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Issue 6
May 20-26, 2019

Hi there,

Last week was all about recruitment. For context, I lead the Product Specialist team at Paystack, and I'm currently looking for entrepreneurial, empathetic analysts to help drive growth for some of Africa's fastest-growing merchants.

If this is you - or you know someone like this - please check out the Product Specialist job description here. I'm also hiring for a Mandarin-speaking Product Specialist.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Bolaji Akande
Product Specialist, Paystack
Payments
GhanaAll government transactions in Ghana to go cashless and electronic by June 2020. Ghana's Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia, announced that payment for all government transactions in Ghana will be done without cash by June 2020. Currently, Ghanaians are able to pay for taxes using mobile money. The complete cashless drive for government transactions is aimed at ensuring efficiency in all government services. Devdiscourse
AfricaKenya's Safaricom & South Africa's Vodacom plan $13 million purchase of M-Pesa rights from Britain's Vodafone. Safaricom & Vodacom will form a joint venture to acquire the intellectual property rights to M-Pesa mobile financial services for $13 million. Vodacom and Vodafone both own 35% & 5% of Safaricom respectively. Safaricom currently pays 2% of its annual M-Pesa revenue to Vodafone, while Vodacom pays 5% of intellectual property fee to Vodafone from its M-Pesa business operating in Tanzania. Beyond signicant future savings, the joint venture will allow Safaricom and Vodacom plan the roadmap of M-Pesa which is currently determined by Vodafone. Reuters
NigeriaUSSD in Nigeria: From the beginning and what has to change. Frank Eleanya of Business Day shares a brief history of USSD in Nigeria, how it started and what the future looks like. Business Day
GlobalHubtel selects Payworks to launch Android-based smart terminal for thousands of merchants across Ghana and Kenya. Hubtel and Payworks have expanded their partnership with the addition of an all-in-one Android- based smart terminal. This new product will be available via local acquirer, ABSA, with the Android POS application integrated directly to the terminal and the payment acceptance powered by Payworks’ payment gateway technology. This will allow Hubtel clients across retail and hospitality segments to take payment, orders, manage stock and other business tasks. Payworks
EDITOR'S NOTE

