|South Africa||South Africa's Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) launches Innovation Hub. The IFWG which comprises South Africa's financial regulators, has launched an innovation hub focused on supporting compliant innovation and growth in the fintech industry. The hub which is open to both startups and incumbents, will enable fintech companies to test ideas and ascertain potential regulatory risks. IT News Africa|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||Here's a link to the FAQ document released by the IFWG for further information on the innovation hub.|
|Kenya||Central Bank of Kenya revokes access of unregulated digital lenders to the credit reference bureaus. The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has blocked unregulated digital lenders from submitting credit information on their borrowers to the country's credit reference bureaus (CRBs). This follows multiple customer complaints to the CBK about the lenders' misuse of credit information and poor customer service. The CBK has also suspended the listing of negative borrower credit information with the CRBs for the six months starting from April 1, 2020. Techweez|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||A Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) is an agency that aggregates consumer's credit history to enable lenders or credit providers make better decisions about loan disbursements. CRBs generate a credit history report which contains detailed information on a person's credit history. This information is captured using Credit Information Sharing (CIS) which is a process that allows lenders to exchange customers’ credit information through the CRBs. |
|West Africa||BCEAO Introduces measures to drive adoption of online payments In the wake of COVID-19, The Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) has directed their member states to take temporary measures to reduce their citizens physical contact with cash and drive money movement to digital channels. Some of these measures include fee waivers on digital money transfers below XOF 5,000 ($8.35) and utility bill payments. Also, merchant service commissions on mobile money transactions have been waived as well. Mobile Money Africa|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||Banque Centrale des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (BCEAO) which translates to The Central Bank of West African States in English, is the central bank of eight West African francophone countries - Benin, Burkina, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. BCEAO is responsible for issuing the West African CFA franc, directing monetary policy and monitoring banking activity in its member states. It was founded in 1962 and has its headquarters in Dakar, Senegal. |
|Nigeria||LSETF suspends MSME loan repayments. The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), a fund set up to provide financial support to residents and businesses in Lagos state, has suspended the repayment of loans obtained by 11,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The 60-month repayment moratorium is expected to ease the financial burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. PM News|
|Nigeria||Paga partners with SystemSpecs to facilitate online payments. Remita, the payments service powered by SystemSpecs, has partnered with Paga, the mobile wallet, to facilitate online payments. Merchants on Remita will now be able to receive payments from customers through Paga's mobile wallet platform Mobile Money Africa|
|Kenya||Telkom Kenya shuts down 90% of T-kash mobile money agents. The Kenyan mobile network operator, has shut down 24,946 of the 28,106 agents on its T-kash mobile money agency platform at the end of 2019. This followed a 30% drop in active mobile money subscribers from 27,837 to 19,607 in the fourth quarter of 2019 Financial Technology Africa|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||It appears most of the other players in the industry are struggling to compete with Safaricom. In Issue 49, we reported on Safaricom's dominance in the mobile money space with the Kenyan telecom giant facilitating about 99.6% of the value of mobile money deposits.|
|Africa||African tech startups raise $350 million in Q1 2020. According to the quarterly bulletin released by Briter Bridges, African tech startups raised about $350 million in funding in the first quarter of 2020. While this represents a 16% rise in YoY value from 2019, further analysis indicates that tech startups in Africa only received $35m in funding in March, an 81% drop from $189m in February. This drop follows reduced economic activity as a result of the rising coronavirus pandemic. Techcabal|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||Here's a link to the Briter Bridges quarterly funding bulletin. |
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