PawaPass Partners With Mchezo To Facilitate $2 Million Share Distribution To BetPawa Customers

PawaPass, a regtech platform providing user verification and compliance solutions for African businesses, has forged a landmark partnership with sports and technology brand Mchezo. This collaboration will launch an economic inclusion initiative, facilitating the deployment of $2 million worth of shares to over 200,000 betPawa’s committed customer base. This news follows pawaPass’s recent acquisition of a Trust & Corporate Service Provider [TCSP] licence from the Rwandan Central Bank [BNR], which will ensure a secure and compliant execution of the mass share distribution. 

Started in 2022 by Sylvia Brune, pawaPass is revolutionising online fraud and abuse prevention in Africa with a unique combination of low-touch data points, non-ID-based user verification, and highly accurate anti-duplication technology. With its cutting-edge face and document verification tool that meets the highest security and encryption standards, pawaPass is well-positioned to manage the secure custody of shares. This initiative will empower end-consumers across 11 African markets, for the Mchezo-owned sports betting brand betPawa. Since early 2022, pawaPass and Mchezo have engaged in developing a state-of-the-art solution to redefine economic inclusion within the African market and will roll out this month.

The TCSP licence, introduced by the Rwandan Central Bank in September 2022, affirms pawaPass’ adherence to rigorous security, governance and compliance standards within the local and international regulatory landscape. Each application undergoes a rigorous review process, typically concluded within a month, ensuring companies that meet the criteria are granted this credential. With this licence, pawaPass gains reinforced authority to safeguard and manage assets on behalf of third parties, an essential function in administering the share distribution for betPawa customers.

Speaking on the partnership, Sylvia Brune, CEO of pawaPass, said, “Conventionally, the process of onboarding investors and safeguarding assets in line with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) standards is a costly and manual process that makes it impossible for micro-shareholders to own digital assets like shares. In our quest to make this process more efficient and scalable, we ended up embarking on the TCSP licensing journey to create a bespoke solution for Mchezo that both verifies those selected to become micro-shareholders and safeguards their shares.

“By making the process more inclusive and scalable, we have opened up the door for more inclusive investment opportunities, enabling hundreds of thousands to participate in the economic landscape with confidence and ease.”

Kresten Buch, a Director at Mchezo, shared, “For years, we have wanted to make our loyal customers co-owners of the betPawa brand because they are the reason we exist. But doing this in a compliant, secure, and cost-effective way has been very difficult so we are excited that pawaPass has provided us with a way to finally make this possible.”

With nearly half of sub-Saharan Africa’s population lacking basic identity documents, individuals face significant challenges when trying to access and participate in the formal economy and the opportunities that it provides. pawaPass’ approach bridges this gap, enabling a demographic traditionally excluded from digital financial systems, to gain shareholder status. This is an important  step towards dismantling systemic barriers to economic inclusion, fostering a landscape where access to identification is no longer an essential requirement for financial empowerment.

Rwandan entrepreneur Malik Shaffy, who recently joined pawaPass as Board Director, commented, “Allocating approximately $10 of shares to over 200,000 people across multiple African markets demands solutions that are fraud and abuse-proof, but also scalable and inclusive. In response to rising online fraud and the growth of new internet users, we needed to create a simple yet fraud-proof biometric user verification system accompanied by a digital ‘safe’ designed to oversee the safeguarding of shares. As a result, individuals with the most basic smartphones and lacking access to official identification can confidently own and access their assets without compromising security. As an entrepreneur, the drive to build innovative solutions that protect and include all is what excited me to join the PawaPass board.” 

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