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Brazilian Fintech Unicorn, Ebanx Expands Into Africa

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After a decade of its footprint in Brazil and 14 other Latin American countries, payments provider EBANX has announced plans to expand its operations into Africa.

The billion-dollar company said it will initially focus on mobile money in Africa; which it believes is the next big growth frontier for both digital payment and the market. The company said it will now prioritize its global expansion on the African continent starting with Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.

According to a report by Endeavor, the three African countries EBANX is focusing on first (South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria) together with Egypt, account for 32% of the continent’s population, 51% of its GDP, and 73% of the startup accelerators active in Africa today. Africa’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2010 to 2019 was higher than in both Europe and Latin America.

João Del Valle, EBANX CEO and Co-founder said: “Africa’s fast-growing digital economy is only in its early days, and it’s projected to grow up and to the right for the next few decades. Together with local players, EBANX will be a catalyst to realise the many benefits of a digital economy even faster.”

But while Africa’s fintech-powered digital economy is fast growing, it is “only in its early days, and it’s projected to grow up and to the right for the next few decades,” Del Valle said.

According to a report released by Endeavor in June 2022, there’s currently a $115 billion digital economy in Africa, the result of a combination of a young and digitally savvy population, increasing digital penetration, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just like Flutterwave, MFS Africa, and OPay, the move seeks to tap into Africa’s rising digital economy.

Paula Bellizia, President of Global Payments at EBANX stated: “Africa is now bursting with growth potential. Digital adoption and consumption of online goods and services have accelerated rapidly within its countries, and investment capital has been pouring into the region.”

“After studying the region and building a deep understanding of its local players, entities, and challenges, we are diving into Africa to provide local payments solutions that will help build the digital economy at a rapid pace, drive broader financial inclusion for its population, and provide greater access to a variety of goods and services from global merchants interested in building their market share there,” Bellizia added.

According to reports, EBANX will offer USSD and bank transfer services. The former will be a session-based protocol that travels over the GSM signalling channel to query information and trigger services and will enable customers to pay for their e-commerce shopping. The latter will enable customers to pay for online purchases quickly and easily without needing a credit or debit card.


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