A partnership has been formed between Africa’s largest digital payments hub, MFS Africa and the continent’s global bank, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) plc.
The partnership which was officially legalized on Tuesday at the UBA Head Office in Lagos, will see to the provision of interoperability of digital financial services to customers based in the 20 African countries that the UBA operates in.
Why it matters:
According to the GSMA, financial freedom and transactional ease is key to reducing costs and achieving broad reach for money transfer operators and other financial service providers and that mobile money is a lucrative channel for cross border payments.
In an article written by Dare Okoudjou, founder and CEO, MFS Africa, he explained some of the issues that led to the creation of the company.
“The face of Africa’s typical consumer is changing. A decade ago, we tended to imagine the typical African consumer as an older, rural woman. She might work as a seamstress or a market woman, doing business locally,” he said.
“But today’s African consumer is young, urban, and globally connected: she chats to friends across the continent and beyond over social media. Borders don’t matter to her when it comes to entertainment and communication,” he added.
Hence, his rhetorical questions, “Why should they limit her financial freedom? Why should where you are, limit what you can do? This was the question that kept me awake when I founded MFS Africa nearly a decade ago.”
The MFS-UBA partnership:
Speaking at the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing event in Lagos, Okoudjou said that, “as the payments landscape in Africa continues to evolve, we believe that Fintechs and banks need to have a deeper collaboration in expanding opportunities that will help ease remittance, payments, disbursements and collections for businesses and their consumers across all sectors of the economy in Africa.
“This is why we are delighted to welcome UBA as our new pan-African banking partner. We are aware of the strengths and capabilities of UBA which is why we will be working together towards expanding access to more possibilities for millions of African consumers and businesses across the 20 African countries they operate in” he added.
On the other hand, Muyiwa Akinyemi, Deputy Managing Director, UBA Group is enthusiastic about the opportunities and possibilities that their partnership with the fintech giant will create.
He said, “We are very pleased to be partnering with MFS Africa in this venture that will see us offering seamless digital solutions to most of the financial challenges of our customers. UBA is ready and with the value that MFS Africa is known for, we are indeed set to dominate the entire banking space in Africa.”
About the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc
The multinational Pan-African financial service group which prides itself as a pioneer innovation in the banking sector, is the only Sub-Saharan African bank with an office in the US (New York).
The bank is also one of Nigeria’s oldest banks as it was founded In 1949 and in 1970, it listed its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and became the first Nigerian Bank to undertake an Initial Public Offering (IPO).
Their products include internet banking, mobile banking, wholesale banking, among others across the African, European, American and Asian continents.
What you should know about MFS Africa:
- Earlier in June, the African tech company had turned tables and had positively changed the narrative of the African tech ecosystem when it acquired the US-based company, Global Technology Partners (GTP), making it a subsidiary.
- In February, 2022, the digital payments network joined the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) network, a newly established African cross-border and financial markets infrastructure, built to facilitate the payment, clearance and settlement of intra-African trade payments. This partnership exposed the hub to over 320 million mobile money and last mile users across 35 African markets, enabling borderless and seamless possibilities for transactions and trade.
- October 2021 saw the company make its debut in Nigeria by acquiring one of Nigeria’s leading super-agent networks, Capricorn Digital (Baxi), making it the second highest Fintech acquisition in Nigeria after Stripe’s acquisition of Paystack in 2020.
- In about 13 years, MFS Africa has grown to become Africa’s largest mobile money interoperability hub; connecting over 300 million mobile wallets, with 600 cross-border payment corridors accessible in about 30 countries in Africa as at.
- Since its launch in 2009, MFS Africa has raised over $217 million dollars from 18 investors including Admalus Capital Partners and Symbiotics Group.