BitPesa, the remittance service born out of Nairobi, Kenya, has partnered with Japan’s largest remittance service, SBI Remit, to enable cross border payments between Japan and Africa.
Speaking about the partnership, BitPesa’s CEO, Elizabeth Rossielo, said:
““Our fees are much lower than most banks’ transfer fees. 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 partnership is the first of its kind between SBI Remit, a subsidiary of SBI Group, and an African-based company. SBI Remit has helped pioneer financial services, especially on the internet, in Japan.
BitPesa’s Client Range
BitPesa, which started out in Nairobi, Kenya, has a vast client range that includes African businesses to multinational companies based out of China and UAE. The company offers supplier payments across a number of African countries that includes Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Senegal, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to Rossielo, there is a high demand for Japanese businesses to enter the African market. There are more than 400 registered Japanese businesses already active in Africa, including cosmetics, electronics heavy machinery and used cars.
“They need a more seamless way for the African customer to be able to pay them directly,” Rossiello said.
“While there is a growing interest in Africa, there is still a lot of hesitation due to market conditions and lack of hybrid financial infrastructure to support agile growth of businesses,” she said. “Through our partnership with SBI Remit, we have created a secure, fast and easy-to-use forex solution for Japanese companies to buy and sell eight frontier market currencies with G20 currencies including Japanese yen. Businesses can do this instantly from and to all major African bank and mobile money accounts.”
“Africa has become a strategic interest for SBI Group recently and we have been looking for innovative solutions to partner with and serve our customers better,” said Nobuo Ando, representative director of SBI Remit. “With the accelerating interest of collaboration between Japan and African countries, we will be able to leverage BitPesa’s expertise in the market and technological prowess in offering efficient FX solutions.”