OPay & Mastercard | May 19, 2022
Fintech giant OPay and Mastercard today announced a strategic partnership, which marks a significant boost for wider financial inclusion and economic prosperity by opening up digital commerce to millions of people across Middle East and Africa.
The collaboration enables OPay consumers and merchants in the region - including Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa and the UAE - to engage with brands and businesses anywhere across the globe, thanks to a Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to the OPay eWallet.
This partnership is the latest milestone in Mastercard's emerging market strategy where the technology company is collaborating with growing Fintech's such as OPay to expand access to digital payments, enable multiple lifestyle services, create new pathways to financial inclusion and support the next generation of super-apps. Consumers are increasingly looking for seamless user experiences on a single platform offering easier interactions to complete various day-to-day needs, including sending and receiving money, ordering food and groceries, organizing transport, lending, investing and listing items they wish to sell.
In the initial phase of this partnership, OPay customers will benefit from the Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to their OPay wallets, to shop at well-known global brands for leisure, travel, accommodation, entertainment, streaming services and more. The service is available regardless of whether or not the customer has a bank account. It also allows small business owners to purchase from suppliers abroad and pay with the secure virtual payment solution.
"At Mastercard, our innovation strategy is rooted in partnerships to support inclusion at scale. Our partnership with OPay demonstrates our commitment to supporting payments providers across the world to create an interconnected global payments ecosystem that benefits an array of consumers with unique needs."
-Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President for Market Development, Mastercard EEMEA
Yahui Zhou, CEO of OPay,said: As the leading fintech in the Middle East and Africa, we are delighted to be partnering with Mastercard as we continue on our journey to promote financial inclusion, helping to open up the global economy to more consumers and businesses across Middle East and Africa.
Since its operations started in 2018, OPay's active users have grown to 15 million in dozens of markets in which it operates. The company processes millions of transactions per day on average. In Nigeria alone, where OPay takes significant market share, users have saved billions of US dollars in the last four years through credit-linked savings accounts from their mobile wallets and small loans from lenders that use its platform.
Plans are in place to launch OPay services in other markets in the next three to five years, significantly driving the growth of digital inclusion and digital commerce, while at the same time widening OPay customer inclusion into the global economy.
Mastercard has made a worldwide commitment to financial inclusion, pledging to bring 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses – with a focus on 25 million women entrepreneurs – into the digital economy by 2025.
OPay is a fast-growing mobile payment fintech company. OPay has achieved significant growth in the past three years and has become one of the largest fintech companies in Africa and Middle East with a decent market share in key markets including Nigeria, Egypt, and Pakistan among others. OPay offers bespoke services to different clients in order to suit their needs; some of these services include offline payment, online payment, digital wallet service through AI and other fintech innovations. OPay boasts over 15 million registered wallet users, 600,000 merchants nationwide and surpassed $6 billion in monthly transaction value.
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.
FreshBooks | May 26, 2022
FreshBooks, a cloud-based accounting software provider, announced that it is expanding its invoicing software offering to meet the needs of New Zealand small businesses. This includes the creation of a new starter plan and competitive pricing packages with unique pricing, set in NZ currency.
“FreshBooks recognizes the depth and breadth of small businesses across New Zealand. We’re excited to help local owners impress their clients and get paid faster with our competitive new starter plan and invoicing software, FreshBooks is listening to the passionate small business owners in New Zealand by making it easier for them to digitize their invoicing.”
-Dragana Ljubisavljevic, SVP of International Markets at FreshBooks
The expansion in New Zealand arrives as small business owners look for invoicing software that is intuitive and simple to use. FreshBooks is different because it’s built exclusively for small businesses, making it easier to stay on top of invoicing. The company’s new starter plan in New Zealand lets businesses:
Send 2 invoices per month to up to 2 clients
Collect online payments without invoicing
Track unlimited expenses
Get paid with credit cards via Stripe & PayPal
Access their account from anywhere on iOS and Android devices
All pricing packages are being offered at new competitive rates.
The expansion in New Zealand builds on FreshBooks securing $130M in funding, bringing its valuation to over USD $1 Billion. With a mission to reach more customers in more countries around the world, FreshBooks also acquired German-based FastBill to strengthen global expansion plans.
Learn more about FreshBooks here.
FreshBooks is changing the way business owners manage their books. Its owner-first accounting platform, loved by businesses in over 160 countries, takes an easy-to-use approach to managing finances, billing, payments, and client engagement. FreshBooks, known for its 10x Stevie award-winning customer support, serves customers of all sizes from offices in Canada, Croatia, Mexico, Germany, Netherlands, and the US.
Umpqua Bank | February 03, 2022
Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, today announced a new program that expands access to capital, resources, and expertise for minority and women entrepreneurs. Umpqua Bank's Small Business Empowerment Program builds on existing private and public partnerships, including strategic initiatives with numerous business-focused nonprofits and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), to advance economic equality and opportunity for entrepreneurs in historically underserved communities.
As part of the program, Umpqua has formed multi-year partnerships with four innovative organizations, each working to remove barriers to key areas of business support, including access to technology, low-cost financing, and technical assistance and expertise: Oregon-based MESO (Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon); Washington-based Business Impact NW; California-based Centro Community Partners and Kiva.
According to Umpqua Bank chief marketing communications officer Eve Callahan, the program and newly formed partnerships address an opportunity gap in equitable access to funding and expertise essential to the viability and success of any business, especially those in communities lacking critical resources and support services.