Shout out to Korbinian Breu, Sales Director at Payworks for the tip!
AfricaUsers of Wari, a digital financial services platform, can now request financial services on WhatsApp. Warri offers financial services such as local and international money transfer, bills payments, and airtime top-up. The integration with WhatsApp Business allows customers request financial services on WhatsApp including opening an account, topping up balances, and sending and receiving money. IT News Africa
RwandaRwanda's Private Sector Federation (PSF) and MTN Rwanda forge partnership to scale up adoption of cashless payments. Rwanda's Private Sector Federation and MTN Rwanda have partnered to launch MTN's mobile money payment and ticketing solution, MoMoPay. MoMoPay will be launched during the 22nd Rwanda International Trade Fair (RITF), holding between July 22 to August 11, 2019. Both parties hope that the partnership will improve ease of doing business in Rwanda. The New Times
GlobalPayment companies Global Payments and Total System Services (TSYS) in deal talks. The companies are discussing possibilities including joint ventures, partnership, and a merger. With digital payments growing in popularity, payment companies are looking to expand, which explains why two of such deals have already been concluded this year. One involving Fidelity National Services acquiring Worldpay for $34 billion and Fiserv paying $22 billion to acquire First Data Corp. PYMNTS
GlobalWells Fargo partners with TransferMate to deliver global invoicing for U.S.-based businesses. This partnership allows Wells Fargo offer Global Invoice Connect, a TransferMate product, to businesses. Global Invoice Connect allows businesses present electronic bills to their international customers in either U.S. dollars or in the customer’s local currency. Meanwhile the customer can pay through TransferMate by doing a funds transfer in their local currency. TransferMate is currently available in 50 countries around the world. PYMNTS
GlobalChase Bank and Visa provide an easier way to get around New York City with contactless payments. Customers of Chase Bank will be able to pay for public transportation in New York City using contactless payments. Customers will be able to tap their Chase Visa card or mobile device at the turnstile to ride the subway or bus. This solves a huge problem as 83% of people surveyed said they have had trouble getting their regular transit card to work at the turnstile. And 66% have left or forgotten funds on a transit card, at an average of $35.10 lost. Seeking Alpha
Conversations
TwitterBreakdown of the charges associated with new Stawi app. Francis sheds more light on the associated costs to the proposed Stawi app that is to be launched by the Central Bank of Kenya. See conversation here
Savings
NigeriaCowrywise, the Nigerian savings app, has launched a mutual funds platform. Cowrywise built a platform that gives users the ability to invest in mutual funds. The savings company partnered with investment houses like Meristem and Afrinvest to allow users access multiple mutual funds all in one app for as low as NGN 100 ($0.28). Medium
Banking & Finance
GlobalThe Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will hold an Afro-Asia Fintech Festival in Nairobi. The two Central Banks will jointly host the festival, with the goal to provide a platform for networking, collaboration, and exchange of ideas between Africa and Asia. Kenya News
GlobalWorldwide ATM installations dipped In 2018. According to the research firm, RBR, the number of ATMs installed during 2018 declined by 1% worldwide. The decline was mostly due to banks closing down branches in the largest financial markets like China, USA, Japan, and Brazil, coupled with the growing popularity of mobile payments around the world. However, in most other countries, ATM installations are actually growing. PYMNTS
AFRICAAbsa migrates digital channels of 10 African subsidiaries from the UK to its data centre in South Africa. Over a two-day period, Absa migrated the digital channels and account origination applications used by Tanzania, Ghana, Botswana, Zambia, Mauritius, Seychelles, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, and National Bank of Commerce in Tanzania. Absa expects that the migration will yield a more stable and scalable environment for Absa’s applications and enhance monitoring of infrastructure and applications. Business Tech
Insurance
GlobalInsurance companies in Nigeria shocked as NAICOM increases capital base by 200%. Nigeria’s insurance sector regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has increased the minimum paid-up share capital of insurance and reinsurance firms by 200%. Industry sources say that NAICOM's intention is to mandate insurance firms to recapitalise or merge in order to meet the new capital requirement. Imminent race to raise capital is to be expected, which will likely culminate in a flurry of right issues, public offers, and possibly IPOs in the coming weeks. Nairametrics
AfricaWorldCover, an insuretech startup, provides affordable insurance for small-scale farmers. WorldCover provides satellite-enabled climate insurance to small scale farmers. The insurance provider launching its services in Ghana, Uganda, and Kenya is leveraging on newly available technologies to create an easy-to-use and affordable insurance policy. Business Daily
Lending
KenyaCentral Bank of Kenya (CBK) partners with five local banks to pilot SME loan product Stawi. The CBK is running an initial pilot of Stawi, and interested parties can only apply via a dedicated app to get access to funds ranging from KES 30,000 ($296) to KES 250,000 ($2,470). Repayment periods vary from 1 month to 12 months at an interest rate of 9 percent yearly. The pilot phase will target 3,500 traders in the MSME sector in the first two weeks. Techweez
Remittance
GlobalMastercard and payments company Interac team up on Canada cross-border payments. Interac, a Canadian payments and digital information exchange, is using Mastercard Send, a push-payments service, to send money cross-border, on the Interac eTransfer platform. This allows customers send money from Canada to bank accounts in Europe. National Bank of Canada will be the first bank to pilot the new service for its banking clients. PYMNTS
Fundraising
GlobalLuxembourg based Koosmik has raised $2 million growth capital in its second seed financing round to expand in Togo. Koosmik aims to provide a complete, modern banking experience throughout all regions in Togo. In Togo, a country of 7.6 million with a mobile phone penetration of 78.29%, Koosmik onboarded over 60,000 users in 2018. Silicon Luxembourg
GlobalMarqeta valued at $2 billion after $260 million fundraising. Marqeta, the global card issuing platform, announced on Tuesday (May 21) that it has raised $260 million in venture funding. The Series E round of fundraising was led by Coatue Management, and gives the Marqeta a valuation of close to $2 billion. PYMNTS
GlobalTransferWise becomes largest Fintech in Europe after latest investment. TransferWise, a UK-based money transfer service, is now valued at $ 3.5 billion following a series of fresh investment rounds. TransferWise has also sought to become more competitive by lowering its fees and also retooling its entire platform. Finance Magnates
Regulation
GhanaGhana is considering taxes for revenues telcos earn from mobile money. The Ghanaian government is exploring the possibility of taxing the income that mobile money companies earn from transactions. The Deputy Minister of Communications, George Andah, made this suggestion following a weak domestic revenue performance, pushing government to look at other sources to boost revenue. Citi Business Ghana
NigeriaKenya publishes "Digital Economy Blueprint." Kenya's government recently published a document called "Digital Economy Blueprint." The document was released by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) and it looks into several areas of how Kenya's digital economy can contribute to economic growth. iAfrican
Cryptocurrency
GlobalHong-Kong's CoinCola launches its P2P bitcoin exchange Platform In Nigeria. Hong-Kong based cryptocurrency marketplace, CoinCola, has extended its cryptocurrency exchange services to Nigeria. Using the app, users can buy and sell cryptocurrencies with their local currencies via the CoinCola OTC marketplace. Technext.ng
AfricaPaxful, a P2P bitcoin marketplace, has announced the official Africa launch of their wallet app. Following insights from customer interaction Paxful has launched a wallet app. The Paxful wallet app will work seamlessly in connection with the Paxful website, providing secure storage to all customers. IT News Africa
Competition
GlobalFinTech Showcase 2019. Are you a fintech innovator looking to expand your product across emerging and developing markets? If so, then the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) encourages you to apply for its first-ever FinTech showcase. Register Here
Jobs
Paystack
Product SpecialistNew
Lagos, Nigeria
Content MarketerNew
Lagos, Nigeria
Other Positions
Lagos, Nigeria
Yoco
Full-Stack Senior Software EngineerNew
Cape Town, South Africa
UI DesignerNew
Cape Town, South Africa
Other Positions
South Africa
Carbon (formerly Paylater)
Country Business LeadNew
Accra, Ghana
Jumia Pay
Java Developer
Lagos, Nigeria
Cellulant
Country Manager
Harare, Zimbabwe
Data Engineer
Nairobi, Kenya
Sales Manager
Accra, Ghana
Events
Money 20/20
June 3 - June 5, Amsterdam
Africa Tech Summit
June 11, London
Future of Fintech
June 11 - June 13, New York
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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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