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Issue 70
Aug 24 - Aug 30, 2020

Hi there,

Are you an African startup founder wanting to get into Y Combinator accelerator? Y Combinator CEO, Michael Seibel and Paystack CEO, Shola Akinlade will be sharing insights with startup founders in Africa on how they can get into YC in a free webinar. This event is part of YC’s International Outreach Tour in Africa and they would love to use the opportunity to answer as many questions as possible from current and aspiring founders within the continent. Register here if this strikes your interest.

Simileoluwa Afolabi-Jombo
Product Specialist, Paystack
NigeriaCentral Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issues a license to three companies to operate as Payment Service Banks. The CBN has issued a final PSB license to Hope PSB, a subsidiary of Unified Payment, Globacom’s Money Master, and 9Mobile’s 9PSB. 9PSB is scheduled to launch their operations by September 2020 in partnership with Keystone Bank. Financial Technology Africa

Obtaining a PSB license would allow the telcos to accept deposits, maintain savings accounts, issue cards, carry out payments amongst other things. However, the license would not allow them to grant loans, accept foreign currency deposits or, deal in the foreign exchange market. A company needs to provide a financial requirement of N5.35 billion (~$13.9 million) to obtain the license from the CBN. It will be interesting to see all the products that these companies especially the telcos would release after obtaining this license.
NigeriaPOS transactions volume hits all-time high as lockdown eases in Nigeria. According to the data released by the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), the volume of POS transactions rose to ~54 million with a value of N416.7 billion (~$1.08 billion) in July 2020. The number of new POS devices registered also rose to ~549,000. BusinessDay

 This increase can be attributed to ease of the lockdown in Nigeria which started in May. More businesses are also trying to reduce physical contact due to the pandemic which means looking for easier and safer ways to receive payments from their customers.
ZimbabweEcoCash implements a daily limit of $5000 for individual transactions. Econet, the largest mobile money platform in Zimbabwe, announced that they're implementing a daily limit of $5000 per day for all individual Ecocash transactions due to a new directive from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). Mobile Money Africa

The regulation was issued in June 2020 was just recently implemented by the Telco. The limit has been making it impossible for citizens to pay for goods and services whose prices are constantly rising. The government also banned mobile money agents from operating in the country. The level of inflation in Zimbabwe reached 837% in July which could be an impact of the limit implemented by the government. Business owners and experts are calling on the government to remove the restrictions and ease the process of doing business. According to RBZ, the main reason why the limits were implemented was to reduce money laundering and fraudulent transactions that are being done by mobile money agents. 
Banking & Finance
GhanaGhanian banks commence QR Code deployment for electronic transactions. Ghanaians can now pay for goods and services via the QR code platform launched by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS). The banks commencing this deployment are Ecobank, GCB Bank, Zenith Bank, Bank of Africa, Fidelity Bank, and Agriculture Development Bank. Mobile Money Africa

We previously mentioned GhIPSS's plan to launch the universal code in Issue 33 and it's great to hear that it is now being deployed.
NigeriaYellow Card raises $1.5million to aid expansion. The Nigerian cryptocurrency startup raised the funds from a team of high-profile investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain and Celo, through the Celo Ecosystem Fund. The company aims to use the funds to expand their operations across Africa starting with a launch in Kenya and Cameroon by September 1, 2020. Africa Inc Magazine
AfricaMoneyGram signs remittances deal with Airtel Africa. This new partnership will allow Airtel customers across 14 countries to receive payments into their mobile money wallets. The service will be enabled this year once all regulatory approvals have been given. Fintech Futures

Both companies have been recently been entering into partnerships to boost payments and remittance services. Moneygram recently partnered with Al Rajhi Bank for remittances into Saudi Arabia and India-based Federal Bank for remittances into India. As announced in issue 68, Airtel Africa also partnered with Standard Chartered Bank to expand their mobile money service.
AfricaWorldRemit to acquire Sendwave in $500million deal. WorldRemit Ltd, a U.K money transfer company, has agreed to buy Sendwave, an Africa-focused remittance company. The acquisition will help bolster WorldRemit’s coverage of Africa. Sendwave will continue to operate as an independent business and retain their management, employees, and key partners as specified by both companies. Bloomberg
RwandaRwandan government starts the process of putting in place a startup act. The aim is to establish a continent-leading startup ecosystem and to legislate for this, the Rwandan government has recruited Innovation for Policy Foundation (i4Policy) to draft a national Startup Act. Disrupt Africa
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