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Bitmama acquires Payday



In a significant development in Nigeria’s fintech landscape, blockchain payments platform, Bitmama Inc. has confirmed the acquisition of Payday, a virtual card service provider.

The news comes barely nine months after Payday announced its $3 million seed round and three months after its exploration of sale options was confirmed. Facilitated through Bitmama’s cross-border payments product Changera, the acquisition marks a pivotal shift from earlier speculations, including a potential acquisition by lead investor, Moniepoint. Changera is set to consolidate its blockchain payment platform by acquiring 100% of Payday’s customer base.

A source close to the matter, who declined confirming the financial terms of the deal, revealed to Techpoint Africa that acquisition conversations were initiated just a few weeks ago, and the process is “about 85% complete.”

Changera, launched in 2021, is set to absorb a number of Payday’s key personnel across various departments, including marketing, customer service, and engineering. This integration is already underway, with some Payday employees already transitioning to Changera. As a founder with a strong technical background, Payday CEO Favour Ori’s integration into Bitmama’s team is not yet confirmed. However, given Bitmama’s already established leadership and robust technical team, it appears more likely that he may step away.

For the over 300,000 customers previously reported by Payday, who will now be under Changera’s care, there will be hopefully no noticeable changes.

According to a senior member of Bitama’s management, Payday’s brand will continue to operate but it will now fall under the broader umbrella of Changera, supported by its stablecoin infrastructure. This integration is expected to overcome the liabilities and challenges Payday faced due to its dependence on third-party integrations, thereby potentially improving both customer experience and service reliability. The self-proclaimed neobank of the gig economy had previously grappled with operational challenges, including industry-wide charge-back fraud issues, a notable disruption in Mastercard services, and the exit of senior team members in July 2023.

For Changera customers, the acquisition promises to expand the range of available services, providing access to Payday’s digital payment solutions.

In the short term, there are no planned changes to the fee structures or terms of service for Payday customers. However, as the integration progresses, customers can anticipate an expanded suite of services and potentially new features that leverage the combined strengths of Bitmama and Payday.

Post-acquisition, Bitmama is poised to embark on an ambitious roadmap. Central to this roadmap is the development of a new solution aimed at enhancing FX transactions for African businesses. Slated for launch in Q1 2024, this solution is expected to address a critical need in the market, facilitating smoother and more efficient B2B cross-border financial interactions.

The acquisition of Payday by Bitmama mirrors a broader trend of strategic consolidations within the fintech industry. It comes in the wake of similar acquisitions, such as that of Chaka by Risevest in September 2023. This consolidation trend suggests an emerging pattern where fintech companies are increasingly seeking strategic partnerships and acquisitions to overcome market challenges and scale operations.



Order CBN to honour Letters of Credit– SINET to Tinubu, NASS



Amidst several hardships facing the Nigerian populace, the Social Integrity Network, (SINET) has urged President Ahmed Bola Tinubu and the leadership of national assembly to compel the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. Olayemi Cardoso, to order and reconsider honouring the forward contracts that are genuinely backed up with proper compliant documents for utilisation against each Letters of Credit (LCs) opened by the commercial banks using the forwards as a hedge.

The group also urged the Federal Government to make further clarification concerning a statement credited to the CBN Governor on issues regarding the alleged and well-publicized revelations of a $2.4 billion forex trading fraud.

SINET recalled that “On February 5, 2024, the governor of CBN made this declaration in both his interactions with Senate committees and his interview on a national television, following the engagement of Deloitte Management Consultant to conduct a forensic investigation where he claimed that the said amount was uncovered.

A statement issued on Monday by SINET national coordinator, Ibrahim Issah, disclosed that “On the contrary, we wish to unequivocally state that these claims lack merit and do not take into account the consequences they will have on businesses, public perception, or the economy of our cherished nation and its implication on forex both at home and abroad.”

According to him, “Without sentiment, the claim is completely falsehood and unacceptable as he, the CBN governor, failed to consider its economic implications. It is pertinent to state that genuine businessmen and women across the country, borrowed Funds from commercial banks, some with interest rates as high as 30% to secure forex from the CBN through their respective commercial banks since CBN does not sell the dollars to individuals directly.

“The same funds have been deposited with CBN for the past one and half years for forwards allocated for which the Apex Bank is now claiming were fraudulent transactions. May we remind Mr. Governor that while the CBN allocated the forwards after collecting the naira for each forward allocated, the commercial banks used these same forward contracts as a hedge and issued Letters of Credit (LCs) to their various customers against their offshore credit lines and also as a sovereign guarantee to their offshore banks which stand unpaid till today as a result of the failure of CBN to honour the various forward contracts.

“May we also remind our CBN Governor that as a result of their failure to honour these contracts, the outstanding foreign loans continue to accrue interest (post-negotiation charges), which the commercial Banks are passing to their customers: the same customers you say do not have a genuine claim.”

The statement further stressed that, “The public would like to ask Mr. Governor the following questions: What will happen to the foreign bank that is expecting their payment to be paid back? What will happen to the businessmen and women who had borrowed Naira from commercial Banks and paid the same into the CBN account for the purchase of forex for over eighteen months? Who will bear the interest charged on borrowed funds locally? Who will bear the charges running against the offshore lines used in establishing Letters of Credit? What will happen to the businesses? What will happen to the employees that are dependent on the survival of the businesses that CBN is trying to kill?

“We call upon the senate president and, in fact, the president and Commander In-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to call the CBN governor to order and reconsider honouring the forward contracts that are genuinely backed up with proper compliant documents for utilisation against each Letters of Credit (LCs) opened by the commercial banks using the forwards as a hedge.

“Let us state categorically that the CBN is killing businesses by cancelling the forward contracts that were sold to them about 18 months ago at the rate of N450/dollar and now selling the same funds to the commercial banks and directing the bank to sell the money at the rate of 1,500/dollar to the same businesses who initially had a forward contract at the rate of N450/dollar.

“May we also remind Mr. Governor, that failure to honour these forward contracts is taking commercial banks longer time to clean the offshore lines already used for establishing Letters of Credit against which shipments have been done and payment made to LC beneficiaries by the offshore banks. The delays of the commercial banks to settle their Forex obligations to their offshore banks is making our country risk to be very high.

“Lastly, the public will like to call on the coordinating minister for the economy, Mr. Wale Edun to engage the CBN regarding this issue of undelivered forward contracts because at present in Nigeria, almost 60% of companies in the manufacturing sector have been closed due to the volatility of Forex in Nigeria in order to avoid the other 40% from also closing down.

“This will go a long way to help the few remaining manufacturing companies still in operation in Nigeria and also encourage the new investors that the president and commander in-chief of the federal republic is trying woo to bring their investments to Nigeria.”

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APC To Yahaya Bello: Stop Confusing The Party, No Vacancy For National Chairman



Yahaya Bello Kogi state

The leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has told the immediate-past governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello that there is no vacancy in the office of the national chairman of the party.

The national publicity secretary of the party, Felix Morka warned the former Kogi governor to stop confusing the party, saying the position of the national chairman is currently occupied.

Morka handed down the warning while addressing newsmen at the national secretariat of the party.

The posters of the former governor were seen on major streets in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), especially around the federal secretariat and on walls and fences of structures around the APC national secretariat along Blantyre Street, Wuse 2, Abuja.

The bold picture of the former Kogi state governor is adorned with the inscription, “APC Next Level. Alhaji Yahaya Bello as APC National Chairman. Leading the Change, Building a Stronger APC.”

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