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Issue 97
Jul 04 - Jul 11, 2021

Hi there,

In case you missed it, Paystack recently announced a partnership with WooCommerce as the preferred Payments Partner in Africa. This means that integration to Paystack from your WooCommerce store just got much easier. All you need to do is add Paystack as your payment option from your WooCommerce Dashboard. You can read more about this news here.

Do have a lovely week ahead!

Kharis Lawson
Product Specialist, Paystack
NigeriaNigerian fintech startup Carbon partners with Visa to issue physical cards. The five-year partnership will allow Carbon to leverage Visa's infrastructure to issue both digital and virtual cards to its customers in Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. The collaboration also includes funding support from Visa, which will be used to drive the adoption of Visa’s payment solutions across Carbon’s products. Disrupt Africa

Carbon which started out as Paylater, a digital lending company, has gradually matured into a full-fledged digital financial services company over the past few years. For this partnership to work, Carbon will need to partner with an issuing bank in the countries they operate. CredPal, a credit startup, is one of the few other fintechs in Nigeria that currently issue physical credit cards to their customers. 
AfricaThree African fintech startups selected for the Y Combinator S21 batch. Lemonade Finance, a multi-currency payments solution, South Africa’s Floatpays, an on-demand wage access platform, and Morocco's Chari, an e-commerce and fintech app for traditional retailers, and 9 other African tech startups were selected in the S21 batch. A total of 117 startups will receive $125,000 each in seed funding as well as further investment opportunities after a demo of their products in September. Disrupt Africa
TwitterNFC vs QR: who wins the battle as the dominant technology for contactless payment in South Africa? Zapper, one of the market leaders in contactless payment solutions in South Africa compared the two main technologies - QR and NFC in this report.
NigeriaCentral Bank of Nigeria releases new guidelines for mobile money services. Nigeria’s banking regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), released a new framework to regulate Mobile Money Operators (MMOs). These guidelines are a slight update to the existing regulations which have not been updated since 2015. This new framework instructs MMOs not to carry out the following activities: Accept any closed scheme electronic value (e.g. airtime) as a form of deposit or payment; Establish any subsidiary; Undertake any other transaction which is not prescribed by these guidelines, and any other activity that may be prohibited by the CBN.  Mobile Money Africa

A noteworthy section of the document is 10.1.2 which states that ”Funds on saving wallets shall be invested in only the Nigerian Treasury Bills (NTB)". We see this restriction impacting the returns that MMO would ideally make from these products given the low returns treasury bills have to offer.
NigeriaLidya raises $8.3M to scale lending operations. The pre-Series B funding round was led by Alitheia Capital and other investors that participated include Bamboo Capital Partners, Accion Venture Lab, and Flourish Ventures. The startup has now raised a total of $16.5 million - $1.3 million seed round in 2017 and $6.9 million Series A in 2018. Lidya provides financing based on the cash flow in a customer's bank account and without collateral.  TechCrunch
SenegalSenegalese Fintech, InTouch, secures funding from CFAO Group and Mobility54. InTouch, a retail payment solution provider, announced that they have raised an undisclosed amount from the CFAO company, and Mobility54 - the investment arm of Toyota Tsusho Corporation. Some other existing investors such as TotalEnergies, and Worldlines also reinvested in this round. This funding will help InTouch with its Pan-African expansion plans. Afrikan Heroes
AfricaSmile Identity raises $7M in Series A funding. Smile Identity, an African identity verification service provider has raised $7 million in Series A funding, making it the largest investment raised by an identity verification startup in Africa. The investment was led by Costanoa Ventures and CRE Venture Capital, with participation from LocalGlobe, Intercept Ventures, Future Africa Ventures, and other angel investors. TechCrunch

Identity verification remains a key requirement for most fintech startups due to the regulatory guidelines they are mandated to meet. This raise validates how important this industry is. As the fintech industry grows, the identity verification sector is set to grow alongside.
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