|Uganda||Uganda issues its first fintech license to MTN and Airtel for over $2.8m. Bank of Uganda (BoU), the country’s Central Bank, has issued their first-ever fintech licenses to both MTN Mobile Money Uganda Limited and Airtel Mobile Commerce Uganda Limited. This is in response to Section 9 of the National Payment Systems Act, 2020, and the NPS Implementing Regulations, requiring every fintech company in the East African country to procure a fintech license to continue their operations. Afrikan Heroes|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||It's interesting to note that the capital required to run a fintech company in Uganda is on the high side. Getting a PSP/PSO (Electronic Money Issuer) license in Uganda costs 10 UGX billion($2.9 million). This will most likely raise the barrier to entry and only a few companies will be able to afford these licenses. You can find out more about the capital requirements for fintechs in Uganda here.|
|Global||Visa expands the reach of the Fintech Partner Connect Program. The program initially launched in Europe in November 2020 and is now available in the United States, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The Visa Fintech Partner Connect program is designed to help financial institutions connect with a set of technology providers in the industry. TechCrunch|
|Twitter||Is crypto the next big digital payment rails? Following the announcement of the Central Bank of Nigeria's new Fintech license categorization, Yele Bademosi predicts a future where cryptocurrency technology will become the backend infrastructure powering fintech products. |
|EDITOR'S NOTE||The technology that powers the bulk of digital payments today requires very costly and complex licenses to participate in. The future imagined in Yele's tweet would mean that fintech applications can leverage crypto-based networks and protocols to provide financial services to their customers. Given that these technologies currently don't require any licenses, there is potentially no regulatory hurdle to get started on these networks.|
However, there's an argument to be made for the merits of meeting certain capital requirements before providing financial services to millions of people. Moving and holding other people's money is a huge responsibility that comes with a high risk, and this risk increases as the number of customers grow. The goal for regulators is finding the optimal barrier to entry: make it too high and you stifle innovation, too low and you encourage careless and sometimes fraudulent actors. Relatively weak consumer adoption and strong regulation mean that we're still far from a crypto-protocol future but regulators will do well to find low-risk ways to work with new technologies.
|Nigeria||Nigerian fintech startup, Mono raises 2 million dollars in seed funding. The funding will help Mono launch new products and grow their team. They had previously raised $500,000 in pre-seed last September and $125,000 in November from YC. This brings their total investment to $2.625 million. Investors in this round include Entrée Capital (one of the investors in Kuda’s seed round), Kuda co-founder and CEO Babs Ogundeyi, Lateral Capital amongst others. TechCrunch|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||Launched in August 2020, the company streamlines various financial data in a single API for companies and third-party developers. Mono allows them to retrieve information like account statements, real-time balance, historical transactions, income, expenses, and account owner identification with users’ consent.|
|Kenya||Kenyan Insurtech Startup AiCare secures funding from Toyota Tsusho. AiCare who is a provider of telematics insurance systems for insurance companies in Kenya's investment will be made through Toyota Tsusho’s corporate venture capital subsidiary - Mobility Investment SAS, but the amount and terms of the investment have yet to be disclosed. The funding would be used to grow the company’s personnel, engage in research and development, and increase product offerings. Tech In Africa|
|Nigeria||CBN releases new license and capital requirements for fintechs. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a new license requirement for fintechs which states the eligibility criteria for each license category in the country. The categories listed include the Payment Terminal Service Provider (PTSP), Payment Solutions Service Provider (PSSP), Payment Solution Services (PSS), Super Agent Licence, Mobile Money Operator (MMO), Switch, and Processing Licence. The breakdown of the license fees for the Payment Solution Services (PSS) includes an escrow of refundable N250m (for entities applying for the three (3) licenses at a time: PSSP – N100m, PTSP – N100m, and Super Agent – N50m). Mobile Money Africa|
|EDITOR'S NOTE||On the 10th of December 2020, the CBN released a circular streamlining existing payment licenses into four new categories: Payment Solution Services (PSS), Mobile Money Operator (MMO), Switching and Processing, Regulatory Sandbox.|
You can read more about this here and here.
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