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SA's MultiChoice to launch pan-African payment platform

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South Africa's MultiChoice Group is developing an integrated payment platform for Africa in a joint venture with UK-based payments platform Rapyd and private equity firm General Catalyst.

The payment platform will be called Moment and offer expanded payment infrastructure for businesses across Africa to help them collect and make payments to buyers or suppliers. Moment will also offer consumers payments, savings and rewards.

"The aim is to transform the African payments landscape by making digital payments more accessible and reliable for domestic, cross-border and global payments," MultiChoice said in a statement.

MultiChoice Group is an African media and entertainment company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and owns sub-Saharan African direct broadcast satellite service DStv and streaming service Showmax.

MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela said the fintech platform will address the need for an accessible and reliable payment platform for many small businesses and millions of consumers in Africa.

"Investing in this venture is a logical progression for us, as we already process payments every month from 22 million households across 50 countries in Africa. Moment fulfills our strategy to expand our ecosystem, by investing in adjacent businesses that provide scalable services, underpinned by technology," Mawela explained.

Moment will consolidate the US$3.5 billion in payments that the MultiChoice Group processes annually to expand options for subscribers and make payment processes efficient. The platform will also extend a complete payment network to African and global businesses.

Moment will offer expanded payment infrastructure for businesses across Africa and will also offer consumers payments, savings and rewards.   (Source: Image by wirestock on Freepik).
Moment will offer expanded payment infrastructure for businesses across Africa and will also offer consumers payments, savings and rewards.
(Source: Image by wirestock on Freepik).

"Africa is one of the most exciting markets in the world - with tremendous opportunities to expand the use of digital payments, drive cash payments to real-time digital payments, and to capitalise on the tremendous entrepreneurial drive of African businesses," Arik Shtilman CEO of Rapyd added in the statement.

Pan-African payments platform

The long-term plan is to provide the infrastructure for pan-African payments for the 44 million small businesses operating on the continent. It is also to turn the 90% of retail cash transactions into digital payments.

Moment plans to offer fintech services across over 40 African countries through more than 200 locally preferred payment methods. It will also offer global-Africa trade for importers and exporters with virtual accounts in over 40 currencies and local payments in 130+ countries.

"Africa represents one of the most exciting investment opportunities for global investors. Over the next 20 years, most of the population growth of the world will be happening in Africa, along with increasing urbanisation. African consumers and businesses are not only moving business online, but will be the labor force for the world across the next 20 years," said Adam Valkin, MD at General Catalyst.

Moment aims to make digital transactions more accessible to the 350 million consumers that are underbanked or not banked at all.

"Moment gives MultiChoice another opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the economic development of the African continent. It will play a key role in accelerating cash-to-digital payments for all consumers and businesses and making the continent more investment ready for global players, by connecting payments from Africa to the world," Mawela concluded.

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*Top image source: Image by Freepik .

Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

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