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Appzone Launches Next Generation Payment Infrastructure for Africa on Blockchain

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Appzone Group, sub-Saharan Africa’s leading fintech software company has announced the launch of Zone, the continent’s first blockchain platform for payment processing that facilitates local and Intra-African payments in fiat and digital currencies.

Developed by Appzone Switch, a subsidiary of Appzone Group, Zone forms the foundation of Appzone’s plans to build out Africa’s first decentralised payment network, which will allow inter-bank transactions to be processed directly between banks without the involvement of any intermediary.

Fintechs and banks within countries across Africa have traditionally performed inter-bank payments through centralized Electronic Financial Transaction (EFT) switches which serve as single points of contact between the financial institutions and handle settlement at defined intervals although they usually cause major downtime when they fail and generate reconciliation issues in certain situations. Zone enhances this by providing a decentralized architecture where each participating institution connects directly with all others so that there is no need for central infrastructure and no single failure can affect the entire network.

Zone significantly reduces transaction processing costs and improves the customer experience for end-users while ensuring that beneficiaries always get instant value for each transaction and that settlement can happen in real-time. For Intra-African payments, Zone provides a real-time settlement layer with a fiat-backed digital token for settlement that allows Banks and payment companies to process transactions across countries without worrying about how, and in which currency, to effect the settlement.

With 10 commercial Banks in Nigeria already connected to the network, Zone provides Banks and Fintechs with simple APIs for various types of transactions including account-to-account transfers, merchant payments, and cash transactions at ATMs or agent locations. The platform’s architecture achieves high throughput and record transaction success rates while eliminating typical reconciliation issues that delay refunds to customers where necessary.

According to Uche Elendu, CEO of Appzone Switch “Zone Switch represents the cashless and borderless future of payments in Africa. With an unprecedented level of network redundancy and security, the platform will eliminate the systemic risk associated with centralized payment systems while delivering the uptime and throughput required in a truly cashless society.’’

In addition to core functionality like payments authorization, and real-time settlement, the team at Appzone Switch are looking to evolve the platform’s digital token for settlement into a stable Pan-African digital currency that is fully compliant, approved by Central Banks, and backed by a basket of fiat currencies in Africa. The idea will be for Zone to manage stablecoin wallets for regular individuals on the same distributed ledger that currently facilitates payment authorization and settlement.

By connecting every financial service provider to this decentralized payment network, Appzone Switch envisions a future beyond cash where payments are frictionless and instantaneous within and between every African country so that Africa can accelerate trade and economic prosperity.

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NQR Payment Solution Excites Nigerians: Everyone Can Now Pay Sharp Sharp

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Since the NQR payment solution was introduced to the Nigerian market in March of this year, it has reached millions of Nigerians across major markets in different states.  Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, Kano, Uyo, and Portharcourt are just a few of the states that have witnessed the fast seamless, and reliable NQR payment solution.

Business owners and customers across Nigeria have embraced NQR en masse as a result of the market penetration drive, citing the convenience, speed, and reliability of the payment option.

The NQR Payment Solution is a secure QR-code-based payments and collections platform that allows customers and business owners to accept and make payments for goods and services. The payment system will bring together all of the country’s closed QR code schemes for a more consistent user experience and faster digital adoption.

The campaign was led by several popular celebrities who thrilled the market crowds and showcased how the NQR works. Mercy Johnson, Mercy Aigbe, Odunlade Adekola, Real Warri Pikin, Saddiq Sani Saddiq, Bisola Aiyeola, and Nedu were a few of the ambassadors for NQR.  They encouraged business owners to sign up for NQR, and encouraged customers to make payments with NQR.

The NQR payment solution team recently toured Southern Nigeria, with comedians Edo Pikin and Real Warri Pikin leading the train to sensitize the people about how the NQR merchant app works and how customers can #PaySharpSharp with live demonstrations.

