PAL, a Ghanaian fintech startup, has created a proprietary payment processing platform that allows financial institutions, banks, worldwide brands, and remittance companies to immediately send money to various mobile network wallets in several currencies.
It provides this service as an open API with a web interface that can be used for inbound remittance, payment, loans, and other financial services by governments, banks, financial institutions, and large brands all over the world to disburse cash in multiple currencies instantly and at a low cost to mobile wallets in Africa.
“Many African countries do not have the proper payment infrastructure built to connect unbanked individuals owning mobile wallets to the international financial stream. In some countries where the infrastructure is in place, it is challenging to deal with the telecoms and can take three to seven months before getting the API,” Maël said.
PAL was founded in January 2020 by Dady Maël and Kader Saka. It creates its payment infrastructure for cash-in and cash-out to a mobile wallet, without the need for a third-party technology component integration.
MFS Africa and Zeepay are two African firms tackling this problem, but Mael claims they take the technical integrations from telecom operators and combine them into one API for enterprises. Meanwhile, PAL is constructing the entire infrastructure.
Despite being bootstrapped to date, the company is now operational in Ghana and Benin, with plans to expand into four more countries — Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, and Senegal – soon.“We have seen a huge interest from companies willing to access the Benin market, and have started working with them. Benin has received more than US$200 million in 2017 from other countries, and has seen significant growth in the last two years and the arrival of COVID-19,” Maël said.
PAL has already connected 80 million mobile wallets to its proprietary payment system and obtained a mobile money distribution license. The reason is, that it charges a small percentage fee on every transaction made via its platform.
“We have 11 companies onboard from Benin, Ghana, the US, Nigeria, and France, and we have done a total of 50,000 transactions,” Maël said.