Crown Agents Bank and VodaCash enable mobile payments
- Maintaining Vodacom’s market lead by facilitating the transition from cash to digital forms of transaction.
- Expanding communities’ access to finances in a faster, cheaper and more reliable way.
For its part, Crown Agents Bank, a well-regarded partner established in 1833 and selected by governments and financial services providers alike, will provide an integrated payment gateway to allow payments directly to digital wallets.
In total, the company’s reach will be extended to reach 13.4 million Vodacom Congo subscribers.
Transforming the DCR’s financial infrastructure
“Being able to provide payments to mobile wallets in the DRC is an important step towards financial inclusivity,” said Steve Marshall, Chief Commercial Officer at Crown Agents Bank.
“Along with our well-established FX (foreign exchange) capabilities across the continent, we are building out a suite of payment services that allow us to reach those who previously were unable to access financial services.
“The timing of the VodaCash collaboration is crucial, as we’re seeing an increased demand from IDOs (international development organisations) making payments to mobile wallets in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Chris Williamson, Managing Executive at M-Pesa of Vodacom Group, spoke more generally about the DRC’s generally deprived financial services infrastructure; something he believes this new partnership could rectify.
“Payments have historically been challenging in the region, especially getting funds to those who are financially excluded and difficult to reach with traditional channels. The uptake of mobile wallets in DRC means more people can now receive payments with maximum convenience and minimum cost.
“By partnering with Crown Agents Bank to provide this service, we can ensure payments are delivered swiftly, safely and securely.”
Fintech Timeline: Tink’s acquisition by payments leader Visa
Tink was founded in Stockholm, Sweden. The company’s integrated, API-based approach was soon met with widespread acclaim for its ability to enhance the customer experience, streamline payments and increase financial transparency.
Through its technology, users can access aggregated financial data, utilise smart finance tools (risk insights, account verification, etc.), and create personal finance management solutions. Tink had become an early leader in a trend still gaining momentum today: Open Banking.
2014 to 2017
The fintech’s Series A, B, and C rounds netted $4mn, $10.2mn, and $14mn respectively. In a short span of time, Tink had already elevated itself to being one of Europe’s leading Open Banking platforms.
- 400 employees
- Serves 18 markets
- Covers over 3,400 banks
- Customer reach of more than 250 million
2018 to 2019
Tink democratised API by launching a platform specifically for developers. This empowered third-parties to create next-gen products for customers.
Furthermore, Tink consolidated its leading position in Europe with expansions in Italy, Portugal, and Spain, as well as appointing former Stripe employee Rafael Plantier as its Country Manager of UK & Eire.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Tink managed to maintain the momentum of the previous year and secured an additional $213mn from two venture capital rounds in January and December.
In May, Tink joined forces with American Express as the latter entered the European Open Banking market. This news was exciting in and of itself, but it paled in comparison to the surprise development on 24 June that Visa had signed an acquisition agreement for the sum of $2.15bn.
“Visa is committed to doing all we can to foster innovation and empower consumers in support of Europe’s open banking goals,” said Al Kelly, CEO and Chairman of Visa. “By bringing together Visa’s network of networks and Tink’s open banking capabilities we will deliver increased value to European consumers and businesses with tools to make their financial lives more simple, reliable and secure.”
“For the past ten years we have worked relentlessly to build Tink into a leading open banking platform in Europe, and we are incredibly proud of what the whole team at Tink has created together,” added Daniel Kjellén, CEO and Co-Founder of Tink.
“Joining Visa, we will be able to move faster and reach further than ever before. Visa is the perfect partner for the next stage of Tink's journey, and we are incredibly excited about what this will bring to our employees, customers and for the future of financial services.
Pictured (left to right): Daniel Kjellén (CEO) and Fredrik Hedberg (CTO)