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  In Africa, there are an estimated 100 million MSMEs, with 42 million located in Nigeria alone. By 2025, consumer payments in Africa are projected to reach $2.1 trillion, but currently, only 5% of these transactions are digitized. This has left merchants struggling to collect payments seamlessly, creating an opportunity for banks, fintech firms, and mobile money operators to develop innovative solutions that promote financial inclusion.
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To capitalize on this opportunity and address the fragmented nature of the African payment landscape, Nigerian credit-led digital banking platform FairMoney has acquired PayForce, a sub-brand of YC-backed CrowdForce that provides merchant payment services to small businesses. The acquisition will allow FairMoney to expand its financial services offerings to merchants. FairMoney, a Nigerian digital lender, has acquired PayForce, a merchant payment service that caters to small businesses, as part of its effort to expand its financial services offerings to merchants. The acquisition is part of FairMoney’s goal of rebuilding Africa’s financial story, according to a statement obtained by The acquisition was reportedly a cash-and-stock deal worth between $15 million and $20 million. PayForce enables merchants to offer cash-in, cash-out, transfer, and bill payment services to retail customers through POS devices while also providing liquidity through a network of partners. The fintech company offers business banking, finance team tools, B2B payments, and virtual cards to over 10,000 businesses. Laurin Hainy, Co-founder and CEO of FairMoney said in a statement that the company’s mission is to support small business owners and their customers in achieving their goals and dreams by providing them with the right support and financial products. Perella Weinberg Partners and Renaissance Capital Africa served as financial advisors to FairMoney and CrowdForce, respectively, on the transaction.
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FairMoney aims to increase its merchant base in Nigeria to 100,000 and expand its network of financial services points for small businesses following the acquisition of PayForce, a merchant payment service for small businesses. The move is part of FairMoney’s larger goal of rebuilding Africa’s financial story and providing the right support and financial products to small business owners. According to Laurin Hainy, CEO of FairMoney, the acquisition reflects the company’s vision to offer a more robust platform that addresses all the financial needs of its users. PayForce charges a 0.6% commission per transaction made across its products and has been profitable since 2020 while growing 25% month-on-month to serve 1.9 million unique customers across 25 Nigerian states. The acquisition will provide incentives for PayForce-acquired merchants who use FairMoney as their primary bank, such as an 18% annual return on deposits.
“This development is exciting for us at CrowdForce, it feels good for the team to be welcomed into the FairMoney family. This move is in line with the expansion and growth roadmap of the business. Our focus at the moment is ensuring the best experience for our merchants and customers, and we are excited for what the future holds for them,”
Oluwatomi Ayorinde Co-Founder and CEO of CrowdForce stated. FairMoney has announced the appointment of Ayodeji Ayorinde as the head of PayForce, the company’s payment business unit. Last year, CrowdForce raised $3.6 million pre-Series A funding to increase access to cash for rural communities in Nigeria. FairMoney was launched in 2017 as an online lender that offers instant loans and bill payments to customers in Nigeria.
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Today, it provides debit accounts and cards, P2P transfers, and payments to over one million retail customers and small businesses. The company is one of the licensed digital lenders in Nigeria and recently raised $42 million in a Series B round to diversify its offerings and expand its reach. According to Laurin Hainy, Co-founder and CEO of FairMoney, the company sees itself as a retail bank, and the acquisition of PayForce will provide potential synergies between both businesses, enabling merchants to enjoy what the company’s retail customers already do. Featured Image Source: TechCrunch
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This article was first published on 28th March 2023


Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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