Zimbabwean blockchain startup, Flex ID. and South African WhatsApp-based remittance platform, Uhuru Wallet, have announced the launch of an ‘integrated digital identity and remittance platform’ targeting millions of Zimbabwean immigrants residing in South Africa.
The two startups termed this as the first cross-chain collaboration.
Flex ID, co-founded by serial entrepreneur, Victor Mapunga, works on the Algorand blockchain, while Uhuru Wallet is built on the Stellar blockchain.
“We are excited to partner with FlexID to offer our customers a more streamlined and secure remittance experience. By combining our strengths in digital identity and remittance services, we can better serve the needs of Zimbabwean immigrants in South Africa,” said Uhuru Wallet CEO and founder. Trust Jakarasi.
Uhuru Wallet, which launched in 2020, is a convenient and efficient payment method running on WhatsApp, and anchored on blockchain technology, that enables people to transact easily and intuitively.
Some of its features include:
- P2P transactions
- B2C transactions
- Escrow services
- eCommerce services
- Cash-in and cash-out options
- Bill Avon, INUKA, DSTV, lottery payments
- