Afridigest Fintech Review: Fees fall for Fuliza
Week 39: September 25 - October 1
The Afridigest Fintech Review is a weekly recap of what happened in African fintech.
Hello again, friends & good luck in Q4! Remember: this Fintech Review goes out on Sundays, the regular Week in Review goes out on Mondays, and the French-language Revue de la Semaine goes out on Wednesdays. (Assuming no delays.)
📌 Heads up, folks: this Fintech Review is going paid shortly. Some details: I appreciate you making Afridigest a part of your content diet over the past weeks and years, and my ambition is to always keep the Monday Week in Review free. That said, the launch of this Fintech Review was an experiment, and thanks to feedback from the past six editions, we’ve validated that there’s real value in targeted, vertical-specific newsletters. We envision doing more here and to achieve that, we need to capture some of the value we create. I’ll say more in tomorrow’s Week in Review, but thanks for your support in advance & feel free to reach out (Whatsapp, Twitter, Email) with any feedback or questions.
On to this week’s highlights:
• Six fintech deals were announced for ~$14M in disclosed funding.
• Fuliza, the popular M-PESA overdraft service from Kenyan operator Safaricom (that disburses an average of ~$12 million a day in credit) reduced its fees.
• Spread the word: Applications are now open for the Women in Fintech Fellowship Program.
⭐ Not interested in fintech? No problem, visit the Notifications section on your Account Settings page and deselect the Fintech option. (And if you speak French, make sure to turn notifications on for Afridigest Français.)
Week 39: September 25 - October 1
🇳🇬 Bitpowr, a Nigerian blockchain infrastructure provider offering SMEs solutions for wallets, payments, settlements, and cloud & custodian services, received $150K from 500 Global as part of its accelerator program.
🇿🇦 Drive to Own, a South African vehicle financing platform, raised $100K from Mobility 54 as a winner of its 2022 Digital Transformation Challenge for Africa.
🚀 Partnerships & Product Launches
Nigerian credit-led neobank Carbon announced a partnership with CarePay to provide Carbon customers with discounted healthcare services. Carbon customers will receive discounts of up to 25% when they pay with their Carbon debit cards within the Carepay healthcare provider network.
Egyptian omnichannel payments platform Paymob announced a partnership with Emirati payments and shopping app Tabby to offer BNPL to Egyptian retailers. Businesses across Paymob’s network will benefit from Tabby's interest and fee-free BNPL solution via Paymob’s gateway.
Identity-based payment solution ChromePay has partnered with Web3 open source payments ecosystem Fuse to launch a new suite of payment products across Africa. ChromePay will build out its decentralized finance and decentralized identity services directly on Fuse’s blockchain, allowing users to access both traditional and blockchain-based payments directly from their mobile devices.
Nigerian crypto exchange Quidax launches a US dollar savings product with to up 10% interest. The feature allows its customers anywhere in the world to save in USD from local currencies like Naira or from cryptocurrencies.
Nigerian community financing platform AjoMoney announced a partnership with Callphone, a Nigerian payments platform. Thanks to the partnership Callphone agents can access AjoMoney services on their terminals.
Quickteller, the consumer digital lifestyle and payments platform powered by Nigerian payments platform Interswitch, launched Quickteller Transport. The product is available via Quickteller’s web & mobile apps and enables users to book interstate trips from multiple travel operators across Nigeria.
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) announces the commercial launch of AfPAY. The AfPAY service, designed to facilitate the settlement of international trade, is set to work closely with central banks and local financial institutions to identify key economic players and offer them international payments and cash management services after appropriate due diligence.
