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The the largest fintech community in the world. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest in news opinions, and all things financial technology.

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Bad News to Visa and Mastercard in Africa(TWIF - Africa 07/01)

Bad News to Visa and Mastercard in Africa(TWIF - Africa 07/01)
Marketshare of Nigeria’s card market

Hi Fintech friends 👋,

Here are the highlights of what happened in African Fintech this week;

  • 2 Nigerian Fintechs issued 17 Million local cards, bad news to Visa and Mastercard.
  • Egyptian Banking as a Service startup raised $8 Million to support its expansion.
  • Uganda based Fintech startup acquired a leading Ugandan investment advisory firm.
  • The most active Africa based VC invested $4.3 Million in 16 startups where 2 of them are fintechs.
  • 8 Fintechs partnered to launch and expand their services in Africa.
  • CEO of African Solar energy Fintech startup died by suicide.

💸Fundraise and Exits

  • Egyptian Banking as a Service startup Connect Money raised $8 Million to support its expansion efforts in Egypt and Morocco.
African banking as a service startups
  • Level Africa acquired Utilis Ventures, one of the leading Ugandan investment advisory firms. This strategic move is set to strengthen its ability to serve clients wishing to invest in Africa, offering unparalleled expertise and local market insights.
Uganda has experienced significant upward growth in remittances over the years.

💰 Venture Funds

  • Launch Africa Ventures invested $4.3 Million in 16 startups where 2 of them are Fintechs.
Launch Africa has been one of the most active VC in Africa

🚀 Partnerships & Product Launches

  • Bamboo, an online stock platform based in Nigeria launched its operations in South Africa, enabling users to invest in US stocks directly from their smartphones through the platform.
African Wealthtech startups
  • Wapi Pay partnered with Nala to terminate inbound and outbound remittances in Kenya.
Kenya international Remittance Market
  • The Central Bank of Kenya issued licenses to 7 more Digital Credit Providers(DCPs) bringing the total number of licensed DCPs to 58. This follows an earlier batch of 19 DCPs in March 2024.
Some of Kenyan Digital lenders
  • Network International extended its partnership with J.P. Morgan Payments to facilitate e-commerce transactions for J.P. Morgan Payments’ clients in South Africa.
  • Paycorp expanded into Embedded Business Funding in South Africa and the UK.
  • Dahabshiil partnered with MPESA Safaricom Ethiopia to revolutionize remittance services for the Ethiopian diaspora.
M-pesa performance in Ethiopia
  • South Africa Fintech, Mama Money Launched a WhatsApp-Linked Card for Remittances and Payments.
  • DLOCAL partnered with Kenya based KCB BANK to power Remittance.

👔 Leadership Lineup

  • Former CEO of Nigerian e-commerce company Konga and current CEO of Fintech solar energy firm D.light, Nick Imudia died by suicide.Imudia allegedly jumped from the balcony of his Lekki apartment in Lagos on the night of June 25.
Nick Imudia

📰 News of the Week

  • OPay and Moniepoint issued 17 million Verve cards as Nigerian fintechs switch from Visa and Mastercard.
Card payment fees

A change in consumer behavior and macroeconomic conditions are leading Nigerian banks to issue local cards like Verve to customers, dumping international card schemes like Visa and Mastercard.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerian fintechs stumbled on an easy customer acquisition strategy: issuing foreign debit cards. These cards, often issued for free or next to nothing, ensured fintech customers could withdraw money at ATMs, or pay at supermarkets. Giving customers debit cards increased spending, allowing fintechs to earn more transaction fees.

Fintech startups and banks are reevaluating their card operations in line with these new realities, and all Nigerian commercial banks, except Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO), now issue Verve, a card scheme operated by Nigerian payments unicorn Interswitch.

Chinese-backed fintech OPay has issued 13 million Verve cards, while Moniepoint has issued about 4 million. Since the Covid pandemic ended in 2021, Verve has controlled 54% of the Nigerian card market.

“Majority of fintech customers use cards for POS transactions. They are not shopping on Amazon or online outside the country,” an employee at a Nigerian card scheme told TechCabal.

👀 Eye Openers

  • The rise of local card schemes in Africa

“Nigerian fintechs and banks are switching from international card schemes to local options due to cost, integration complexities and the fact that the majority of their customers use cards mainly for local payments”

  • But this conversation did not start this year
  • African Fintech founders have been calling for this 
  • Now it gets more attention, make more sense and might be bad news to Visa and Mastercard in Africa.

📑 Read of the week

  • On the scapegoating the “Silicon Valley model”.(Substack)

📖 Other News, Reads, and Media

  • Flutterwave laid off about 30 people, 3% of its workforce as it doubles down on enterprise and remittance.
Flutterwave funding rounds
  • Nigerian Banks began payment of $132 million debt to telcos for using Unstructured Supplementary Services Data (USSD) banking. That debt has been a source of friction between banks and telcos for six years and has needed the intervention of the Central Bank and the Communications Commission.
Nigerian Banks USSD codes for All Mobile phones
  • Carbon's debit card suspension questioned the viability of the card business for fintech startups. 
  • The Ghana Cyber Security Authority (GCA) revealed 38 digital lending mobile applications engaging in cyberbullying.
  • Kenya’s mobile money subscribers grew  grew to 38.7 million, following Airtel code removal that initially forced customers on Airtel Money to withdraw cash within seven days of receiving it from M-Pesa or have the money returned to senders.


  • Interview with Ibrahim Ibitade, the founder and CEO of Leatherback on why they raised $10 Million to Revolutionize payments.

🦉 Tweet of the Week

🎯 Fintech Opportunities

  • African Fintechs can apply for Ecobank Fintech Challenge and stand a chance to win an overall cash prize of US$50,000, and the opportunity to partner and scale their solutions with Ecobank.
  • Want to sponsor or share your fintech story and reach over 100,000 fintech enthusiasts each week? reach out to to get started.

Made in Tanzania 🇹🇿 with 💚

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