Fintech software provider, Appzone rebrands to ‘Zone,’ a blockchain payment infrastructure company

Ganiu Oloruntade

Appzone, a Nigerian fintech software provider, has rebranded to “Zone”, a regulated blockchain payment infrastructure company, according to a statement shared with Technext on Tuesday.

In line with the rebrand, the company has built Africa’s first layer-1 blockchain network, which will enable payments and the acceptance of digital currencies for financial service providers globally, just as its regulated blockchain network will allow direct transaction flow between financial service providers without an intermediary.

According to the statement, Appzone is also pivoting from its cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) infrastructure to offer payment processing services that support both fiat money and digital currencies.

Founded in 2008 by Emeka EmetaromObi Emetarom, and Wale Onawunmi, Appzone began operations by offering custom software development services to commercial banks. It would evolve into providing services in end-to-end automation of lending operations for banks and blockchain switching in 2020.

Nigerian fintech Appzone rebrands to blockchain payment infrastructure company
Appzone Co-Founders.

Last year, the company raised a $10 million Series A investment. Earlier in the year, Zone became the first payment infrastructure company based on blockchain to be licensed in Africa after it was issued a ‘payment Switching and Processing Licence‘ by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Read also: AppZone appoints Olayiwola Osoba as Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

Introducing Qore

Appzone’s rebrand will also see its Banking-as-a-Service business carved into a separate standalone company, known as Qore, which will be led by some members of its elite leadership team, including Emeka Emetarom, Co-founder & Executive Director of Appzone and Mudiaga Umukoro, Co-founder & CEO of Appzone’s subsidiary, Appzone Core.

Speaking on the rebrand, Zone Co-founder and CEO Obi Emetarom disclosed that the transition means the company is utilizing the power of blockchain technology to enable “reliable, frictionless and universally interoperable payments”.

Zone Co-founder and CEO, Obi Emetarom.

“In doing this, we are building one global network to pay anyone through any means, in any currency, which will ultimately maximise financial inclusion and accelerate economic prosperity for Africa and the rest of the world,” he said.

According to Co-founder and CTO for Zone, Wale Onawunmi, the company has always been an early adopter of innovative technology with the potential for the finance industry.

Our next-generation decentralised payment technology, which is the first of its kind, will challenge the status quo and become the future of payments for the world. We are encouraged by the pace of adoption we have seen so far and remain passionate about enabling financial services providers to reach their full potential

Wale Onawunmi, co-founder and CTO

Blockchain to the rescue

The payments market in Africa boasts enormous potential, thanks to the fact that cash is still king on the African streets. According to the United Nations, Africa’s population will grow to approximately 1.7 billion in 2030, with a potential for $91 billion in cross-border payments and a retail value of over $1.5 trillion.

To solve the remittance problem, Zone is using blockchain technology to completely digitise and decentralise payments, thereby paving the way for a cashless society where payments transcend borders.

Speaking at the second edition of Technext Coinference held in October 2022, Emetarom had noted that decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms allow everyone to own numerous digital assets using the blockchain wallet system. This, he said, will help any African to create and store wealth without direct inflationary effects that affect its value.

Related post: #TNC2022: “DeFi will solve the problem of financial inclusion in Africa”- Obi Emetarom.


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