Decode Fintech Logo
Issue 73
Sep 14 - Sep 20, 2020

Hi there,

How has your week been so far?

I recently saw this hilarious thread on Twitter where @fkabudu asked for new ways to sign off on emails. Personally, I was also tired of signing off my emails with "Best regards", "Warm regards", etc. My new sign off message is now "Yours Pandemically". What is your favorite sign off message from the thread?

In other words, stay jiggy!

Simileoluwa Afolabi-Jombo
Product Specialist, Paystack
ZimbabweMastercard and Zimswitch partner to launch a contactless card program in Zimbabwe. The partnership will also ensure that Zimswitch, a major payment company in Zimbabwe, is able to leverage Mastercard Payments Gateway Services to support small businesses, as well as the private and public sectors. ITNews Africa

The most common payment method in Zimbabwe is mobile money, so it's interesting to see that a move is being made in the card payments space in the country. Recently, there has been a lot of animosity between the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the major mobile money operators in the country, especially Ecocash. The government banned mobile money agents and also limited the maximum amount an individual can process daily to $5000. More people might be willing to move to card payments due to all the restrictions and issues.
Zimswitch looks like the perfect platform to launch the Mastercard card program as they are currently the country's national payments switch through which all transactions, including mobile money runs through.
Banking & Finance
RwandaRwanda banks reduce ATMs in favor of agency banking. According to the latest statistics from the Rwanda Central Bank's Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Statement, the number of ATMs in the country as of June 2020 reduced to 331 compared to 390 in June 2019. The banks have been partnering with more agent banking operators in order to reduce cash in circulation due to the ongoing pandemic and also provide financial services to more citizens. Rwanda: Local Banks Cut Back on ATMs in Favour of Agency Banking - Mobile Money Africa

One of the main reasons why the banks are taking this step aside increasing financial inclusion is to reduce the cost of operating ATMs. For instance, an ATM machine costs around $4,000 while agency banking is relatively affordable as the outlets are owned by individual operators. The Rwanda Central Bank also observed that cashless payments values and volumes continue to grow significantly with mobile money being the largest driver. There's an ongoing drive to move more people to digital channels for payments.
NigeriaOPay and WorldRemit partner to offer international mobile money transfer services. The partnership between OPay, a Nigerian fintech company, and WorldRemit will allow Opay's customers to receive funds transferred from 50 countries including the United Kingdom, Canada, United States of America amongst others directly into their mobile wallets. Nairametrics
LiberiaLonestar Cell MTN partners with WorldRemit, Sendwave for international mobile money remittances. Currently, customers of Lonestar, a Liberian financial services company have to physically go to a physical cashpoint to receive remittances. The partnership with WorldRemit and Sendwave would make it possible for Lonestar's mobile money customers to receive international remittances into their mobile money account from Europe, Canada, and the United States of America. Mobile Money Africa

Since WorldRemit raised 175m in June 2019, they have been on a partnership/acquisition spree. They recently acquired Sendwave in a $500million deal. Partnerships with Airtel Africa, Mukuru, Wizall Money, Alipay, amongst others have also happened within the last 8 months. I'm personally looking forward to seeing the new companiesthey'll partner with in the coming months and how massive their growth will be.
GlobalFlywire and Mastercard partner to offer discounted cross-border tuition payments. Flywire, a US-based payments company, is partnering with Mastercard to provide students from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Kenya, and Ghana with discounted foreign exchange rates on cross-border tuition payments made with Mastercard. The offer which is available for the 2020 Fall term will only apply to schools around the world that offer Flywire as a preferred payment method for receiving international tuition. Finextra
NigeriaNigerian API fintech, Mono, raises $500k pre-seed funding. The company raised funds from investors such as Lateral Capital, Ventures Platform, Golden Palm amongst others. They plan on using the money for expansion, hiring, new product offerings, and new partnerships. Techpoint Africa

Launched in August 2020, Mono enables companies and developers to access financial accounts for historical and real-time transactions, balances, bank statements, credits, and spending patterns of a customer.
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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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