African digital commerce growth inspires more deals

African digital commerce growth inspires more deals

Underlining the growing business interest in African online finance, two more digital commerce-related deals have recently been announced.

Network International Holdings plc, an enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East and Africa, has entered into an agreement to acquire DPO Group, an online commerce platform in Africa, for a total consideration of approximately $288 million. 

DPO is described as the largest online commerce platform operating at scale across Africa, offering e-commerce and mobile money services for more than 47,000 merchants across high-quality brands. It is present in 19 countries across Africa with South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania representing major markets.

Network International says that DPO is “a strong strategic fit and growth accelerator” for the company, accelerating its presence in Africa, the most underpenetrated and fast growing payments market in the world.

Completion of the transaction is expected in Q4 2020.

Meanwhile, Clydestone Ghana, a payments system and fintech solutions provider, has partnered with Thales, a global leader in digital identities and security, to provide TheOne authentication-as-a-service platform.

The platform will offer a multi-tenant-ready environment to host financial institutions and payment service providers to offer strong customer authentication across multiple channels.

With the rise of digital banking and mobile money services in Ghana and across the region, financial regulators have mandated banks and payment service providers to offer multifactor authentication to secure customer transactions and to combat fraud.

However, deployment of authentication solutions has been lacking across the financial services industry due to the extremely high costs of acquisition and maintenance. The partners in this agreement say TheOne offers cost-effective authentication as a service with end-to-end authentication capabilities such as one-time password and transaction signing as a standard function, among many other strong authentication features.

We can expect this sort of activity to continue. As the Network International announcement points out, citing figures from a leading consulting firm, the digital and online payments market in Africa is expected to grow at 19 percent CAGR over the next five years and Covid-19 is expected to accelerate this growth.

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