Fintech Minka looks for partners in Africa to ‘replicate’ LATAM payments success

Fintech Minka looks for partners in Africa to ‘replicate’ LATAM payments success
Fintech Minka looks for partners in Africa to ‘replicate’ LATAM payments success

Colombia real-time payment platform Minka is hoping to replicate the success of its Latin America-based real-time payment system in Africa after its recent $24 million funding switch.

Minka, the open payments network that enables organizations to move money in real time, has unveiled plans to partner with clearinghouses and central banks across Africa.

According to the fintech, the opportunity in Africa for Minka’s platform is profound, given the similarities between countries on the continent and in the Latin American region.

It indicates that:

  • Cash payments are still a primary mode of transaction, presenting opportunities for blue oceans in reality.
    time, blockchain-style transactions
  • Both have similarly high levels of economic exclusion
  • Many countries retain a traditional reliance on legacy financial infrastructure, including cash,
    checks, electronic payments and credit card slips
  • Financial systems in both regions were developed over long periods as a series of separate,
    non-operable networks with limited funds to securely and efficiently transfer balances or exchanges
    information with each other.

Founded in 2018, Minka offers building blocks that allow customers to develop a mobile wallet, digital bank, clearinghouse, loyalty program or local currency through blockchain concepts and application programming interfaces (APIs).

The expansion plans follow a $24 million funding round led by Tiger Global and Kaszek in April 2022.

“The flexibility of this solution is one of the great advantages we can bring to the African market,” explains Paola Sanchez, Minkas co-founder and head of bizops. “Our (API)-based technology is completely agnostic to the use cases needed in a region, allowing us to build a platform for any type of payment exchange, both public and private, in weeks or months as opposed to years.

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“The hundreds of layers of different payment wallets and payment options across borders are complicated by thousands of separate ERPs and other ledgers. This reliance on legacy platforms to move money better is just plugging the cracks in the main problem, which is the fact that old legacy system needs to be completely overhauled.”

Replicating the LATAM success

One of the largest open banking projects in Latin America, Minka’s TransfiYa project, is currently used by almost two million Colombians to send money with just a mobile number. It will also soon support one-click purchases, payments and collections and includes direct read-and-write API access to 80 percent of accounts in the country.

“With a proven application in Colombia, we have built an infrastructure that will allow the financial sector in any country or region in Africa to create an almost unlimited number of financial options for people,” says Sánchez. “We intend to replicate this success in markets around the world, including Africa, which have jumped into the fintech space and have similar demographics and levels of financial exclusion to those in Latin America.”

Minka plans to work with clearinghouses and central banks across the continent, especially in those countries that lack an established real-time payment infrastructure such as: Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger and Zimbabwe .

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