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Issue 57
May 25 - May 31, 2020

Hi there,

How are you coping with all that's going on in the world? Personally, I've been taking deliberate steps to protect my mental space and reduce anxiety by limiting my exposure to the news on social media. Let us all remember to have empathy and care for one another during these uncertain times.

Take care and stay safe.

Simileoluwa Afolabi-Jombo,
Product Specialist, Paystack
AfricaWaived transaction fees are being reinstated. As the world slowly relaxes lockdown regulations, countries are starting to re-instate the fees that were waived during the lockdown. In Uganda, MTN and Airtel have started charging for mobile money transactions. The Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlements Systems (GhIPPS) has directed financial institutions to end the fee waiver granted to customers who use the GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP), Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI), and ACH Direct Credit from the 23rd of May. Mobile Money Africa
RwandaDigital payments compete with cash in Rwanda. A new report released by Insight2Impact showed that Peer-to-Peer transfers grew from Rwf10.7billon ($11million) on March 15, when the lockdown began, to Rwf24billion ($25.6million) a week later. The number of mobile money transactions has since grown exponentially, hitting Rwf40.3billion ($43million) by April 19, a 485% growth in value from February 16, and 397% growth in volume. NextBillion

The waiver of fees on all mobile financial transactions during the COVID-19 lockdown could have led to fast growth of digital payments in Rwanda. It could also be as a result of people being forced to protect themselves and practice social distancing due to the pandemic.
Additionally, according to this article written by TechCabal, the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) recently announced that cashless payments will now be the only way for motorcycle taxi operators to receive payments from customers. This will definitely impact the growth of digital payments in the country since this is their most common way of transportation.
TwitterThe rapid rise of Bitcoin in Africa. Kioneki (@pesa_africa) discusses the rise of Bitcoin in Africa at a time when African states are ramping up digital financial surveillance in this thread.

It's interesting to see that Sub-Saharan Africa is now the 2nd largest region in Bitcoin peer-to-peer trading after North America, and Nigeria has the highest trading volumes in Africa.
Burkina FasoOrange Money launches remittance from France into Burkina Faso and Morocco. The mobile money service of Orange S.A, a telecommunications company based in France, launched their remittance service to allow customers based in France to send money to Orange money wallet users in both countries. Mobile Money Africa
South AfricaWestern Union partners with South Africa’s Mama Money. The collaboration will allow Mama Money customers to send money to their loved ones around the world via Western Union’s Global Network. The international money transfer company, Mama Money, has partnered with every major retailer in South Africa, thereby acquiring a large number of customers. Mobile Money Africa
South AfricaInsurtech startup, Inclusivity Solutions raises $1.3m funding. The South African-based startup raised US$1.56 million in the first tranche of their Series A funding round in June of last year and has now secured an additional US$1.3 million in the second tranche. This funding will help the company to expand within their existing markets and into new ones. Financial Technology Africa
NigeriaElectroneum, a Cryptocurrency, to launch electricity top-ups in Nigeria. The Britain-based blockchain will be launching an in-app electricity top-up feature in Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, and Gambia. The platform will allow app users to buy electricity by paying in Electroneum tokens. Nairametrics

Electroneum is a blockchain-based payment system created specifically for use on mobile hardware, like smartphones.
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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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