Africa centered fee startup PalmPay will waive switch fees in Nigeria and offer direct payouts to customers who’ve contracted COVID-19 in the West African nation.
The venture — that started last year supported by China’s Transsion — has developed the PalmPay Support Fund. The initiative will start with 100 million Naira (≈ $300K) and offer individual funds of 100,000 Naira (≈ $250) to PalmPay customers who’ve contracted the coronavirus.
The startup will expand the fund’s value by offering a matching reward per customer transaction for at least one month. PalmPay will also extend the fund to provide grants to organizations working on coronavirus mitigation and assistance efforts in Nigeria.
On the structure of the initiative — and adding a matching function — PalmPay aims to develop interactivity with its clients on coronavirus aid efforts. “We want to provide aid and get our clients feeling that they’re adding something to it as well,” PalmPay CEO Greg Reeve said.
The company has developed a page on its app for applications and funds dispersal. PalmPay is working with Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control (NCDC) on a verification process to confirm those who apply have tested positive for COVID-19.
PalmPay’s initiative comes as COVID-19 has struck Africa’s biggest economies and the continent’s fintech platforms have been mobilized as tools to contain the spread.
Early in March, Africa’s coronavirus numbers by nation had been in the single digits, but by mid-month, those numbers had increased, leading the WHO’s Regional Director Dr. Matshidiso Moeti to raise the alarm.