14/06/2024
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Crypto-Powered Cross-Border Payments in Africa: A Key Driver for Trade and Inclusion

Africa is a continent with immense potential for economic growth and development, but also faces significant challenges in facilitating trade and financial inclusion. One of the major obstacles is the lack of efficient and affordable cross-border payment systems, which hampers the movement of goods, services, and money across the continent.

According to a McKinsey report, only 5 to 7 percent of all payment transactions in Africa are made via electronic or digital channels, compared with 50 percent or more in Turkey. This means that most cross-border payments are still made through cash or informal channels, which are costly, slow, risky, and often inaccessible to many segments of the population.

However, the situation is changing rapidly as Africa embraces innovation and technology to transform its payment landscape. The report also states that in 2020, Africa’s e-payments industry generated approximately $24 billion in revenues, of which about $15 billion was domestic electronic payments. The domestic e-payments market is expected to grow by approximately 20 percent per year, reaching around $40 billion by 2025.

With this understanding, Yellow Card launched a new product at the end of 2022, Yellow Pay, a seamless and secure way to send and receive money across African borders using crypto instantly. When it first launched, it was only available in a few countries, but by January, it had gained traction and is currently available in 16 African countries, including Nigeria, Botswana, Zambia, South Africa, Cameroon, and Kenya.

This product removes the hassle of converting funds and hidden charges when making payments to loved ones in other African countries. With a few clicks of a button, customers can seamlessly convert their local currency into crypto and send it to their loved ones in a different country, who will instantly receive it converted into their local currency..”

Yellow Pay uses Yellow Card’s crypto exchange platform to complete customer transactions in USDT leveraging the Blockchain. Just as stated in the Mckinsey report, it is expected that cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and CBDCs will have material effects on the outlook for e-payments in Africa, given the promising use cases and the historical tendency of Africa to embrace innovation at scale and leapfrog into the future.

Speaking to Peter Mureu, the Director of Marketing at Yellow Card, about the unique value proposition of this product, he stated that “the affordability and speed are a major game-changer”.

The impact and importance of cross-border payments in Africa cannot be overstated. Cross-border payments help facilitate international trade, which boosts economic growth, creates jobs, reduces poverty, and fosters regional integration. Cross-border payments also help promote financial inclusion, which empowers individuals and businesses to access financial services, save money, invest in opportunities, and improve their livelihoods.

“This is more than just a money transfer service – it’s a powerful tool that will unlock new opportunities for people across Africa,” said Chris Maurice, CEO and co-founder of Yellow Card. “By enabling instant, low-cost transactions across borders, we are helping to create a more connected and dynamic Africa”.

As Africa continues to innovate and adopt new technologies to improve its payment systems, it is poised to become a global leader in e-payments and a model for other regions to follow. The future of payments in Africa is bright and promising.

Source: Yellow Card

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