"Entrepreneurs and small business owners create incredible opportunity and prosperity in our communities, but historical barriers continue to exist that prevent many from accessing what they need for success. Partnerships that take a multi-faceted, collaborative approach to close this opportunity gap are essential to give every entrepreneur with good ideas and determination a chance to succeed. We're really pleased to announce the Umpqua Bank Small Business Empowerment Program and the strategic partnerships with these terrific organizations. Together, they're advancing some of the most innovative, creative and comprehensive approaches to addressing one of the biggest obstacles to prosperity many communities face."
Umpqua Bank chief marketing communications officer Eve Callahan
Details of each partnership and how they will enhance access to economic opportunity are as follows:
Kiva: Access to Capital. Umpqua, through the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation, is establishing an Umpqua Bank Managed Loan Fund, enabling women and minority entrepreneurs in Umpqua's footprint to access matched funds and obtain 0% interest, crowdfunded loans. Kiva utilizes an innovative, character-based lending approach, removing collateral and credit history barriers in gaining access to capital. Funds will revolve for three years, multiplying the investment impact of the loans. Since 2005, Kiva has been a global, transformative leader in supporting women and minority entrepreneurs with crowdfunded loans that unlock capital for the underserved, improve the cost of financial services, and address underlying barriers to financial access.
Centro Community Partners: Access to Expertise and Tools. Umpqua is funding a significant expansion of Centro's tech hub and a bilingual mobile app for small businesses over the next three years. Centro's innovative, award-winning business planning app provides entrepreneurs with affordable, culturally appropriate and high-impact, enterprise-building tools. In addition, Umpqua is funding the expansion of Centro Capital Hubs in the Bay Area, connecting hundreds of entrepreneurs with 0% Umpqua Bank Managed Loan Fund loans through Kiva. In addition, Centro will also be able to enhance technical assistance capacity for local microenterprise organizations through its E-Suite platform, Learning Management System (LMS) platform, and its Centro App solutions. Centro works with entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses.
Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO): Geographic Expansion. Umpqua is working closely with MESO to expand services in Southern Oregon. MESO expects to open a satellite office in Jackson County with bilingual loan services and access to new microenterprise tools for a region severely impacted by both wildfires and COVID-19. MESO staff will provide one-to-one culturally specific coaching, credit-building support, technical assistance, and access to a 5:1 matched Individual Development Account (IDA). MESO elevates and empowers historically excluded entrepreneurs with tailored business assistance and flexible capital to build family wealth through business ownership.
Business Impact Northwest (BINW): Financial Literacy and Loan Readiness. Recognizing the historic barriers to accessing capital and financial expertise many diverse entrepreneurs face, Umpqua is funding the launch of BINW's new, multi-lingual Loan Readiness Center to provide customized technical assistance that moves entrepreneurs from "loan-ready" to "loan-successful." In addition, BINW will introduce new culturally appropriate loan products that expand access to capital for under-resourced borrowers. BINW provides coaching, education, and access to capital for community small businesses, with an emphasis on working with traditionally underserved populations—entrepreneurial low/moderate income earners, women, BIPOC, veterans, immigrants and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
About Umpqua Bank
Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, and has locations across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company has been recognized for eight years in a row on FORTUNE magazine's list of the country's "100 Best Companies to Work For," and was recently named by The Portland Business Journal the Most Admired Financial Services Company in Oregon for the seventeenth consecutive year. In addition to its retail banking presence, Umpqua Bank also owns Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc., a nationally recognized commercial finance company that provides equipment leases to businesses.
SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE
Outfund, Diginius | June 14, 2021
The UK’s largest ecommerce investor and a leading digital insights specialist have joined forces to help accelerate business transition online.
And the news comes at a time when firms across all sectors are seeking to capitalise on the rapid growth of online sales and marketing, with the UK e-commerce market projected to reach over £80.67bn in 2021.
Upstart Outfund has partnered with Diginius, a London-based technology company, who specialise in digital marketing and ecommerce solutions, which has already acquired big brand attention with the likes of Dreams, Thomas Lyte and Skinny Dip onboard.
And with the latest ONS figures for April indicating a strong continued demand for online sales, the new venture seems well placed to solidify business’ reputation in an increasingly competitive ecommerce sphere:
“We’re delighted to be joining forces with Outfund,” said Diginius CEO Nate Burke.
“Today’s digital market is booming, but it’s an ever more saturated landscape that needs to deliver a unique differentiator and a genuine chance for skilled startups to succeed.
“What this partnership enables is for firms to not only to get the financial support they need, but also the real-time insight and perspective on which marketplaces are performing successfully, and which present the most avenues for growth, all tailored to the individual needs of the client and their sector.”
Outfund, which has already helped deliver growth for the likes of Onto and The Vegan Kind, two firms in increasingly popular spheres of electric car and vegan food subscriptions, recently announced an £100m commitment to ecommerce and subscription-based firms over the next 12 months.
The business has already raised over £37m, delivering a service that helps online businesses accelerate their online activities without giving away equity.
And with Diginius partnership now sealed, Outfund CEO Daniel Lipinski believes more firms can look to make their mark on the ecommerce landscape:
“Outfund and Diginius both provide critical services for e-commerce and SaaS companies - funding and PPC/analytics respectively.
“Whilst almost all businesses will require these services throughout their existence, in most instances it is done so in isolation.
“Through our partnership with Diginius, we are combining our funding with their analytics expertise so that these areas work synonymously, with the ultimate goal of driving our shared client’s growth to new heights.”
With data integration and support across all major marketing and advertising platforms, Diginius empowers organisations to achieve maximum impact from their online sales and activities.
For more information, visit https://www.diginius.com/. Further details on Outfund can be found at https://www.out.fund/.