MFS Africa, a pan-African digital payments hub, has invested $3m into Cameroon’s Maviance PLC which runs Smobilpay.cm, to increase its footprint in its Cameroon and to expand into other countries in the central African economic region (CEMAC).
Smobilpay empowers underserved MSMEs, agents, banks and financial institutions’ customers within the CEMAC region with more accessible digital financial services solutions. Maviance’s growing network of agents and MSME partners offer their customers a wide array of digital financial services.
According to Nkwenti Azong-Wara, CEO of Maviance: “With MFS Africa, Maviance has gained not just a funding partner, but more importantly a strategic investor who will provide valuable impetus to enable us to extend our service portfolio and network as well as to expand into the other five countries within the CEMAC region, via the GIMACPAY switch.”
In Cameroon, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) employ over 90% of the workforce and contribute around 36% of GDP. However, many MSMEs lack access to digital financial services to grow their businesses. Maviance, which serves over 500,000 unique customers a month, has connected key service providers, payment providers, financial institutions and mobile money operators to its Smobilpay digital financial services platform. Smobilpay’s digital financial services help businesses improve their sales by encouraging their customers to move away from cash-based transactions to digital.
“The rapid development of digital financial services that we have seen in Cameroon over the past few years is poised to spread across the CEMAC region. This will further accelerate the demand for domestic and cross-border payment from MSMEs, social enterprises and corporates in the region. Maviance, as a key infrastructure provider with its set of highly relevant products, is well-positioned to benefit from this growing demand. That is why we are thrilled to be partnering with the company, as we continue to broaden and deepen the reach of the MFS Africa Hub across Africa.” said MFS Africa’s founder and CEO, Dare Okoudjou.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, Maviance has experienced increasing demand from businesses to digitise their payment processes and transition away from cash. The joint forces of Maviance and MFS Africa will open up opportunities for MSMEs to easily digitise their processes, enabling them to benefit from the ecosystem of mobile money providers and other financial institutions providing seamless payment for services irrespective of channel.
After founding Maviance in Germany four years earlier, Jerry Cheambe and Michael Flach launched Maviance Cameroon in 2012. Since then, Maviance has rapidly expanded its service offerings to include, amongst others, payment aggregation, mobile money integration, corporate payments and collections, as well as agent banking. It currently serves over 500,000 unique customers every month.
“We are very excited about Maviance’s product pipeline and expansion. The opportunities within central Africa are huge, and the demand has been massively accelerated in the last 12 months with the advent of Covid-19 as businesses of all sizes adopt digital financial services. Moreover, the shift in the mindset of regulators towards progressive regulations as well as regulatory alignment, enable us to deliver seamless services across multiple geographies and customer segments,” concluded Jerry Cheambe, the founder of Maviance.