Decode Fintech Logo
Issue 46
Mar 09 - Mar 15, 2020

Hi there,

I'll be hosting one out of a series of interactive webinars between Wednesday and Friday this week for Nigerian and Ghanaian businesses looking to sell to, and collect payments from customers in Ghana! Book a free seat for any topic of interest using the links below.

Introduction to the Paystack API for Developers in Ghana 
Paystack Live Demo: Modern Payments for Africa
How to accept payments from customers in Ghana 

Enjoy the rest of your week and don't forget to wash your hands!
Bolaji Akande
Product Specialist, Paystack
MoroccoOrange launches Orange Money in Morocco. The mobile money service, recently launched in Morocco, making Morocco the 18th country in the MEA (Middle East & Africa) region where Orange offers this service. Financial Technology
Banking & Finance
NigeriaCentral Bank of Nigeria (CBN) slashes interest rates on intervention facilities to 5%, directs banks to restructure loan terms. Following the recent global trend by lenders and regulators in the lending industry, Nigeria's Central Bank dropped its interest rates from 9% to 5%. The CBN hopes to ease the effect of the economic difficulties caused by the global spread of the Coronavirus on Nigerian SMEs. Nairametrics
NigeriaCentral Bank of Nigeria (CBN) insists on no devaluation, fines over 100 BDC operators N5 million (~$14k) each. The spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the record dip in oil prices in recent weeks, resulted in a devaluation of the Naira in the black market. The Naira which had been stable at an exchange rate of N360 to $1 dropped to about N420 to $1 because of dollar scarcity. The CBN however blamed false speculators for the scarcity and has since fined some Bureau De Change operators (BDC) for various infractions. Nairametrics
GlobalRevolut to apply for a UK banking license, also introducing a gold purchasing service. One of the UK's biggest fintech startups, Revolut, is reportedly preparing to apply for a UK banking license. Although Revolut already has an EU banking license from the European Central Bank, the UK banking license will enable the startup offer FSCS-protected deposits and lending services to customers. The startup has also been building a financial hub and already lets customers purchase cryptocurrencies and buy public shares on its platform. It has now added gold as part of a new feature called Commodities Finextra

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protects UK authorised banks, building societies, and credit unions up to £85,000 per depositor in the event of their insolvency. It’s worth noting that gold isn’t protected through the FSCS in the U.K. However, in the unlikely event of Revolut’s insolvency, all Precious Metals holdings will be sold and proceeds will be credited to your e-money account
GhanaGhana extends deadline for minimum capital requirement for Payment System Providers (PSP). The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has extended the deadline for meeting the minimum capital requirement for PSPs from June 2020 to December 2020. The Central Bank on September 12, 2019 had enacted the Payment Systems and Services Act to provide legal and regulatory framework for developing the country's payments system. The Act was created to provide structure for the growing fintech industry, which previously mostly consisted of mobile money companies. Mobile Money Africa
GlobalTransferWise partners with Alipay for international money transfers. London-headquartered international money transfer service, TransferWise, has partnered with China’s Alipay for international transfers. This partnership enables TransferWise’s 7 million-plus users to be able to send Chinese yuan to users of Alipay. TechCrunch
NigeriaYouverify receives $1.5m in investment, as global online ID verification sees a spike in demand due to COVID-19 Youverify, a Nigerian-based startup that automates identity and background verification processes, has received a $1.5m seed investment. This funding comes at an interesting time when ID verification companies in Europe and the U.S. are experiencing an increase in patronage as both consumers and businesses seek to do more online during the current global health crisis. Financial Technology Africa
AfricaAfrican fintech startups to benefit from $203m Accion Quona Inclusion Fund. Quona Capital, a venture firm focused on financial inclusion in emerging markets, has partnered with Accion, a global non-profit, to launch the Accion Quona Inclusion Fund. The multi-investor fund exceeded its target of $150 million to close at $203 million. To date, the fund has invested in African companies such as South Africa’s Lulalend and Kenya’s Sokowatch. Disrupt Africa
Cryptocurrency lets users borrow USD with crypto., a leading provider of cryptocurrency products, has launched Borrow, a product that allows users to borrow USD-denominated stablecoins against crypto held in their wallet. With the addition of Borrow, the aim of the company is to expand the ways in which their customers can use the crypto in their wallet. Finextra
GlobalLibra rival Celo launches 50-member Alliance For Prosperity. The Celo Foundation, a non-profit, recently launched a 50-member ‘Alliance For Prosperity’ which includes current Libra members Andreessen Horowitz and Coinbase Ventures. The organisation offers a way for developers to build decentralized mobile apps that are based on Celo’s blockchain platform and USD stablecoin. Currently, the biggest differentiator of Celo’s network versus other blockchains is that payments in the Celo Dollar stablecoin can be sent to people’s phone numbers rather than complicated addresses. TechCrunch
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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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