BY CHISOM NWATU
Appzone, the sub-Saharan Africa payment infrastructure company, has been granted an approval-in-principle by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to carry out its operations under the switching and processing licence category, the company said in a statement made available to finance and business intelligence portal, businessamlive.com.
The approval will enable Appzone to expand its activities involving the offering of transaction switching and processing services that are currently offered to banks and fintechs through its block chain-based payment network, Zone, which it launched in December 2021.
Founded in 2008 as a fintech software engineering company, Zone has been adopted by over 16 commercial banks and payment services banks in Nigeria, and the company says it will now expand further to other financial institutions, fintechs, and commercial banks across Africa.
It is also known as the first private blockchain payment network that enables the direct flow of payments from bank to bank while authorising previously omitted financial organisations to participate.
Obi Emetarom, co-founder and chief executive officer, AppZone, on the issuance of the licence said: “We are excited about the issuance of the switching licence and we look forward to the progress it will enable for the payment and finance ecosystem. As a payment infrastructure company, we believe that this milestone will enable us to connect every financial store of value within Nigeria and link them to the rest of the world.”
The company said the development represents growth enabling it to create value for the company and other financial institutions in Nigeria.
The switching licence will permit the company to directly participate and cooperate with vital payment stakeholders such as the Nigeria Central Switch hosted by Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) and various card payment systems. It will enhance and enable Appzone to function on the same level as other tier-one financial technology and private switching companies.