In South Africa, e-commerce activity reaches record high
Welcome to today’s edition of TC Daily! In today’s digest: global electronic waste up 21% in five years; e-commerce activities in South Africa at a record high; and a fintech acquisition to broaden cross-border financial services.
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Electronic waste generated globally in 2019 is up 21% from what it was five years ago according to a newly released United Nations Global E-waste Monitor Report. Only 17.4% of it was collected and recycled. Following projections from its report, e-waste is the world’s fastest-growing domestic waste stream continuously driven by consumption behaviours, decreasing prices of mobile devices and their shorter lifespans.
Already this year, with supply chain disruptions and global lockdowns to stall the spread of the coronavirus, sales of electronics across the globe suffered marked declines. However
, in many parts of Asia and the US, online sales for smartphones, for instance, soared in the first four months of the year. In Africa where a combination of lockdowns and economic factors caused a decline in smartphone purchases, entry-level and mid-range smartphone manufacturers like Transsion continue to record remarkable sales.
In countries like Nigeria, e-waste disposalis a huge challenge. Informal sector players and lack of awareness mean that old phones and electronics end up in landfills where incineration and leeching causes their harmful constituent materials to end up in soil, water and eventually food.
Asia remains the continent with the most e-waste generated while Africa and Oceania come in at the last two spots having generated 2.9 Mt and 0.7 Mt respectively in 2019.
MFS Africa, a mobile payments hub connecting banks, money transfer and telecom network operators, has acquired Beyonic, a Uganda-based digital payments company. Beyonic’s last-mile digital payments framework makes for easy mobile payment for corporates, startups and SMEs and their clientele includes motorcycle-hailing company Safeboda, and the South African bank.
The acquisition creates a larger, more versatile company that fuses “interoperability between digital storers of value and enterprise payments”. Alex has more detail about the acquisition and what the new company’s operations will look like moving forward.
A new regulatory sandbox framework from Nigeria’s apex bank will see new and existing fintech companies test new products, features, services before a full launch into the market. The sandbox is only open to incorporated firms and products/innovation not already covered by existing regulation like the Financial Services Innovator. sandbox initiative launched in 2019.
The American Business Council in partnership with the US Mission in Nigeria is organizing a webinar to share the project financing opportunities from the United States and how best to leverage on these funds. Speakers include;
– Vibhuti Jain, Regional Director for Africa, DFC
– Joshua Egba, Country Representative (West Africa), USTDA
– Clare Sierawski, Power Africa Country Manager for West Africa, USTDA
Payment gateway company DPO (Direct Pay Online Group) South Africa says e-commerce activities in the country has reached a record high. Pointing to its figures in the past few months, the company says in May (and June), transactions per minute were four times that of the busiest minute during Black Friday last year. The company expects monthly volumes for the rest of the year to settle at around 40% higher than 2019.
Although interbank transactions for Q1 2020 fell by 20% compared to the same period in 2019, the pandemicand strict lockdown measures particularly in South Africa has seen more people turn towards online stores for their needs overwhelmingonline commerce stores in the process.
E-commerce on the continent is challenged by more than the digital aspects of shopping. Trust, quality, logistics, all these continue to present challenges in the sector. Whether this high is the temporary outcome of the pandemic a or a permanent behavioural shift remains to be seen.
Originally PayGate, the leading online payment processing and merchant services was acquired in 2017 by the DPO Group and rebranded to DPO South Africa.