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Tanzanian fintech  NALA to offer remittance services through its B2B platform Rafiki 

Tanzanian fintech NALA  is set to offer remittance services through its B2B platform Rafiki. The move is aimed to boost reliability for its app users and businesses making payments into and out of Africa.

Launched by Benjamin Fernandes in 2018 ,NALA, is a fintech startup that powers quick remittances from the UK and US to Africa. NALA started as a personal finance app to help Tanzanians and Ugandans to manage their finances. In 2021, Fernandes and his team expanded NALA’s vision and built a money transfer app for Africans in the diaspora who need to send money to their friends and families back home. 

According founder Benjamin Fernandes, the fintech has enabled users in the diaspora including the EU, U.K. and U.S. to send money to their loved ones across 249 banks and 26 mobile money services in 11 African markets through its consumer fintech app .For markets like Kenya, they have integrated with mobile money service M-Pesa enabling users living in the diaspora to pay local bills directly. However, building the service on the payment rails of other providers meant that the fintech could not guarantee dependability.

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The company has now developed its own platform that directly integrates with banks and mobile money providers. Dubbed  Rafiki, the B2B payment platform is intended to stem payout incidences, minimize user charges and ensure reliability.

“We built the Rafiki infrastructure, not by choice, but by the nature of the market. When we started, we were experiencing 15% failure rates from partners as we started to scale, and this affected our cost of operations massively. The only way to solve this problem was at the source, to get licenses and build payment and treasury infrastructure reliably,” said Fernandes .

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“We believe reliability is a premium in the market and an opportunity to enable global businesses to trade more effectively with Africa. We have split our teams at the company to operate Rafiki and Nala independently. We have signed a few large contracts with global payments and remittance companies, which we will be announcing in the next few months.”

The platform which is currently accessible to a select few, powers Nala’s consumer fintech app, the cross-border payments platform also targets global businesses making payments into and out of Africa.

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The global remittance and payroll companies integrating with Rafiki will allow direct deposits into their recipients’ mobile money wallets or bank accounts.

Nala also plans to venture into payments processing for businesses as part of its quest to solve a reliability “problem at scale for global businesses that want to trade with Africa.”

The company also hired ex-Wise staffer Andrei Klevtsov as its head of finance, and ex-Currency Cloud executives Will Staples and Jan Philippaerts as heads of Risk & Compliance and Operations. This team is expected spearhead the company’s expansion plans in new markets.

Milcah Lukhanyu
Milcah Lukhanyu
I cover tech news across Africa. Drop me an email at [email protected]

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