Euronet Worldwide and AeTrade partner to build real time cross border payments gateway for the African continent
By Edlyn Cardoza
Euronet Worldwide, Inc., one of the leading global financial technology solutions and payments providers, announced a partnership with the Africa Electronic Trade Group (AeTrade) to build a multi-channel, real-time cross-border payments gateway (or switch) for the African continent.
The Euronet-powered payments switch will serve as the financial foundation for an initial 44 of the 54 possible countries in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) that connects a population of about 1.4 billion people with a combined GDP of approximately US$3.4 trillion. Utilising Euronet’s Ren payments technology, the switch will enable central banks, regional processors, financial institutions, regional mobile wallets (e.g., M-Pesa), and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to easily make transactions with each other in real time and bring many new banking benefits and capabilities to African citizens.
“For almost 30 years now, we have been diligent in bringing financial inclusion to people wherever they are through our core values of innovation and hard work,” said Michael J. Brown, President, and CEO of Euronet. “This project, where our Ren payments technology will serve as the real-time payments switch across the African continent, provides one of the biggest milestones in this journey. Our past experience and successful track record in re-wiring the global financial infrastructure to better serve businesses and consumers ensures we have the expertise to deliver results for this crucial project and increase the financial participation of African citizens for generations to come.”
First adopted by the African Union (AU) in 2018 to eliminate trade barriers and increase intra-Africa trade, the AfCFTA is the largest free trade area in the world based on the number of participating countries. In addition, the AfCFTA is expected to boost Africa’s income by $450 billion by 2035 while potentially lifting approximately 30 million people out of extreme poverty.
Strengthening an existing partnership with the AU, AeTrade was selected to deliver financial solutions to the continental market in accordance with the AU’s Smart Finance and Digital Banking initiative, which was launched in February. AeTrade then selected Euronet and its Ren payments technologies to build and deliver the pan-African payments switch.
“Together with Euronet, we are building an interoperable payment system that serves as a backbone to support multiple services by the AeTrade Group including SME e-empowerment services, SME insurance services, e-government services, smart logistics and warehousing capabilities across Africa,” said Mulualem Syoum, CEO of AeTrade Group. “We are convinced that this is a gamechanger and will be a catalyst to stimulate investment and inclusive growth into diverse sectors of the African economy.”
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