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Long-standing partners, Mastercard and Uber extend their partnership to boost payment digitization and advance financial inclusion across the Middle East and Africa

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Uber’s long-term partnership with Mastercard continues to grow with a new strategic initiative focusing on digital payments and advancing financial inclusions which will be facilitated by Mastercard across the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

As a regional first, the partnership with Mastercard will enable Uber to drive digitization across their business operations, leveraging Mastercard’s single infrastructure to meet all types of payment needs for Uber Rides and Uber for Business.

It is intended that the partnership will boost cashless payments, drive digital payment acceptance, reward loyalty, while supporting Uber’s continued social impact collaboration.

The Economy 2021 report released by Mastercard notes that the economic impact of COVID-19 has introduced permanent changes in digital consumer spending habits, growth of online banking, fintech disruption and opportunities to boost financial inclusion.

Through the partnership, both companies can bridge the financial inclusion gap through a broad range of efforts.

Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President Market Development, Mastercard, MEA explains: “Mastercard continues to partner with digital players across the value chain to build a more connected world. Enabling secure, immediate movement of money for individuals in the gig economy workers and customers is especially vital as we support economic recovery efforts. Through our growing partnership, we are enabling the company’s long-term business growth as a result of improved operational efficiencies, driving greater financial inclusion and innovation across the region, and ultimately boosting the growth of digital economy in MEA.”

Abdellatif Waked, Regional General Manager, Middle East & Africa, said: “This is the largest partnership for us across MEA, and we are proud to be working together to bring key financial solutions to driver-partners across MEA. Driver’s well-being is a top priority and putting opportunities they want within reach is important to us.”

This new partnership builds on existing work between the two organizations. In a joint initiative last year, Mastercard committed 120,000 free trips and meals to those supporting communities across the Middle East and Africa, which was facilitated through Uber. This strategic partnership between Mastercard and Uber spans across the region and through key partnerships, supported cities, hospitals, front line workers and marginalized communities with free rides and meals.

While vaccines are a reality, communities are still in need of various support. Mastercard and Uber remain committed to helping people around the world navigate these challenging times and stand ready to support cities whether it be logistics or free rides.

The work undertaken with Uber plays a key role in advancing Mastercard’s worldwide commitment to financial inclusion and the company’s pledge to bring a total of 1 billion people, 50 million micro and small businesses, and 25 million women entrepreneurs into the digital economy by 2025.

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Trove, Bamboo Assure Nigerian Investors Assets Are Safe Following SEC Warning

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Trove and Bamboo, the two of the numerous fintech companies, facilitating investments in foreign assets for Nigerians in Nigeria have released statements to assured Nigerians that have invested through their platforms that their investments are safe.

The assurance came few hours after the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a circular to warn the public against unregistered online investment and trading platforms facilitating access to foreign markets.

The SEC, in a circular titled, ‘Proliferation of Unregistered Online Investment and Trading Platforms Facilitating Access to Trading in Securities Listed in Foreign Markets’ stated that its attention has been “drawn to the existence of several providers of online investment and trading platforms which purportedly facilitate direct access of the investing public in the Federal Republic of Nigeria to securities of foreign Companies listed on Securities Exchanges registered in other jurisdictions. These platforms also claim to be operating in partnership with Capital Market operators (CMOs) registered with the Commission.”

“The Commission categorically states that by the provisions of Sections 67-70 of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA), 2007 and Rules 414 & 415 of the SEC Rules and Regulations, only foreign securities listed on any Exchange registered in Nigeria may be issued, sold or offered for sale or subscription to the Nigerian public. Accordingly, CMOs who work in concert with the referenced online platforms are hereby notified of the Commission’s position and advised to desist henceforth.

“The Commission enjoins the investing public to seek clarification as may be required via its established channels of communication on investment products advertised through conventional or online mediums.”

However, Trove immediately released a statement, saying “Our attention has been drawn to the SEC circular that was recently issued.

“Please be aware that we are and will remain committed to being in compliance with all local laws and regulations. We have always maintained good standing with all existing compliance requirements and regulatory frameworks.

“Be rest assured that your funds and equities are safe and secure with Trove.

“Since the memorandum, we have been liaising with the SEC to get more clarity on the circular. We are also engaging with top level executives at our local partner brokers. Additionally, we have involved legal professionals to manage the on-going mediation.

“From all indications, we anticipate everything would be resolved.

“Kindly note that your US funds and equities are held in custody by Drivewealth LLC, a regulated broker dealer in the US and protected by the SIPC, for up to $500,000.

“You can continue your trading activities as normal as we are still fully capable of carrying out our responsibilities as usual.

“Be rest assured that we are on top of all the happenings and would actively communicate with you all as things progress. Thanks for all your support and confidence”

Bamboo also responded in a similar version to calm thousands of investors on its platform.

Richmond Bassey, CEO, Bamboo, in a statement sent to all registered investors said “We are aware of the recently released SEC circular about trading in foreign markets.

