Six months after its expansion into Africa, Brazillian fintech unicorn, EBANX has hired Wiza Jalakasi to lead the expansion and development of the company's operations in Africa.
According to Paula Bellizia, President of Global Payments at EBANX, "Jalakasi will play a key role in expanding EBANX’s footprint in the African region, which is the next growth frontier for digital payments and the digital market in several verticals, like SaaS/cloud, streaming, digital games and online retail."
"He is an important addition to the team, bringing all his expertise in solving local payments for international companies that want to connect with millions of African companies and digital consumers," Belliza added.
Until last month, Wiza led the global merchant business team at Chipper Cash, where he built merchant solutions that processed millions of dollars every month, serving businesses all over the world. At Chipper Cash, he sourced and coordinated the acquisition of Zoona in Zambia to expand the operations of the African unicorn in the country.
He also led and managed regulatory engagement between Chipper Cash and central banks in Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia and Ethiopia. Wiza bagged a degree in Information Systems Technology from the United States International University - Africa.
"EBANX has more than ten years of track record in solving payments and helping global businesses grow in Latin America. Joining this company is a fantastic opportunity to cement the credibility of the payments industry and digital economy in Africa and help to connect global players to this huge market which is full of potential," he said.
According to Wiza, "Latin America and Africa have a lot in common when it comes to payment fragmentation and digitization. And EBANX has the robust technology, integration capabilities, and global expertise in rising markets needed to tackle these challenges. It is truly special to be the partner of the largest merchants in the world in solving some of the challenges that I face as a consumer here, and to influence how the world thinks about Africa."
Together with Egypt, the three African countries EBANX is focusing on first (South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria) account for 32% of the continent’s population, 51% of its GDP, and 73% of active startups in Africa today.
According to Paula Bellizia, President of Global Payments at EBANX, "Africa is now bursting with growth potential. Digital adoption and consumption of online goods and services have accelerated rapidly within its countries, and investment capital has been pouring into the region."
"After studying the region and building a deep understanding of its local players, entities, and challenges, we are diving into Africa to provide local payments solutions that will help build the digital economy at a rapid pace, drive broader financial inclusion for its population, and provide greater access to a variety of goods and services from global merchants interested in building their market share there," Belliza added.
How Ebanx's pan-African expansion will work.
Last year, EBANX disclosed that its solutions in the African region will contemplate popular local payment methods such as Instant EFT by OZOW in South Africa; the payment method allows line shoppers to access internet banking to make an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) that gets instantly verified. EFT is the second most popular online payment method in South Africa today.
In Kenya, Ebanx will sample M-Pesa, a mobile banking service that lets users store and transfer money, as well as pay for online shopping through their mobile phones. M-Pesa was introduced in Kenya as an alternative way for the country’s population to have access to financial services.
Meanwhile, in Nigeria, the company disclosed that it will experiment with the following payment methods: USSD—a session-based protocol that travels over the GSM signalling channel to query information and trigger services. It enables customers to pay for their e-commerce shopping—and Bank Transfers, which enables customers to pay for online purchases quickly and easily without needing a credit or debit card. They are one of Nigeria’s leading alternative payment methods because they are very secure and reliable.