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Issue 81
Feb 22 - Feb 28, 2021

Hi there,

As Bolaji mentioned in last week's newsletter, we're in Nairobi for a few weeks. My personal highlight has been seeing how M-Pesa works in person after writing about it for so long.

I look forward to experiencing and seeing more of Kenya before returning to Lagos.

Enjoy the rest of your week and remember to stay safe.

Simileoluwa Afolabi-Jombo
Product Specialist, Paystack
AfricaMastercard and MTN announce Mobile Money partnership. Through this strategic partnership, MTN customers with a Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to their MoMo wallets can make payments to global online merchants on digital platforms. Tech Nova

Mobile devices are the primary channel used to connect to the internet across Sub-Saharan Africa. According to GSMA, it is estimated that there will be 300 million more people using their devices to access internet services by 2025. This has made mobile financial services become the dominant form of digital payments, with twice as many mobile money accounts as bank accounts in the region. With MTN being one of the dominant telcos in the region, I am excited to see how this partnership will play out.
EthiopiaEthio Telecom diversifies and ventures into Mobile Money. Ethiopia’s National Telecom has applied to the National Bank of Ethiopia, a financial firms’ regulatory body, to launch a mobile banking service in the country and has been given the green light to commence business. Kenyan Wall Street

Ethio's entry into the mobile money space will create some competition for M-BIRR, which is currently Ethiopia's biggest mobile money operator. It's important to note that, the Ethiopian government is looking to sell some Ethio Telecom shares to foreign and local investors, with the majority remaining under government control. 
West AfricaGhana, Nigeria payment systems' integration making progress. In an interview, Archie Hesse, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), says Ghana and Nigeria have made progress with the integration of payment systems. According to Ghana’s National Payment Systems Strategic Plan (2019-2024), the final integration of West African states’ payment systems will be completed by the end of 2022. GhIPSS is expected to introduce a scheme to link the National Switching and Processing System with other West African countries. Financial Technology Africa

GhIPSS in collaboration with the African Union and some African central banks launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) in 2019. It's a central financial market infrastructure to support payment arrangements between African states. PAPSS expects to connect the entire continent, handle instant payments in multiple African currencies, and provide a settlement mechanism that creates trust within the ecosystem. This is bound to be a game-changer for moving money around Africa and I'm looking forward to seeing the implementation at work.
KenyaKenya’s HF Group partners with Interswitch to offer International Money Transfer (IMT) Services. The partnership will enable HF’s diaspora customers to remit funds into any HF account and also provide a channel for them to make their loan or mortgage payments. The partnership is coming on the heels of the company’s diversification efforts into full-service banking after obtaining Sh1 billion injections from one of its leading shareholders, Britam Holdings. Financial Technology Africa
AfricaEcobank Group signs remittance partnership with Small World Financial Services. With this partnership, Small World customers will be able to access the Ecobank Africa services such as direct transfer to bank accounts and mobile wallet; and cash pick up at any Ecobank location. Ecobank will also be able to further expand its remittance reach within African communities across Europe and other parts of the world. Mobile Money Africa
GlobalWestern Union partners with SWIFT to expand international remittance. Western Union Business Solutions has announced the expansion of its cross-border payment solutions for corporate customers by incorporating the SWIFT Global Payments Initiative. Tech Gist Africa
South AfricaSouth African cloud-based banking startup, bancX, raises funding for expansion. The Johannesburg-based cloud platform has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Capitec-backed investment firm Imvelo Ventures which will assist the startup to expand in Africa and globally. Afrikan Heroes

Founded in 2017, the bancX cloud platform offers digital and financial services to fintech firms and banks.
South AfricaSouth African fintech API startup, Stitch, raises $4 million seed round for African expansion. The funding was co-led by firstminute Capital and The Raba Partnership, and also includes CRE, Village Global with many other investors. Stitch will use the funding to build the team, grow in South Africa, and launch operations in West and East Africa. Disrupt Africa
South AfricaSouth African digital bank, TymeBank, raises $109 million. The startup’s new investors are Apis Growth Fund II and JG Summit Holdings, one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines. The new funding will enable the bank to expand into even more areas. TechCabal
CameroonCameroonian fintech startup, Diool, raises $3.5m. The funds were raised from the Lundin family plus existing investors, taking its total secured investment to $4.6 million. With the funding, Diool will continue to expand in Cameroon, before raising more funds to scale internationally. Disrupt Africa

The startup provides aggregated financial services that makes it simpler for small merchants to accept payments from their customers and repay their suppliers, using many payment methods.
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