Victoria from Techpoint here,
Here's what I've got for you today:
- Mbay Mobility's plan to launch 33K electric taxis in West Africa
- ChamsSwitch to facilitate payments for UnionPay cards in Nigeria
- Anyone in Kenya can now use Nestcoin's Onboard
Mbay Mobility's plan to launch 33K electric taxis in West Africa
Mbay Mobility, a Senegalese-based startup, is setting out on a 10-year plan to roll out 33,000 electric taxis throughout Ghana’s Accra, Senegal’s Dakar, and Ivory Coast’s Abidjan.
Following a successful pilot phase with ten electric vehicles in Senegal in 2022, the startup is actively seeking financial support to purchase and import the intended fleet of EVs.
Why? The company aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and combat air pollution in West African cities.
Bank loans and digital services provided to taxi operators form the foundation of the startup's business model. The increased competition in the EV market, especially in Ghana, is the reason behind this tactic.
For context, as of November 2023, Ghana had about 17,000 electric vehicle fleets operating.
Why does it matter? West Africa is lagging behind East Africa in terms of electric mobility, but Mbay Mobility hopes to transform intercity travel by replacing combustion-powered vehicles with low-pollution electric taxis.
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Mbay Mobility's goal, however, goes beyond environmental protection. It also hopes that its electric taxis will empower drivers, improve the traveller experience, and spark positive change in their communities.
According to Matthew Sellar, CEO of Mbay Mobility, Dakar's taxi industry contributes significantly to air pollution despite its small number. He also said that their testing revealed electric cars are extensively used and offer significant cost savings.
ChamsSwitch to facilitate payments for UnionPay cards in Nigeria
ChamsSwitch, a Nigerian fintech, has received approval from UnionPay International, a subsidiary of China’s UnionPay, to handle international payments for UnionPay cards issued by Nigerian banks.
With a primary focus on transactions involving China and Southeast Asia, this partnership aims to facilitate international payments for UnionPay cards issued by Nigerian banks.
This news follows ChamsSwitch’s approval to process and issue UnionPay cards in July 2023, promoting financial digitalisation in Nigeria.
Mayowa Olaniyan, Chams HoldCo Group CEO, says that UnionPay International has a robust platform that is fully optimised to support cross-border trade between China and the rest of the world.
UnionPay is a digital payment method that processes credit card transactions between banks and merchants.
Except for Standard Chartered ATMs, the company says all Nigerian ATMs accept UnionPay for cash withdrawals and balance inquiries. UnionPay chip cards are accepted for cash withdrawals at GTB, Enterprise Bank, Jaiz Bank, Hasal MFB, and ASO Savings ATMs.
On the other hand, ChamsSwitch, a Chams Holdco Plc subsidiary, offers multichannel electronic payment solutions and e-payment platforms that can be integrated into any financial system. ChamsSwitch's Kardit and Pelpay payment options are currently available to customers.
Sidebar: On January 4, 2024, Standard Bank Group, the largest bank by assets in Africa with operations in 20 African nations, and UnionPay International agreed to facilitate eCommerce in several African countries.
Anyone in Kenya can now use Nestcoin's Onboard
Nestcoin, an African Web3 company, announced last week the expansion of its peer-to-peer exchange, Onboard Wallet, to Kenya.
Anyone in Kenya can now fund their Onboard USD Card with Kenyan Shillings and convert them to and from stablecoins.
Nestcoin Co-Founder and CEO Yele Bademosi stated that the expansion is part of the company's efforts to ensure universal access to financial services.
Onboard is a non-custodial crypto wallet with the benefits of a custodial wallet. It is a digital currency platform that allows anyone to access a USD account. They can also buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies.
When Nestcoin announced its $1.9 million funding round in September 2023, the company stated that it would use a portion of the funds to expand Onboard.
Per the company, its mission for Onboard is to provide universal access to world-class financial services.
"We firmly believe that access to high-quality financial services should be universally available, regardless of one's geographical location," Yele Bademosi, Co-founder and CEO of Nestcoin, said.
Last week on Techpoint Africa
- Why BlackRock is acquiring Adebayo Ogunlensi’s GIP for $12.5 billion
- World's largest mobile virtual network, Lyca Mobile, shuts down in South Africa after six years
- Can cNGN succeed where eNaira failed?
- Sub-Saharan Africa lost $1.74 billion in 2023 due to government-induced Internet shutdowns
- Ethiopia’s first VC-backed incubator, weVenture, plans to bolster early-stage startups
- Glo subscribers may soon be unable to call MTN lines after telcos request a tariff hike in Nigeria
- Nigerian fintech startup, Cleva, secures $1.5 million pre-seed to enhance international payments in Africa
- Mastercard and Rawbank’s illicocash partner to launch virtual cards in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Begin the year with a date at the Techpoint Pitch Friday
- MTN and Ericsson to facilitate mobile financial services in Africa
- FCCPC’s Irukera fired days after disclosing plans to address Nigerians' mounting debt to loan apps
- Kuwait-based edtech Baims acquires Egypt's Orcas, plans to launch AI-based test preparation tool
- Consortium postpones Nigeria’s stablecoin cNGN launch date to comply with regulations
- Seedstars Africa gets $30 million from EIB Global to support risk capital for African entrepreneurs
- Bolt Kenya allows riders to report offline trip and payment requests by drivers
- Naspers boosts Takealot's investment to compete with Amazon
- Yellow Card collaborates with Coinbase to expand USDC access in Africa
- What does 2024 hold for African tech startups? These investors give their thoughts
- Why the CBN appointed new executives for Union, Keystone, and Polaris banks
- Lapaire, a pan-African eyewear startup, raises $3 million to expand across Africa
- 9 platforms to watch AFCON 2023 in Africa and across the globe
- Police identify 7 new suspects connected to ₦142.8 million hack on Patricia
What I'm watching
- Surge in online shopping scams in South Africa
- Can Christians and Ex-Christians See Eye to Eye? | Middle Ground
- Is consciousness an illusion? 5 experts explain
- Pitch Friday is on Friday, January 19, 2024. To attend or pitch, click this link.
- Voltrox HQ is looking for a Full Stack Developer in Nigeria. Apply for the remote role here.
- Lightcurve (based in Berlin) is hiring remotely for a Tech Lead, Head of Marketing, Senior Legal Counsel, Senior Product Manager, and Head of Business Development. Apply here.
- MailerLite is looking for a Product Designer. Apply here.
- Blueground is hiring a Product Manager. Apply here.
- Kenyan startups focused on embedded finance, future fintech, SME productivity tools, and content like local gaming and mobile advertising can apply for Safaricom’s Spark Accelerator programme. For more information, check this out.
- GitLab is hiring a Product Designer. Apply here.
- The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is looking for an editor to support the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship. Apply here.
- Application for the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) Class of 2025 is now open. Check out the one-year, fully sponsored, graduate-level programme in tech entrepreneurship here before March 18, 2023.
- Do you live in Nigeria and work with a local or foreign company? Whether it's remotely, on-site, hybrid, full-time, part-time or as a freelancer, @TheIntelpoint is trying to understand the Nigerian workspace: how you work, and toxicity in the workspace among others. Please, fill out the questionnaire here.
- If you are a software engineer, creative designer, product manager, design researcher, or a techie looking for an internship role, please, check out this website.
Have a productive week!
Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.