Almost seven years after launching, the online payment company has entered a fourth African market. Its ambition remains to make digital payments accessible to a larger number of people.

Paydunya, the Senegal-based online payment start-up, has recently started operations in Togo. 

Already present in Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, and Burkina Faso, Paydunya is coming to Togo with the ambition to “make digital payments accessible, regardless of the payment method used, regardless of the area and region, and regardless of the sector of activity, whether public or private.”

The payment aggregator maintains that it wants to provide "real added value" with secure solutions for receiving and making payments via mobile money (T-money, Flooz) and bank cards. 

“We want to facilitate access to digital payments to all businesses regardless of their size or sector of activity and thus participate and contribute to the vast financial inclusion project in Togo,” Aziz Yérima, CEO of PayDunya told We are Tech. “Our launch in Togo is a response to the needs of our customers," intended to "provide them with accessible payment solutions,” he added. 

A growing fintech ecosystem

In Togo, Paydunya joins a growing fintech ecosystem that has welcomed in recent years, young "promising" startups such as CinetPay, Semoa, and Gozem, the super App specialized in e-transport and e-logistics.

Paydunya, which reached 65,000 transactions per day in 2021, intends to take advantage of this Togolese environment that fosters digitalization and financial inclusion. Data from the BCEAO shows that over 72% of the Togolese population holds at least one account in a financial institution or a mobile money account. 

Given the greater use of Mobile Money in Togo, since it was adopted in 2016, more Fintechs have been eyeing Togo. Wave, a mobile money solution - which Paydunya integrates into its range of solutions - is among them; it revealed plans to come to Lomé. Due to its competitive fee structure, the U.S. unicorn, whose operational base is in Dakar, will surely shake the Togolese mobile money transfer ecosystem (which is presently shared between Moov and Togocel), and aggregators like Paydunya could gain the most from this digitalization-driven disruption.

An idea born on campus 

Paydunya’s founders, Aziz Yerima, Youma Fall, Honoré Hounwanou, and Christian Palouki, came up with the idea in 2014 while studying at the École Supérieure Multinationale des Télécommunications (ESMT), in Benin, Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Togo. They launched the fintech the following year. 

In 2021, nearly 7 years later, the fintech claims to have processed more than 15 million transactions valued at CFA 110 billion. Its customer base is estimated at more than 1,200 B2B clients.

Fiacre E. Kakpo

Published in Finetech

Over the past five years, mobile money has become increasingly valuable in Africa. Today, it has become the largest payment tool in Africa. Its continent-wide interoperability has the potential to further unlock the potential of intra-African trade.

Digital payment gateway fintech MFS Africa announced on 16 February 2022 that it has joined the Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS). The PAPSS was launched in January 2021 by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 

According to the fintech, the partnership will enable its 320 million African mobile money customers to receive and make merchant payments in the 54 member-States of the AfCFTA.

Joining the PAPSS, according to Dare Okoudjou (pictured), founder and CEO of MFS Africa, translates a desire to further enrich this pan-African solution that "provides small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), entrepreneurs and merchants with easier access to formal payment services that will help them grow their businesses.”

In its "State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2021," the Global System Operators' Association (GSMA) said Africa was once again the champion in mobile payments with $490 billion exchanged on the continent compared to $767 billion globally. The number of mobile money accounts was 548 million on the continent compared to 1.2 billion globally.

“Africa is the global leader in mobile money services...This demonstrates how mobile money services play a key role in the continent's economic growth and facilitate financial inclusion,” said Mike Ogbalu III, CEO of PAPSS,

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Finetech

Au cours des cinq dernières années, le Mobile Money a gagné en valeur en Afrique. Aujourd’hui, il y est devenu le plus grand outil de paiement. Son interopérabilité à l’échelle du continent a la capacité de libérer davantage le potentiel du commerce intra-africain.

La fintech MFS Africa, passerelle de paiement numérique, a annoncé le mercredi 16 février son intégration au Système de paiement et de règlement panafricain (PAPSS) de la Zone de libre-échange continentale africaine (Zlecaf) lancée en janvier 2021. Ce partenariat permettra aux 320 millions de clients Mobile Money que compte MSF Africa dans 35 pays du continent d’effectuer ou de recevoir plus aisément des paiements marchands dans les marchés des 54 Etats qui ont rejoint la zone de libre-échange continentale.

Dare Okoudjou (photo), fondateur et président-directeur général de MFS Africa, justifie la décision de rejoindre le PAPSS par la volonté d’enrichir davantage cette solution panafricaine qui « permet aux petites et moyennes entreprises (PME), aux entrepreneurs et aux commerçants d’accéder plus facilement aux services de paiement formels qui les aideront à développer leurs activités ».

