Africa focused payment startup PalmPay has waived transfer fees in Nigeria and is offering direct payouts to customers who have contracted COVID-19 in the country, according to Tech Crunch.
Launched in 2019, and backed by Chinese mobile-phone manufacturer Transsion, PalmPay has created the PalmPay Support Fund. The initiative will start with around $300-thousand (100-million Naira) and offer individual payments of around $250 (100,000 Naira) to any PalmPay customer who has contracted the virus.
The startup is planning to expand the fund’s value by providing a matching gift per customer transaction for at least one month. PalmPay will also extend the fund to offer grants to organizations working on coronavirus mitigation and assistance efforts in Nigeria.
PalmPay aims to create interactivity with its clients on coronavirus relief efforts. “We want to provide relief…and get our customers feeling that they’re adding something to it as well,” PalmPay CEO, Greg Reeve told TechCrunch.
To ease access to the fund, the company has created a page on its app for applications and funds dispersal. PalmPay is also working closely with Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control (NCDC) on a verification process to confirm those who apply have tested positive for COVID-19, says Reeve.
Nigerian Tech’s Reaction to the Virus
PalmPay’s initiative comes as COVID-19 has hit Africa’s largest economies and the continent’s fintech platforms have been mobilized as tools to stem the spread.
Early in March, Africa’s coronavirus numbers by country were in the single digits, but by mid-month those numbers had spiked, leading the World Health Organization’s Regional Director Dr. Matshidiso Moeti to sound an alarm.
Across Nigeria, other companies in the tech sphere have also launched initiatives to aid the ailing economy amidst the crisis.
A group of tech innovators have created a crowdfunding platform to receive and distribute relief funds to financially distressed Nigerians. They created We Are Together, a crowdfunded COVID-19 relief fund for the country. The website was set up in response to the socio-economic distress many Nigerians face as a result of the global pandemic and the efforts to control it.
This particular group of technopreneurs includes savants from Paystack, Hygeia HMO, Zedvance, Accounteer, Future Africa, Hotels.ng, Zoosk, and Bento.
Telecommunications service provider Airtel Nigeria recently committed $4.9-million towards the fight against COVID-19 in the country.
Finally, it is the NCDC that is repurposing HIV/AIDS and TB detection technologies to speed up and bolster coronavirus testing in the country.
Edited by Luis Monzon
Follow Luis Monzon on Twitter
Follow IT News Africa on Twitter