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Chinese-funded African fintech PalmPay launches in Nigeria

PalmPay Nigeria

The African startup received mobile money licence in July and signed up 100,000 users for its pilot programme

African fintech startup PalmPay has launched in Nigeria following a $40 million seed funding led by Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Transsion. The funding was led by Transsion’s subsidiary Tecno Mobile. China’s NetEase and Taiwan’s MediaTek also participated in the funding. 

PalmPay has established a strategic partnership with Tecno, Infinix and Itel. The startup aims to become Africa’s largest financial services platform — and will use the proceeds from the funding to expand its business in Ghana. It also has plans to tap into foreign markets in 2020.

PalmPay’s payment app will be pre-20 million phones by Tecno, Infinix and Itel as part of the deal. With the launch, PalmPay users in Nigeria will be able to make payments without fees. Essentially, users can pay bills, get airtime discounts and and make bank transfers at $0.03 charges, the local media reported.

The startup has also received a mobile money licence in Nigeria in July. It signed up 100,000 users for its pilot programme.  

PalmPay CEO Greg Reeve told the media that, “On channel and access, we’re going to be pre-installed on all Tecno phones. You’re gonna find us in the Tecno stores and outlets. So, we get an immediate channel and a leg up in any market we operate in. We signed a strategic alliance with Visa, so now I can deliver Visa products on top of my wallet, link my wallet to Visa products and give access to someone who’s completely unbanked to the whole of the Visa network.”

In April, PalmPay announced a strategic partnership with Visa to boost financial inclusion in Africa. With that, Visa cardholders will be able to make payments on the PalmPay app. 

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