BitPesa, SBI Remit Partner for Blockchain Cross-Border Payments Between Japan And Africa


BitPesa, a digital foreign exchange and payment platform that leverages blockchain settlement to significantly lower the cost and increase the speed of business payments to and from frontier markets has partnered with Japan’s remittance firm SBI Remit to make it easier for Africans to buy Japanese products.

Using blockchain technology, the two firms aim to reduce friction, improve efficiency and interoperability for cross-border payments between Japan and Africa.

According to Elizabeth Rossiello, founder and CEO of Bitpesa: “Our fees are much lower than most banks’ transfer fees.” In addition, the transfer happens much faster than the two weeks it would take most banks, depending on the amount. Using SBI Remit’s payout network, we transfer the money to SBI Remit, and they can pay out to their large Japanese network. There is a flow of funds by Africans to Japan.”

The two firms will focus on industries such as Japanese used car dealers, Japanese cosmetics and electronics and used cars. The deal aims to simplify cross-border payments and reduce the forex risk between Japanese exporters and African buyers. BitPesa has operations in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, markets which heavily import from Japan. These deal solves major challenges and improves trade between the two continents.

Launched in Nairobi, BitPesa now has offices in Lagos, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, and Dakar, BitPesa standardizes global payments so you can instantly make payments to individuals, workers, or for your business service needs with a single transaction. Using BitPesa, organisations can now take control of their payments to employees, distributors, or suppliers, as well as collect payments from African customers. This includes payment from popular mobile money services as well as delivery to an organisation’s national or international bank account on the same day. The firm offers businesses the fastest and most cost-efficient way to make and receive payments in African currencies.

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In November 2016, BitPesa introduced transfers between Africa and China to allow businesses to send or receive payments faster and cheaper than anywhere else. With this integration, firms could make a direct payment in their local currencies directly from African bank accounts to Chinese bank accounts. According to BitPesa, it offers low-cost, instant payments from Nigerian Naira and Ugandan Shillings directly into Chinese Yuan compared to any other method of sending payments from Africa to China.

In February this year, BitPesa acquired TransferZero, an international, online money transfer platform that specializes in sending money to consumers and companies in 200 countries using over 50 different currencies. The deal gave BitPesa the ability to plant deeper roots through UK and European licensing, bank accounts, and integrations.

TransferZero has network integrations on four continents, and a team with decades of experience working with enterprise clients in need of global payment solutions. This deal with SBI Japan opens up the world to merchants in Africa as they now have both China, Japan and Europe on the platform.

BitPesa is a market-maker in every major African currency and opens corridors for business payments and trade between frontier markets and the rest of the world. Founded in 2013, BitPesa was the first blockchain company to be licensed by the UK’s Financial Conduct
Authority and follows stringent KYC practices.

BitPesa services frontier market businesses and multinationals paying suppliers as far as China and UAE, as well as cryptocurrency traders. It’s API also enables international remittance companies to send white-label payments to dozens of bank networks and mobile money operators across Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, and the DRC.