NQR agents also went through the markets educating both business owners and customers about NQR’s benefits. Representatives from several commercial banks were also on ground to address business owners’ concerns. Everyone learned about the NQR payment system and had the opportunity to test it out as well as express their satisfaction with it.

NQR is now available in a store near you.

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Paga Partners With LISNR on Contactless Payment Solution Across Africa

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Paga Group, a leading Nigerian payment platform has partnered with LISNR, the global leader in proximity verification to enable contactless ultrasonic authentication for contactless payment across Africa through Doroki a recent debut merchant solution Application.

Doroki, the sister company to Paga is helping businesses digitize their operations and provide solutions targeted at SMEs in Nigeria. The strategic partnership between Paga and LISNR is the first major partnership of LISNR in Africa’s fintech space.

According to Paga, LISNR’s ultrasonic proximity verification solution activated on the company’s ecosystem will enhance the ease of doing business between consumers and merchants.

“We are excited to incorporate LISNR into the Paga and Doroki Apps. We are leveraging their technology for both person to business and person-to-person payments. This is exciting because people can now pay at a till without being very close to the cashier. It also enables us to offer more interesting non-payment use cases for merchants and consumers. Our partnership with LISNR will give us a strong advantage in attaining our goal of 120,000 merchants in the next two years by offering yet another easy, contactless, and seamless way to make payments and drive loyalty with their customers” – Tayo Oviosu, Founder & CEO, Paga Group.

The African fintech space continues to grow at a rapid rate seeing billions of dollars being invested in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Paga as a leader in the fintech space is holding its fort in the industry by forging partnerships with VISA, LISNR, Untapped Global and other leaders in the fintech industry.

Paga plans to scale from 33,000 merchants to 120,000 merchants within the next 2 years, hence it’s important to onboard partners to deliver solutions aligned with the company’s objectives to achieve desired growth.

“Paga is the household name for Fintechs in all of Nigeria and is one of the market leaders in all of Africa. We believe our contactless & secure proximity solution will enable a seamless authentication process across its growing user & merchant database. With our easy to implement solutions and our proven savings for merchants, we’re well-positioned to help Paga in their goal of scaling to 120,000 merchants in two years.” – Eric Allen, CEO, LISNR.

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Kuda Partners Visa, Launches Free Virtual and Physical Cards

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Kuda Bank-Investors King

Kuda bank tagged “bank of the free” has partnered with Visa, a leading global digital payment company to offer digital and physical visa cards to its customer for free.

The challenger bank of African, in a recent statement, said that the bank’s offering of zero fees on card and account maintenance was to attract millennial customers and also deliver a convenient transaction platform.

According to the bank, switching from a third-party card provider to a direct issuer of the physical and virtual card shows a significant growth in bank operations.

Kuda Technologies CEO, Babs Ogundeyi said, “Visa inspires confidence, and partnering with them to help us offer reliable card services independently has been one of our top priorities since Kuda launched in 2019. We’re proud that we’ve finally made this happen and we look forward to promoting cashless payments across Africa together.”

“The rapid pace of technology innovation has driven a powerful shift in business and consumer expectations in financial services,” said Andrew Uaboi, Country Manager, Visa Nigeria.

“Whether it is changing the way people invest, manage money, receive loans, or send real-time payments to friends and family, Visa is a natural partner for fintech including Kuda, providing them with new ways to reach their customers through Visa’s vast network and global scale. We look forward to expanding the partnership to other countries in Africa as Kuda continues to scale across the continent,” Uaboi said.

Kuda bank encourages its customers to request a free physical or virtual card. However, account holders must have a minimum balance of N1000 in their account before requesting the card.

Also, customers are to note that only the first request for a kuda card will be free of charge, subsequent requests either due to expiration, loss or damages will be charged a fee.

Kuda Mastercard holders can also request for Kuda Visa card, although the Mastercard will be deactivated immediately after the visa card is activated. This implies that Kuda bank customers can only have access to one physical card at a time, but can also request only one Kuda virtual card for online payment.

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