Zazu, a Zambian fintech startup, has rolled out Union54, a network of fintech platforms that will facilitate real-time payments across Africa while offering each founding member equity.
Zazu is a money app that helps users including the unbanked to send, receive, pay and save and learn about money. Zazu has built a digital banking app connected to a debit card, with the startup’s contribution to Union54 being the product.
The multi-currency debit cards will be issued in countries by Union54 Founding Members. Speaking on the Pan African bank, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zazu, Perseus Mlambo said, “If successful, the move promises to effect a properly pan-African challenger bank capable of real-time cross-border payments.” “We have been directly approaching members for a while now, and we now have just under 10 under serious consideration – contracting will be happening later in the year,” he further stated.
The Union54 app will enable customers to create joint accounts, including saving groups, and perform real-time cross-border payments, along with other features to be expected from a financial services app. Founding Members are licensed to operate the brand and supported with technical and capital investment from Union54. “With Version 2 of the product, our goal is to leverage that scale by looking at turning cardholders into merchants and opening up our product suite to any business in Africa to integrate into our vast payment APIs,” Mlambo added.
Founding Members must have regulatory approvals in their markets, to issue cards, operate an Electronic Money Issuance business, or acquire electronic payments. They are also expected to cover collateral, calculated against expected volumes.
Zazu Africa Ltd was founded in 2015. Union54 comes after the startup secured US$1.4 million in funding late last year.