📰 News of the Week
Safaricom announces 50 percent reduction in interest charges for Fuliza. Fuliza is the popular credit overdraft service from Kenyan operator Safaricom that allows M-PESA customers to continue to transact when their accounts lack sufficient funds; the service disbursed $4.2 billion in Fuliza credit—an average of ~$12 million a day—to 6.9 million borrowers in Safaricom’s last financial year. Now, it reduces fees by up to 50% on loans below 1,000 Kenyan shillings (US$8.29) and introduces a three-day grace period from maintenance charges. It retains, however, its 1% access fee on all borrowings. According to Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa, “This establishes Fuliza as the most accessible and affordable credit facility at only one percent of the transaction value.”
Some reactions from the Twittersphere:Safaricom slashing cost of Fuliza loans is majorly attributed to William Ruto Presidency and the Hustler Nation narrative. Had Azimio won, that would not have happened. William Ruto’s Presidency will definitely give Kenyans a new leaf economically.😂 😂 😂 Ati mlisema Hustler govt isn't working, have you seen the new Fuliza rates? No one has forced Safaricom, NCBA, & KCB to do that. They just knew it wouldn't be business as usual. Can you imagine? Free loan for anything under Sh1,000 and repaid within 3 days? Awesome
📑 Reads of the Week
Brian Waswani Odhiambo, West Africa Director at Novastar Ventures, ‘Where does African fintech go from here?’
Osahon Akpata, Group Head of Consumer Payments at Ecobank writes ‘Will Mobile surpass Cards as the dominant payment form In Africa?
Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, Founder and CEO, Flutterwave writes ‘Fintech holds the key for Africa’s economic prosperity, Nigeria must continue to lead the way.’
🙈 Visual of the week
Despite the rapid growth of mobile payments across Africa in recent years, there’s plenty of room to grow.
According to Statista's Global Consumer Survey, 84% of internet users surveyed in Kenya used their cell phones to make payments in 2021, but only 23% of the Kenyan population had access to the Internet (according to the latest World Bank figures).
And in Nigeria, for example, 60% of internet users used mobile payments in 2021 (per Statista), while the country’s internet penetration rate is ~34%.
📜 Other News, Reads, and Media
Cross-border payments app Chipper Cash receives authorization from the Bank of Ghana to provide remittance services from the US to Ghana.
Kenya’s incoming finance minister believes Africa’s fintechs should scale beyond financial services.
Nigerian telcos threaten to disrupt USSD banking services over $185M debt
South Africa’s Capitec Bank launches MVNO with data that never expires .
Carnegie Mellon University establishes new initiative to drive financial inclusion in Africa.
MEDIA INTERVIEWS & REPORTS
Gerrie Fourie, CEO of Capitec Bank's CEO (Power Business - Podcast)
Shogo Ishida, Co-CEO of EMURGO Middle East & Africa (CryptoTVplus - Video)
Samuel Eyob, CIO at Warbler Labs, the core development team supporting the Goldfinch protocol (Accion Venture Lab - Podcast)
Frank Molla, Managing Director & Head of Sub Sahara Africa at BPC Banking Technologies (Fintech Finance - Video)
Nonso Onwuzulike, Founder & CEO, Earnipay (Nairametrics - Article)
Duncan Muchangi, Principal at TradFi & DeFi-focused Unicorn Growth Capital (African Pre-Seed Podcast)
Rwanda's digital journey comes to life — with Favour Ori, Founder & CEO PayDay at the 8-minute mark (CNBC Africa - Video)
Here’s why Nigeria’s biggest fintechs are getting a switching and processing license (Techpoint)
The rise and risks of the cryptocurrency market in Ghana (IFLR)
Fintech and crypto success is making it harder for the rest of tech in South Africa (IOL)
How African fintechs can achieve regulatory compliance (TechCabal)
Simplified payments are key to business growth, says Duplo’s CEO (Inc Africa)
10 rules of sales and distribution in African fintech (The Eagle)
🐤 Tweet of the Week
🗣️ Community Corner and Opportunities (feel free to send yours in)
Binance is hiring a Growth Manager for Binance Pay.
MADE IN NIGERIA 🇳🇬 WITH 💚
Thanks for reading 🙌🏽