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Issue 54
Apr 04 - May 10, 2020

Hi there,

How has the ease of the lockdown in Lagos and Abuja been for you? Are you still working from home like me? Or do you still have to go into the office?

As part of our COVID response, we've just published a playbook for Ghanaian and Nigerian food business owners on how to boost sales during this harsh economic environment. If you know any food business owners in your network, please help share with them. It genuinely is a useful resource that we think they'd find valuable. And even non-food business owners would benefit from some of the creative ideas explained in the post. Read all about it here.

Simileoluwa Afolabi-Jombo,
Product Specialist, Paystack
NigeriaRemita partners with Cellulant on payment technology. Both Nigerian payments companies have entered into a partnership to give their customers access to each other's services. The collaboration would enable Cellulant’s customers to make interbank electronic funds transfer from Cellulant’s platforms and Cellulant agents would be able to process payments to all Remita billers. Financial Technology Africa
GhanaGhana records 81% growth In Q1 2020 for electronic payment. The latest figures from the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) show that the use of electronic payment channels increased by 81% in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. While the total volume of all the transactions put together went up by 81%, specific channels such as GhIPSS Instant Pay saw a huge growth of almost 700%, while Mobile Money Interoperability grew by over 350%. Mobile Money Africa
MalawiMukuru acquires Zoona Malawi’s assets. A South African-based money transfer firm, Mukuru, has acquired the Malawi branch of Zoona, a fintech startup. Zoona is scaling down their money transfer business and pivoting to focus on its B2B payments software. Following the acquisition, Zoona Malawi’s agents will operate as Mukuru agents, with a wider product range to offer customers. Techmoran
GhanaClear Junction and Zeepay Ghana sign partnership agreement. The partnership would allow Clear Junction, a London-based global fintech company, to offer correspondent accounts for collecting payments in the European Union and the UK, which will enable Zeepay’s P2P remittance service into Ghana. Mobile Money Africa
TanzaniaMastercard partners with Eywa, NMB to launch bus payment platform in Tanzania. Mastercard has partnered with EYWA, a transportation solutions provider, and NMB Bank, a financial institution, to launch a transit solution in Tanzania. Consisting of a mobile App and a Transit Card, the solution enables commuters to avoid ticket-buying queues; check into the waiting pool of their destination, amongst other features. Techmoran
GlobalSamsung Pay partners with SoFi to launch a debit card. Samsung's mobile payments service is teaming up with US digital lender, SoFi, to launch a Samsung Pay debit card backed by a cash management account. Finextra

Samsung's decision to introduce a payments card comes after Apple launched their credit card last year. Google is also working on their own debit card.
GlobalEuropean digital payments firms form an alliance. Four European payments processors – Ingenico Group, Nets, Nexi, and Worldline – joined to launch an EU trade group called the European Digital Payments Industry Alliance (EDPIA). The group will engage in EU policy discussions impacting the EU payments sector and aims to make Europe a world leader in the digital payments industry.  Verdict
Banking & Finance
KenyaCentral Bank of Kenya (CBK) pumps KSh 17.6 billion (~$166 million) into banks. The CBK has granted approvals to 11 commercial banks and one microfinance institution to access KSh 17.6 billion in cash and deposits held in its reserves. This follows a decision by the Monetary Policy Committee(MPC), a top policy arm of the CBK, to lower the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) for commercial banks to 4.25% from 5.25%. Kenyan Wall Street
AfricaWhy is card usage so low in Africa? Michael Kimani (@pesa_africa) talks about the advantages mobile money wallets have over cards issued by banks and how it has resulted in more customers preferring the former to the later.  Michael's Twitter

For context, card usage is around 2% in Africa compared to mobile money that accounts for 45% of online transactions.
GhanaBank of Ghana establishes new office to regulate FinTech operations. The FinTech and Innovation Office will oversee the growth and regulation of financial technology and innovation in the country. The office will also develop policies to promote FinTech, innovation and interoperability in Ghana. Mobile Money Africa
ZimbabweEcoCash sues Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) over mobile money agents. The lawsuit follows the central bank's move to freeze transactions of an unspecified number of mobile money agent lines from EcoCash. These agents are suspected to have been behind the recent exchange rate volatility by using their agent status to buy and sell foreign currency.  Mobile Money Africa

Preliminary investigations by the RBZ's financial intelligence Unit (FIU) allegedly show that transactions valued at more than $75 million were being executed on the agent lines even though the nature of their businesses did not support such huge money movement. What prompted the suspicion was the fact that the value of transactions remained excessively high despite the country being under the Covid-19 lockdown for the past five weeks.
AfricaFIS Global sets up $150m for fintech development in Africa. Financial technology provider, FIS, has set up a corporate venture investment division, known as FIS Ventures, to invest $150m in fintech startups over the next three years. The fund will invest in early to growth-stage startups that focus on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, digital enablement, automation, data, analytics, security, privacy, distributed ledger technology, and financial inclusion. Finextra

Check out their website and apply to their various funding programs here.
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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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