|Africa||Tigo Tanzania partners with M-Pesa, MTN, and Airtel in a move to open up Mobile Money interoperability in East Africa. East Africa, particularly Kenya has long been the poster child for all things mobile money, and financial inclusion. However, the interoperability of different mobile money networks has always been a problem, especially across national borderlines. Tigo Tanzania in partnership with M-Pesa (Kenya), MTN (Uganda and Rwanda), and Airtel (Rwanda) has however been able to make a breakthrough that allows users of these networks to move money across the four countries. Connecting Africa|
|Ghana||Is coronavirus driving up usage of instant pay transactions in Ghana? Although a full assessment of the impact of coronavirus on the electronic payment systems in Ghana is yet to be done, an uptick in instant pay transactions in March coincides with when Ghana started recording positive cases of coronavirus. The data from GhIPPS (Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System) shows a 53.6% month-on-month increase in instant pay transactions in the month of March. Before then, the previous month had seen a 7% decline of instant pay transactions from January to February 2020. Mobile Money Africa|
|South Africa||Adapting to the times, South Africa's Yoco enters the online market. Up until now, Yoco was mainly known for two major things, in-person payments, and serving SMEs. However, with the on-going government-imposed lockdown in South Africa, there's been a reported 90% decrease in in-person transactions for SMEs. Following this, Yoco has launched a suite of online payment solutions for merchants, to sustain their cash flow during and beyond the lockdown. Apps Africa|
|Africa||Great time to expand banking operations? Egypt's Commercial International Bank (CIB) completes acquisition of Kenya's Mayfair Bank. The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) announced that CIB had acquired 51% of Mayfair Bank, one of the youngest banks in the country, at $35.35m. This move makes CIB the first Egyptian bank to establish a presence in Kenya. The Africa Report|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||While the news of a proposed deal broke some time in December last year, this is definitely an interesting time to complete an acquisition with the ongoing global financial situation. The pandemic has slowed down the lending business for both traditional banks, and fintech companies. However due to a recent government regulation, there is an opportunity for traditional lenders in Kenya to increase their market share during this period. Many fintech companies have been restricted access to credit reference bureaus, thereby increasing their risk levels, and reducing their ability to reliably give out good loans.|
|Nigeria||Fintech partnerships with healthcare on the rise as Carbon launches healthcare program with AXA Mansard. As the global economy slows down due to the imposed lockdown, digital financial services firms like Carbon are extending healthcare services to their customers, just at the right time. Nairametrics|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||Recall that in a recent issue we also reported a partnership between Aella, a fintech company, and Hygeia HMO.|
|Nigeria||Yele Bademosi's path to Bundle and the future of cryptocurrency in Africa. From founding a venture capital firm(Microtraction) that invested in Bitkoin Africa, to being the first director at Binance Labs, the venture arm of Binance, Yele Bademosi has been a steady presence in African fintech with strong interests in bitcoin. This journey has led him to create a new company called Bundle, a social payments app, similar to Venmo or Square’s Cash App. Bundle is being positioned as a platform that helps users in Africa use cryptocurrency as a global means of exchange. Forbes|
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