
Senior Paid Media Manager New
Cape Town, South Africa
Peach Payments
Operations Specialist New
Cape Town, South Africa
Technical Product Manager
Cape Town, South Africa
Product Designer
Cape Town, South Africa
Jumo
Data Scientist New
Cape Town, South Africa
Integrations Analyst
Cape Town, South Africa
Data Engineer
Cape Town, South Africa
Carbon (formerly Paylater)
Senior IOS Developer
Lagos, Nigeria
Country Business Lead
Nairobi, Kenya
BitPesa
Head of East & Southern Africa Sales
Nairobi Kenya, Johannesburg South Africa
Sales Consultant
Dakar, Senegal
Cowrywise
Backend Developer
Lagos, Nigeria
Android Developer
Lagos, Nigeria
iOS Developer
Lagos, Nigeria
Cellulant
Visa
Transit & Contactless Manager
Johannesburg, South Africa
Solutions Delivery Manager
Johannesburg, South Africa
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Do you have an announcement, event, or job posting you'd like to share, or have you come across an interesting bit of African fintech news recently? Hit reply and let me know! I might be able to include it in next week's newsletter.
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