Dans son rapport « State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2021 », l’Association mondiale des opérateurs de téléphonie (GSMA) indique que l’Afrique a une fois de plus occupé la place de  championne dans le paiement mobile avec 490 milliards $ échangés sur le continent contre 767 milliards $ dans le monde. Le nombre de comptes Mobile Money était de 548 millions sur le continent contre 1,2 milliard dans le monde.

Selon Mike Ogbalu III, le directeur général du PAPSS, « l’Afrique est le leader mondial des services d’argent mobile […] Cela démontre à quel point les services d’argent mobile jouent un rôle clé dans la croissance économique du continent et facilitent l’inclusion financière ». 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Lire aussi : Avec PAPSS développé par Afreximbank, les Africains peuvent désormais payer en monnaie locale partout sur le continent ...

Published in Finance

The fintech Maviance raises a new round of funding, less than a year after the last one, to pursue its expansion strategy. According to a Feb. 18 legal announcement, Finafrik Ltd, a private company based in London and specialized in the development of commercial software, has become a shareholder of Cameroonian fintech Maviance PLC. The latter is the owner of the digital payment platform Smobilpay.

Through this operation, the capital of Mavaince increases to CFA1.15 billion, up a little more than CFA140 million. This makes Finafrik a holder of 12.2% of the company's capital.

In May 2021, Maviance PLC had successfully closed a $3 million (about CFA1.6 billion) fundraising round with MFS Africa, a pan-African fintech operating the largest digital payments hub on the African continent. MFS Africa has become a "strategic investor" in Maviance, enabling it to finance its expansion across Cameroon and enter new Cemac markets.

Maviance claims it serves over 500,000 customers per month and connects key service providers, payment providers, financial institutions, and mobile money operators to its digital financial services platform.

Since January 2021, Nkwenti Leslie Azong-Wara has been serving as CEO for a three-year term. The engineer, who has a background in Siemens A.G., replaces Njinyam Setven Ngwa.

S.A.

Published in Finetech
vendredi, 18 février 2022 12:04

Fintech Earnipay to expand business in Nigeria

Earnipay, which launched as a pilot last September, has already attracted the interest of investors. The fintech aims to reach nearly 200,000 employees with its flexible, on-demand payroll service by the end of 2022.

Earnipay, the Nigerian fintech that offers employees flexible and regular access to their salaries, has secured $4 million in pre-seed funding to accelerate its business in the country.

“Earnipay has quickly established itself with a product built specifically for the payroll behaviors of this region, and early employer uptake is very strong. Nonso (the MD, ed) has built one of the strongest teams that we’ve met on the entire continent, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to partner with them,” said Brendan Dickinson, general partner at Canaan, the VC firm that led the deal.

After he faced employee departures due to the monthly payroll system instituted at his first-ever plastic waste recycling company, which launched in 2019 in Ghana, Nonso Onwuzulike decided to revamp that payment method by offering a more regular and flexible employee payroll system as part of a new business venture in Nigeria.

Earnipay, which was only launched on a trial basis last September, claims to have served employees of about 20 companies in Nigeria to date. Its app has been used more than 1,000 times. Confident in its growth prospects, Earnipay aims to offer its flexible, on-demand salary access service to at least 200,000 employees by the end of this year.

In Nigeria, salaries for employees in the formal sector are paid monthly, while those in the informal sector are paid daily, according to several local media. Short of cash between paychecks, employees have no other option than to borrow or to ask for an advance on their salary with sometimes high-interest rates. Earnipay's solution is therefore a relief for these employees.

Chamberline Moko       

Published in Solutions

Less than a year after it raised $170 million, Flutterwave announced the completion of a Series D financing round, making it the highest valued African startup.

Nigerian payment processor Flutterwave announced it has raised $250 million in a Series D round to implement its expansion strategy. The company says it wants to attract new customers in its operating markets in sub-Saharan and North Africa, and continue its growth through mergers and acquisitions, and partnerships.

Flutterwave also plans to develop new innovative products after the series of services launched in 2021, such as the online market Flutterwave Market and the money transfer platform Send.

“We are delighted that investors believe in us and our story and are committing their resources to this belief. This latest funding demonstrates the conviction of some of the world’s leading investors in both our business model, team, and the Africa technology market. It gives Flutterwave the much-needed support to deliver on our plans to provide the best experience for our merchants and customers around the world,” commented Olugbenga Agboola, CEO of Flutterwave, following the fundraising.

Before this recent investment, Flutterwave had raised $170 million in Series C funding in March 2021, becoming an African unicorn, the third in the financial sector. From 2016 to 2020, Flutterwave claims to have processed more than 200 million transactions worth over $16 billion in 34 African countries. The fintech also says it has tripled its customer base to 900,000 businesses worldwide. Its valuation has more than tripled since its last funding round in March 2021.

