Opinions

Bitpesa Opens Financial Corridor to Africa

SBI Remit and Bitpesa join hands to transform African markets

BitPesa, a Kenyan digital foreign exchange and payment platform for frontier markets teams up with money transfer giant SBI Remit to allow African people to tap into Japanese markets.

The traditional financial transaction method involves the extensive process of converting local currency into US dollars, passing it through multiple banks, and then converting it back into its destination currency.

The recent development from Bitpesa changes that. Using blockchain, it cuts out all the middlemen, saves on conversion and transfer fees by direct transfer to the destined account.

This allows people from Africa, a major market often overlooked, to deposit funds directly to BitPesa’s bank account using their local currency.

Bitpesa claims that using blockchain for a payment platform is not only cost effective but also time preserving. Time taken by BitPesa is as little as 1-24 hours while we all know how exhausting the process of traditional transactions is.

Founded by Elizabeth Rosiello in 2013, BitPesa was the first company to leverage digital currency to significantly lower the cost of making remittance and business payments to and from sub-Saharan Africa. BitPesa is now a prime contestant for market making in every major African currency and facilitates payments into G20 currencies directly. It is licensed by both the Financial Conduct Authority in the U.K. and by the Bank of Spain to operate in the European Union, currently operates in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and DRC but now that they have broken into African markets will definitely be looking for more partnerships in other international regions.

Below are Elizabeth’s comments on the recent development:

Using SBI Remit’s payout network, we transfer the money to SBI Remit, and they can pay out to their large Japanese network….They don’t need to do any conversion….Our fees are much lower than most banks’ transfer fees.

Let’s move to SBI Remit. Founded in 2010 from fintech giant Softbank, SBI Remit now has 450,000 customers, 90% of which are foreigners sending money outside of Japan’s borders. SBI Remit also partnered with Ripple to launch SBI Ripple Asia which is now providing a next-generation payment platform powered by Distributed Ledger Technology to financial institutions and remittance transfer providers in Asia as a joint venture of SBI Holdings and Ripple Labs.

In January 2018 SBI Remit launched a blockchain and artificial intelligence fund with 50 billion yen to invest in startups over the next ten years. The company has also been registered as Virtual Currency Exchange Service Provider since 2017.

This partnership not only brings Africa and Japan closer but also creates the harmony necessary for free market trade between continents that have long since been struggling to effectively help in making the world sphere a single unit.

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Sarim Mehmood

An electrical engineer to be. Sarim is a blockchain & crypto enthusiast and an early investor in ETH and Ethereum based projects. Email: sarim@blockpublisher.com or contact the editor at editor.opinions@blockpublisher.com

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