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Issue 37
Jan 06 - Jan 12, 2020

Hi there,

It's been a busy week here at Paystack, but I'm looking forward to our offsite this coming weekend. It'll be a great time to bond with other members of the company as we finalize plans for the new year.
Simileoluwa Afolabi-Jombo,
Product Specialist, Paystack
TanzaniaTanzania's mobile money accounts increased, but total transaction volume decreased in Q3 2019. Quarterly statistics released by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) showed that despite an increase in the number of mobile money accounts in the first three quarters of 2019, the number of transactions reduced in the third quarter. The 3.1% decrease was from 260.4 million in the second quarter to 252.4 million. Mobile Money Africa

Here's a link to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority's quarterly communication statistics for Q3 2019. 
ZimbabweZimbabwe's mobile money transactions double in Q3 2019. Mobile money transactions rose from the second to the third quarter of 2019 by 91% (~$6.2m to ~$11.9m). Active mobile money subscriptions also grew to ~7.19 million subscribers, compared to ~7.03 million in Q2. Mobile Money Africa
ZimbabweEcoCash tightens grip on mobile transaction volumes in Zimbabwe. According to the latest report by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), EcoCash processed about 99.7% of all mobile transactions in Q3 2019. The mobile money platform accounted for 99.2% growth in utilities and merchant payments, and 106.1% growth in mobile money transfers into the country. Mobile Money Africa

Here's a link to the POTRAZ postal and telecommunications sector performance report for Q3 2019. 
GlobalVisa to acquire Plaid for $5.3 billion. Visa Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire Plaid, a platform that securely connects customers' bank accounts directly to fintech applications. In a deal worth $4.9b in cash and $400m in stock, Plaid will help Visa to tap into their customers’ growing use of fintech apps and non-card payments.  Business Wire

Here's a link to Visa's deck for the Plaid acquisition.  
GlobalMastercard plans to launch Augmented Reality (AR) benefits app. Mastercard has announced plans to introduce an AR app that'll immerse their cardholders in a 360-degree virtual environment. Once inside, cardholders can use their phones to select different items and explore the associated card benefits. The app which has a release date scheduled for Q2 2020, will also allow Mastercard's issuing partners to create customized experiences for their own customers. Financial Technology Africa
GlobalVisa partners with Samsung to launch a tap-to-phone enabled smartphone. Samsung has partnered with Visa to launch the Galaxy XCover Pro, an enterprise-focused smartphone that comes pre-installed with Visa's tap-to-phone app. The app enables merchants to accept contactless payments with their android phones, without the need for any other POS device.  PYMNTS
TwitterThe rise of challenger banks. FTPartners (@FTPartners) released a report on the global rise of challenger banks in this tweet.
TwitterConnecting fintech applications. Victor Asemota (@asemota) highlights an important use case and potential opportunity for applications that can connect different fintech platforms in this tweet.
FacebookFacebook's plan for e-commerce and online payments. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, in his annual new year post on Facebook, shared that one of his goals for the new decade was to actively encourage e-commerce and online payments with their product suite. 
TwitterBit Sika launches money transfers to other countries. Atsu Davoh (@atsudavoh), founder and CEO of Bit Sika, an international money transfer mobile application, announced that customers can now do transfers between Cameroon, Gabon, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mali, and Mauritius in this tweet.
Banking & Finance
GhanaGhana backs West Africa's currency, Eco. The President of Ghana, Nana Kufo Addo, has publicly shown a commitment to adopt Eco, the new West African currency adopted by 8 francophone countries as a replacement for the CFA franc. However, the President has opposed the plan to peg the Eco to the Euro and has urged regional authorities to adopt a more flexible exchange rate regime.  PYMNTS
GlobalStandard Chartered bank opens a cross-border payments tracker. Standard Chartered Bank has opened a public portal where clients can track their cross-border payments in real-time, by simply entering SWIFT’s unique end-to-end transaction reference (UETR) associated with the transaction. Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) is a messaging network used by financial institutions across the globe to facilitate international money transfers.  Finextra
NigeriaCentral Bank of Nigeria (CBN) moves to facilitate pre-authorization for card payments. The CBN has released a circular that mandates merchant acquirers and payment system operators, to build the infrastructure and adopt the necessary processes for pre-authorization of card transactions in Nigeria. They're required to obtain device validation certification and a testing completion notification from the card schemes. The directive takes immediate effect, but full compliance is expected by July 31, 2020.  THISDAYLIVE

Here's a link to the CBN circular on the pre-authorization of cards in Nigeria.
NigeriaThe CBN approves the Nigerian Payments System Risk and Information Security Management Framework. Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved the Nigerian Payments System Risk and Information Security Management Framework, to guide the management of risks associated with the payments system in the country.  Financial Technology Africa

This is the link to the approved framework from CBN
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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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