Startup spotlight: OPay delivers payments without borders
Established in 2018, OPay is a Chinese-backed venture founded on the principles of financial inclusion and strives to break down borders, whether physical or social, that would prevent achieving this goal in Africa.
The company’s mobile-based platform incorporates important daily functions such as payments, transport, banking, savings, and food delivery. It does so in order to provide the 60% of unbanked and underserved people on the continent with an easy method for economic participation.
- Instant settlement
- Low transaction charges (0.5% per transaction)
- No hidden fees
The next fintech unicorn?
Following the company’s expansion into Egypt in January 2021 and reports that it had processed over US$2bn by the end of 2020, OPay is now in talks to raise $400m of investor capital. If successful, this would take its valuation to over $1.5bn and make it Africa’s next unicorn.
The company is certainly no stranger to attracting large investment: in 2019, it managed to raise $170m over the course of four months. Indeed, OPay’s meteoric rise over the last three years (its value has tripled since 2019) could make it one of the fastest startups to gain unicorn status in the sector.
Yahui Zhou, CEO and Chairman of Opera, the Chinese software firm behind OPay, previously stated, “By incubating OPay and supporting the company through its rapid acceleration, Opera has also demonstrated its ability to leverage its brand and consumer reach to create attractive, fast-growing businesses on the African continent.
“We are highly pleased by the team’s results and are excited to continue supporting OPay as the journey continues.”
So far, its partners include high-profile organisations such as Google, MTN, and the World Health Organisation.
Image sourced from OPay
Tink partners with Novalnet AG for open banking payments
The Munich-based fintech Novalnet AG, which was founded in 2007 and is one of Europe’s leadingfintech companies, has announced a new partnership with Tink, the Swedish open banking platform currently connected to more than 3,400 European banks.
Novalnet AG delivers payment solutions and fully automated services, from checkout to debt collection. Its solutions are also available worldwide.
According to reports, the fintech company plans to launch a real-time payments feature for merchants across Europe, to expand its current services and enhance the transaction experience it operates through its platform.
The new feature, says Novalnet, will revolutionise payments for ecommerce with transactions being credited to merchant’s accounts almost instantly.
Novalnet partnership with Tink
By partnering with Tink for payment initiation services (PIS) technology, Novalnet will take previous region-specific payment methods and offer a new unified digital payments service to its merchants across Europe.
The fintech’s real-time merchant payments feature, which will be launched initially in Germany and the United Kingdom, will then be integrated across other European markets during 2021.
Speaking about the new collaboration, Emmanuel Kirse, COO of Novalnet, explained, "We expect great things from our strategic partnership with Tink, which is a significant development for both parties.
“With Tink, Novalnet can offer a new set of open banking-related solutions in Europe. The new opportunities offered by this partnership will help both Tink and Novalnet grow together, along with our merchants."
Cyrosch Kalateh, Regional Director for the DACH region at Tink said, “Our partnership with Novalnet is a big step for Tink in the German market, and we are excited to work together to bring new, innovative payments services to merchants across Europe.”
He added, “At the end of 2020 Tink committed to expanding its payment initiation services from five to 10 markets, fuelled by an €85mn investment round. We are proud to add Germany to this list by announcing we have now fully launched Tink’s PIS services in this market.”
Image credit: Novalnet AG