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New Payments Company enza group Launches to Serve African Banks and Fintechs

A team of payments industry professionals have launched enza group, a new payments company focused on servicing the needs of banks, fintechs, and MNOs across Africa.

The enza group has been formed to address rapidly growing market demand and accelerate the displacement of cash. Management consulting firm McKinsey estimated that only five to seven per cent of all payment transactions in Africa are digital. As a result, it is clear that cash is still king across the continent.

Despite a fairly slow uptake of digital payments in Africa compared to the rest of the world, McKinsey predicts this is soon to change. The consulting firm anticipates that by 2025, the electronic payments market in Africa will grow by around 150 per cent.

The group focuses on providing native digital payment capabilities to institutions that want to enable their customers to accept or make electronic payments. Banks previously dominated this space in the sector, but MNOs, fintechs, and government entities are increasingly serving it.

enza’s platform is a token-based, cloud-native, API-first system. The platform offers an open development environment, aiming to accelerate integration and improve technical flexibility.

enza offers a ‘blank canvas’ for innovation

Hany Fekry, group CEO of enza group, said: “We have created enza because so many payments challenges remain unsolved across the African continent. Our focus is on creating a seamless digital fabric between the payments’ channels, schemes, integrations etc. so that enza enables clients to access anything they need, even if we don’t provide the service natively.”

Hamish Houston, group COO of enza group, said: “We have had the great advantage of having no legacy technology or processes that we needed to modernise, but rather a blank canvas on which we could architect a modern, third generation payments service built from the first principles to be digital, open, and agile. Agility is not something that can be retrofitted onto legacy systems or operations.”

The company will continue expanding its existing team and open a new corporate office in Cairo, Egypt in January 2023.

The enza group has attracted a board with “considerable experience in banking, payments, and the African geography”. The likes of Mark Richards, who has formerly held positions at Barclays and is currently a board member of banking and financial group Nova Ljubljanska Bank has become enza’s new chairman.

Marcello Baricordi also joins the team as a non-executive director. Baricordi has previously held senior positions at Visa and First Data International, highlighting strong experience in the sector available to the new group.

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