Exciting new mobile payment services taking Africa by storm

Throughout Africa, digital payment channels are showing positive growth. This snapshot unpacking exciting new mobile payment services taking Africa by storm shows that a competitive edge for the ever-evolving fintech market is key for success.

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FACTS & FIGURES

Africa has always been the global leader in mobile money uptake, and this has been further spurred on by the COVID-19 crisis. In 2020, the number of mobile money accounts in Africa passed the half a billion mark, and Africa alone accounted for more than 64% of the value of global mobile money transactions, totalling $767 billion. Looking to the future, there is no sign of this growth slowing.

That said, traditional banking and payment channels, like ATMs and POS also show an upward trend, highlighting the wide range of needs of the African population. Below is a look into exciting new digital payment options taking the fintech market by storm across the continent.

  • Huawei / Mondia Pay partnership; Algeria and Tunisia

News that Ooredoo Algeria and Orange Tunisia subscribers can now pay for services and applications on Huawei AppGallery safely and conveniently via Direct Carrier Billing Services have been within the financial sector.

News that Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) inked a partnership with Mondia Pay, a leading digital payment provider that is set to provide Ooredoo Algeria and Orange Tunisia users with safe and convenient payment options has been welcomed by Huawei users. 

Huawei device users can now pay for their monthly services, the latest games, and favourite applications seamlessly on Huawei AppGallery using Direct Carrier Billing services (DCB).

Huawei Mobile Services has expanded its partnership with Mondia Pay

With over 2.1 billion global monthly transactions, Mondia Pay aims to provide users in North Africa with secure, convenient, and contactless payment options. This integration is a result of a strategic partnership that was formalised in September 2020 and has since witnessed an increase of DCB coverage and IAP (In-App Purchase) kit capabilities for global developers.

 â€śWe are extremely proud of our continued partnership with Huawei Mobile Services, and to bring Mondia Pay’s fully integrated digital payment technology to serve the Africa region. We remain committed to delivering innovative digitalisation and payments solutions that enable the natural progression towards cashless societies throughout the rest of Africa,” said Simon Rahmann, CEO Mondia Pay.

Cementing the tech industry’s ongoing commitment to forging an inclusive digital future and providing users in developing African nations access to financial inclusion, the service went live in July with multiple DCB services providers such as Ufone Pakistan, Vodafone Egypt, and Etisalat UAE. – APO Group

  • Mukuru / Thunes partnership 

Mukuru’s recent inclusion in the iAMTN 2020 Annual Report: A Trend Driven by the Covid-19 Crisis – the Shift to Digitalisation in Cross-Border Remittances, highlights the importance of strong payment system interoperability that enables the scalability of digital remittance channels. Where this does exist, the global pandemic has been a catalyst for digital growth in the cross-border remittance space. 

A case in point is the brand new Mukuru-Thunes partnership that expands its reach and connects users to Thunes’ global interoperable network which operates in more than 100 countries.

Thunes’ advanced technology streamlines the process of cross-border money transfer through a single API connection, resulting in greater speed and operational efficiencies.

Mukuru CEO Andy Jury had this to says: “Our partnerships continue to be a source of both innovation and growth across our network, with our homegrown technology solutions continually evolving to meet the day-to-day needs of our customers.” Jury adds, “We meet customers wherever they are, which today includes a variety of both physical and digital touchpoints across Africa, Europe and Asia.”

In fact, the Mukuru business in South Africa was initially launched in 2010 as a joint venture with Inter-Africa, a Bureau de Change. Two years later, the fintech created a free customer USSD platform, splitting a transaction into its various parts. Customers after creating an order had a reference number texted to them, which they presented at a retail partner where they paid for the order in cash. PEP was Mukuru’s first retail partner in South Africa.

Other partnerships have followed with the likes of retail giant Shoprite/Checkers as payin/payout points, and in the last 12 months, Mukuru became a payout partner for WorldRemit customers across territories where Mukuru has its own booth and branch network. Mukuru has also partnered with the likes of Ozow which enables customers to make easy payments using the Mukuru App, and Flash aimed at senders in South Africa who can now send money to their loved ones by paying for their orders at any of Flash’s 175,000 vendors across South Africa.

A new partnership with global payment network Thunes will initially extend Mukuru’s reach in Nigeria followed by a rapid rollout to other corridors such as DRC, Ethiopia, Senegal and India. 

  • Cellulant introduces Tingg for the retail Sector in Zambia

In an effort to foster growth for both the formal and informal sector in Zambia, Pan-African Payments business Cellulant rolls out Tingg, a digital payment platform enabling businesses and their consumers to accept and make payments seamlessly.

The services come in handy in places like Zambia, where many retailers are managing varying user payment experiences to collect from multiple mobile money networks and processes for settlement and reversals daily.

“Today, roughly 50% of retail customers request to pay for their purchases using digital payment options. Therefore, for all businesses – small, medium, large- digitising their payments has moved from a good to have to a game-changer in what has become the new norm. However, this demand presents several challenges for most merchants who might not always support the customer’s preferred payment method, resulting in merchants having to enable multiple solutions to support multiple wallets. We want to partner with these businesses and makes it easy for them to conveniently and affordably accept payments with fewer hoops,” said Gilbert Lungu, country manager for Cellulant Zambia.

Providing a single integrated solution, through the platform, businesses can allow their customers to make payments for goods and services using locally relevant payment options. As such, the dependency on cash and POS terminals is completely removed, thus enabling retailers to accept as many payment methods as possible.

Lungu added: “More than 70% of businesses in Africa are small or medium businesses and remain a backbone for economic growth for many other countries in Africa. Yet, 90% of these businesses collect payments in cash and lack digital payments options that cater to their customers.” 

  • Pipit Global / Cellulant low-lost remittance partnership 

Irish FinTech, Pipit Global has partnered with Pan-African Fintech Cellulant to power cheaper and safer means for Africans in the EU and UK to send cash to their families at home in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mali, Senegal, and Ghana.

Aimed at connecting the African Diaspora with low-cost payment solutions that allow them to support their families in the continent, the technology allows them to use their cash in the digital marketplace in increasingly secure and cost-effective ways.

“Going live in these countries is a big step forward for intra-African remittances. 70% of African’s who migrate stay on the continent of Africa where the cost of sending money home across African borders is much higher than the fees for sending cash home from the EU – and can reach 20% in some corridors. Pipit, along with Cellulant, can now solve this problem by making it cheaper and safer for migrants to send cash to their families at home.” said Ollie Walsh, CEO of Pipit.

“We expect to keep growing as more customers trust the platform and enjoy the lower costs of sending money back home,” Walsh added. – APO Group


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