Fintech companies remain the most funded, and African tech continues to grow with over $5 billion in funds raised in 2021, according to Sherif Makhlouf, Managing Director of consulting firm Boost.

Chamberline Moko

Published in Finetech

South African Stitch announced it has obtained additional financing worth $21 million to support its expansion strategy. The startup, which develops digital financial solutions primarily for fintech companies, says it will invest the money in developing new services, growing its human resources, and strengthening its footprint in South Africa and Nigeria, where it operates. Stitch also plans to enter new markets including Ghana, Kenya, and Egypt with its low-cost, less fraud-prone solutions.

 "We are super excited for the challenge ahead and grateful to be supported by some of the leading fintech investors, founders, and builders in the world,” the beneficiary startup said on LinkedIn. The resources are provided by a consortium of mostly foreign investors, some of whom had invested in Stitch in the past. These include The Spruce House Investment, PayPal Ventures, CRE Venture Capital, and Village Global, all of which are based in the United States.

As a reminder, in February 2021, the company secured $4 million to improve its offers and expand its team. Stitch launched in Nigeria in October 2021 to tap into the opportunities in the country. According to Kiaan Pillay (pictured), CEO of Stitch, Nigeria is not only one of the most populous countries in the world, but also one of the densest and most dynamic fintech ecosystems. “It is fast becoming a hub for engineering and product talent and a go-to-market for fintechs," he said when his company started operations in Nigeria.

In an article published in October 2021, Stitch noted that underinvestment in developer training and infrastructure has hampered the rapid growth of a fintech ecosystem in Africa. Yet, the continent has advantages (rising smartphone ownership and digital literacy) that could unlock the potential of this market.

Chamberline Moko

Published in Finetech
mercredi, 02 février 2022 16:56

Kenya: Koa offers innovative savings solution

Traditional financial savings options do not always take into account people with limited income. As a solution, Kenyan start-up Koa offers an application that aims to help its users better control their spending and savings.

Entrepreneurs Delila Kidanu, Alexis Roman, and Ubunyo Nyavor have developed a solution to boost savings culture among Kenyans. The fintech Koa allows its users to set personal savings goals for specific expenses such as school fees, buying a new phone, a car, or even planning a wedding. The app incentivizes users by sending them daily, weekly or monthly reminders. Koa also allows them to track their progress and provides tips on how to better control their spending.

“We spent a lot of time in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya. Both Delila and I saw the popularity of digital saving products in Nigeria, like PiggyVest and Cowrywise, and how they were serving a real need for customers. But when we looked beyond Nigeria, as a market, we felt like there was a significant gap in other countries,” Koa’s CEO Roman told TechCabal.

According to the founders, although Kenya is the third-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa and the financial and trade hub of East Africa, the country has a savings rate of only 12%. They attribute this low rate to factors including cumbersome savings options and a lack of appropriate financial education that would raise awareness among people.

To stand out from other solutions, the startup encourages its users to invest their money to earn more. As part of this strategy, Koa has partnered with Britam, an asset manager in Kenya. Users can earn up to 10% interest on their money per year, depending on market conditions. They also earn interest daily, allowing them to see their money grow in real-time.

The platform has already exceeded 12,000 users and has received $100,000 in deposits since its launch in 2020. The founders plan to expand to neighboring countries such as Tanzania and Uganda.

Aïsha Moyouzame

Published in TECH STARS

Despite a notable evolution of fintech in sub-Saharan Africa, the Islamic segment of this market has issues taking off.  This gap, however, could be exploited by the region for its growth.

Talking about regions that leverage opportunities offered by Islamic fintech (iFintech), Sub-Saharan Africa keeps lagging – according to the Global Islamic Fintech Report 2021. “Sub-Saharan Africa, MENA (ex-GCC) have gaps across the 9 iFintech services segments,” the report reads.

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the report’s authors found, has seven (7) iFintechs - the lowest compared to the world’s other six (6) regions. In detail, SSA has 2 Islamic Fintech firms in the alternative finance category, 2 in deposits and lending, and 1 each in the raising funds, wealth management, and social finance categories. Meanwhile, a region like Europe, which ranked third out of six, has respectively 11, 13, 8, 8, and 4 iFintechs in these same categories.

The findings contrast with the rapid evolution of fintech services - mobile money, and microcredit services notably - in SSA. At the country level, Nigeria has the most iFintechs in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Africa, it is even ahead of countries like Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia where Islam is more widespread.

According to the report, skill deficit, poor regulation, and insufficient resources are the reasons preventing iFintech from thriving in Africa. However, the authors estimate that by 2025 the fintech market could grow at more than 25% CAGR in Senegal, Tunisia, and Nigeria. A projection that corresponds to a target transaction volume of $2 billion.

Idriss Linge

Published in News
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