…Call for Collaboration towards the Advancement of Africa’s Fintech Industry.
Stakeholders across the finance and payment landscape in Africa, have commended Appzone on the launch of Zone, Africa’s first blockchain platform for payment processing.
At the official launch event held recently in Lagos, the stakeholders, made up of captains of industry and business leaders, discussed the significant role that Zone will play in decentralizing payments and inter banks transactions across Africa, whilst also calling for increased collaboration from all in the finance and technology sectors, to advance Africa’s Fintech Industry.
While delivering the Keynote address at the event, Mr. Uzoma Dozie, CEO and Founder of Sparkle, disclosed that with the right amount of collaboration and adoption, Zone will improve existing payment infrastructure and create robust experiences for players in the market. Mr. Dozie added: “Zone is built on a new technology that addresses trust and transparency in the sense that users don’t have to rely on the bank’s central system where they are locked out of the process. With Zone, users are more aware, and they perfectly understand every single bit of the process, which creates the transparency needed to build trust and increased adoption.
According to Dozie, the Covid-19 pandemic made people more aware of the need to embrace digital finance, fostering the appreciation needed to increase adoption of digital finance and payment technologies.
Speaking about the unique features of Zone, Mr. Obi Emetarom, CEO and founder of Appzone Group, described Zone as more than a blockchain payment platform. According to Obi, Zone is a financial network, made up of different financial institutions, that delivers payment processes and real time settlement.
“The Zone platform offers users exciting opportunities, it is a ubiquitous network because is connects all sorts of financial institutions from payment companies, micro finance banks to fintech to digital banks. Zone also uses peer to peer routing, which means that all the institutions leveraging the platform can connect directly without any middleman, ensuring reliability and scalability,” added Mr. Emetarom.
“Zone has also started off a network across Africa that enables anyone to do real time transactions anywhere on the continent. Ultimately, Zone is set to deliver a compliant and stable pan African digital currency,” Obi concluded.
Developed by Appzone Switch, a subsidiary of Appzone Group, Zone forms the foundation of Appzone’s plans to build out Africa’s first decentralized payment network which will allow inter-bank transactions to be processed directly between banks without the involvement of an intermediary.
While speaking on the rationale behind the launch of Zone, Mr. Uche Elendu, CEO of Appzone Switch said: ‘’We are happy to officially unveil Zone as a decentralized blockchain based payment infrastructure that enables real-time settlement of fiat transactions, both in-country and out-country, while enabling the retail distribution of stable digital currencies including Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) in Africa’’.
The plan is for Zone to manage stable coin wallets for regular individuals on the same distributed ledger that currently facilitates payment authorization and 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 through-put and record transaction success rates, while eliminating typical reconciliation issues that delay refunds to customers where necessary.
By connecting every financial service provider to Zone’s 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.