By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Stakeholders in the sector emphasized the need for stakeholders to collaborate in order to improve the Fintech industry in Africa.
When launching the continent’s first payments processing blockchain platform, Zone, designed by Appzone, participants agreed that the finance and payments landscape needs more hands-on training.
They praised the Appzone initiative, saying that it will play into the decentralization of interbank payments and transactions across Africa.
In his keynote address, Sparkle CEO Uzoma Dozie revealed that with the right amount of collaboration and adoption, Zone will improve its existing payment infrastructure and create robust experiences for market players.
“The region is built on a new technology that addresses trust and transparency meaning that users do not have to rely on the central system of the bank as they are blocked from the process.
Diamond Bank CEO stated: “With Zone, users are more aware, and fully understand every part of the process, creating the transparency needed to build trust and increase adoption.”
He added that the COVID-19 pandemic made people more aware of the need to embrace digital finance, and enhanced the appreciation needed to increase adoption of digital finance and payment technologies.
Speaking about the unique features of the Zone, the CEO and founder of the Appzone Group, Mr. Obi Emetarom, described the zone as more than just a blockchain payment platform.
He described the region as a financial network made up of different financial institutions that provide real-time payments and settlement.
“Zone offers exciting opportunities for users, as it is a ubiquitous network that connects all kinds of financial institutions from payment companies and microfinance banks to fintech and digital banks.
“Zone also uses peer-to-peer routing, which means that all organizations that take advantage of the platform can communicate directly without any intermediary, ensuring reliability and scalability,” added Mr. Emetarom.
“Zone has also started launching a network across Africa that will allow anyone to conduct real-time transactions anywhere on the continent. Ultimately, Zone is set to offer a compatible and stable African digital currency.
Speaking about the rationale behind launching Zone, Mr. Uche Elendu, CEO of Appzone Switch, said: “We are pleased to officially unveil Zone as a decentralized, blockchain-based payment infrastructure that enables instant settlement of cash transactions, both in-country and abroad, with distribution enabled. Retail stablecoins including Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) in Africa.”
The plan aims to manage the fixed coin wallets of private individuals on the same distributed ledger that currently facilitates payment authorization and settlement.
With 10 commercial banks in Nigeria already connected to the network, Zone provides banks and financial companies with simple APIs for various types of transactions including account-to-account transfers, merchant payments, and cash transactions at ATMs or agent locations.
The platform architecture achieves high transaction success and logging rates, eliminating typical settlement issues that delay refunds to customers when necessary.
By connecting every financial service provider to the Zone’s decentralized payment network, Appzone Switch envisions a future beyond cash where payments are frictionless and instant within and between every African country so that Africa can accelerate trade and economic prosperity.