“Let's stop criticizing our banks!”

More than ten years after the subprime mortgage crisis, all the light has not been shed, and yet the idea of ​​the guilt of the banks has taken hold firmly in people's minds. They are even blamed for the double fault, since after playing with fire and triggering the crisis, they allegedly asked for help from the States. This unanimous condemnation, the result of incomplete analyzes, is a heavy component of the bank bashing that has raged since then and unfortunately works against our interests. We are indeed at a critical moment when Europe, faced with the domination of American finance and the dollar, must develop its own financial capacities. The development of a strong pan-European financial sector is therefore essential if we particularly want to foster the emergence of future European gafas. 
If it is vain to hope for the complete disappearance of this bank bashing and, one might say, of the bashing market whose roots plunge both in history and in ignor…

PayDunya, the fintech that aims to become the next African Paypal

 While m-payment remains dominated by English-speaking players, PayDunya, the Senegalese fintech intends to impose itself on the West African market, before conquering the rest of the continent. Inclusiveness and security are the watchwords of the startup, which is increasing the number of digital solutions adapted to a particularly underbanked local ecosystem. 

"Our PayDunya platform is intended to strengthen the African digital ecosystem by supporting the digital transformation of businesses, whether formal or informal, and financial institutions," said Aziz Yerima, CEO and co-founder of PayDunya. Launched in 2015 by Youma Fall (Senegal), Christian Palouki (Togo) and Honoré Hounwanou (Ivory Coast) and Aziz Yerima (Benin), the idea of ​​creating this fintech was born on the benches of the university.

“In 2013, I participated in helping a women's GIE in Pikine, as part of a student association. We designed a website for them, but we were not able to pay for the hosting of the site because we did not have a credit card (…) We then tried to integrate Paypal on the site for customers of the diaspora, but again we faced a wall because we didn't have a bank account in a western country. At that point, I realized how much we were excluded from online payment financial services, ”Aziz Yerima explains in retrospect. "Yet even my grandmother has a cell phone so today any African can access e-payment," he continues.

The “PayDunya” adventure (“Pay” as payment in English and “Dunya” as world in Arabic) was not easy, both in terms of partnerships with banks, mobile money and transfer operators. money, only at the level of companies that had to be convinced of the merits of this digital migration. In addition, the startup also had to deal with human resources still too scarce in the field of fintech, on the continent. Nevertheless 5 years later, the results are there. “We have 600 active client companies. For the year 2020, we are reaching an average of 50,000 transactions per day with peaks of 65,000 transactions, "says the young entrepreneur. FinTech employs 54 people of around ten nationalities and recorded a turnover of € 2.5 million in 2019. 

Multiple security guarantees

According to a study carried out by PayDunya carried out on the eve of the COVID-19 crisis in Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal, despite the alternative solutions to low banking rates at the regional level, nearly 47% of people questioned remain reluctant to digital means of payment. "In Africa, when we talk about the Internet, we instantly think of the phenomenon of grazers [crooks 2.0, note] and mobile money scams. This raises some concerns ”explains Aziz Yerima.

A study published earlier this year by DataProtect in Morocco, revealed that sub-Saharan banks were particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks, estimating the cost of cybercrime at 3.5 billion euros in Africa (528 billion euros worldwide ). Of the 148 banks questioned in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) as well as in Central Africa (Gabon, Congo and DRC), more than 85% declared having already been victims of cyber attacks, including bank and phishing cards (in about 30% of cases).

In order to convince the greatest number of users, the startup has placed the emphasis on security, through its PayDunyaSecure program for all operations. Among the security protocols put forward by the company, Tokenization, Time Out, OTP (One Time Password), All Or Nothing, API keys, Checksum, PayDunya PAL, are all measures taken by the company, to reassure customers worried and convince prospects. "We should obtain the highest standard in terms of securing financial transactions, PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) by next November," said Aziz Yerima.

PayDunya: a Paypal for Africa?

“Paypal may have been created by an African, but not for the African market” (Elon Musk, born in South Africa), explains Aziz Yerima who sees there a niche to be taken. “Our ambition is pan-African and we must create our own model,” he explains. “We were originally inspired by Paypal (…) We started with mobile money before launching payment services by bank cards. We then developed physical means of payment through a network of partner shops. We are gradually expanding our range of solutions ”.

To date, we offer Webpay (receiving payment on the website), Mobpay (receiving payments on a mobile application), DmP (sending invoices by email or SMS), Collect (recurring and automated payment collection) services. by emails and SMS) and Push which allows thousands of people to be paid in 1 click on their mobile money accounts, their bank accounts or in cash. Recently, with Social Shop, business customers can create their e-store on social networks, in 5 minutes.

"There are no large international groups such as Paypal in Africa, because on a continent where the banking rate is around 10%, the African market remains very limited" analyzes Aziz Yerima. However, the situation has been evolving over the past 5 years, without "having achieved this economy of scale which would make Africa attractive for these big players", he adds. With an e-commerce penetration rate of 2% to 3% on average on the continent (15% to 18% in Asia), the sector nevertheless offers good prospects. 



“We need to create our own model, just like what happened in China. Social Shop - our click and pay solution - is one of the African solutions we offer. We are also developing “offline to online” through our network of partner shopkeepers ”adds Aziz Yerima, specifying that“ everything is free with us. We only get paid if there is a successful transaction to which we apply a percentage, much like Paypal. We charge between 1.5% to 3% ”. For each customer, PayDunya offers tailored support as well as a precise development plan.

Among its successes, fintech has supported Fabellashop, one of the leading cosmetics sites in Senegal. Present in Côte d'Ivoire, Benin and Senegal, the startup will arrive in Mali and Burkina Faso by the end of the year. Finally, despite the health context that has disrupted PayDunya's development prospects, the startup aims to be present in around twenty countries in the medium term, including in the English-speaking regions of Africa.

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