“First off, we want to assure you that your assets on Bamboo remain safe and easily accessible to you.

“We are already in discussions with the SEC and our broker partner and are fully committed to working with them to ensure your interests as our users are fully protected.

“We want to reassure you that there’s nothing to be concerned about. We are still able to carry out all our operations and will continue to do so. Should the situation change, we will inform and advise you on the best course of action.

“Thank you for your continued faith and trust in us. We will continue to put in all the hard work to serve you. Thank you.”

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PayPal Payment Volume to Triple to $2.8 Trillion by 2025 as Revenue Increases by 20%

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PayPal is expecting to maintain an upward trajectory in 2021 and beyond following an epic 2020. Based on its projections, the total payment volume for 2021 is set to increase by a high 20% range. Earnings per share (EPS) during the year are expected to rise at a 22% CAGR.

According to the research data analyzed and published by ComprarAcciones.com, the company’s revenue will grow in the low 20% level and EPS will be in the mid-20% level.

Crypto Exposure to Add Over $1 Billion to PayPal Revenue by 2022

PayPal expects tremendous growth to continue in the coming years, projecting 750 million active accounts by 2025. At the end of 2020, the figure was almost half of that, at 377 million.

The revenue target for 2025 is $50 billion, more than double the $21.5 billion posted in 2020. That would raise its compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from the previous five-year average of 18% to 20%.

Additionally, by 2025, total payment volume will reach $2.8 billion, which is triple the 2020 figure.

On the other hand, during the recent tech sell-off, PayPal stock at some point fell by 30% from all-time highs. As of April 5, 2021, it was trading at $57, up by 8.38% over the past month. Prior to that, it had experienced a jaw-dropping surge, hitting a high of $309 on February 16, 2021. Notably, it was not as badly hit in March 2020 during coronavirus sell-offs. After starting the year at $108.76, it fell by 25% to a 52-week low of $82.07.

Among PayPal’s growth drivers was the launch of its crypto services in October 2020. It has also recently acquired Curv in a deal valued at less than $200 million. According to BTIG analysts, the new crypto exposure will give PayPal over $1 billion in incremental revenue by 2022.

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Mobile Money Accounts Grew to 1.2 Billion in 2020 -GSMA

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In 2020, the number of registered mobile money accounts grew by 12.7 per cent globally, to 1.21 billion, according to the latest report from the GSM Association.

The GSMA noted that over 136 million accounts were added in the year, which exceeded last year’s forecasted growth rate by 6.4 percentage points.

In the 2021 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money, the association revealed that transactions increased by 65 per cent and account activity grew by 17 per cent to over 300 million monthly active mobile money accounts.

Transaction values also grew across the board as more money circulated. For the first time, the global value of daily transactions exceeded $2bn dollars, and GSMA predicted it would surpass $3bn a day by the end of 2022.

The report said the growths were driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, as lockdown restrictions limited access to cash and financial institutions.

It also stated that the fastest growth was in markets where governments provided significant pandemic relief to their citizens.

As predicted in last year’s State of the Industry report, registered accounts in Africa comfortably surpassed the half billion mark at 562 million.

Sub-Saharan Africa remained at the forefront of the mobile money industry and accounted for the majority of growth. By the end of the year, there were 548 million registered accounts in the region, 159 million of which were active on a monthly basis and transaction volume of $490bn.

Although absolute growth was highest in West and East Africa, Southern Africa grew the fastest at 24 per cent year on year.

According to the report, the value of mobile money merchant payments grew by 43 per cent compared to 28 per cent in the previous year.

On average, $2.3bn in merchant payments were transacted per month in 2020, and Quick Response codes became the second-most offered channel for merchant payments after Unstructured Supplementary Service Data.

GSMA’s Chief Regulatory Officer, John Giusti, noted that mobile money was a powerful tool for expanding the financial inclusion of women in low- and middle-income countries.

He said however, across markets, women were still 33 per cent less likely than men to have a mobile money account.

“GSMA and its members are committed to closing this gender gap by addressing the barriers that prevent women from accessing and using mobile financial services,” Giusti said.

According to GSMA’s research, the mobile money ecosystem has been strengthened by an increasing number of strategic partnerships established between money transfer organisations and mobile money providers.

The research found that the pandemic gave fresh urgency to the need for regulatory change to facilitate greater digitalisation.

The report said, “In many markets, transaction limits were increased to allow more funds to flow through mobile money. Additionally, as demand rose for non-physical payments, some regulators classified mobile money agents and their supply chains as essential services.

“While some of the regulatory reforms made in response to the pandemic have been positive for customers and providers, the implementation and extension of fee waivers has had a negative impact on mobile money providers’ core revenue stream.”

GSMA emphasised that mobile money providers depended mainly on transactional revenues to sustain their business and encouraged regulators to work closely with the industry to ensure sustainability going forward.

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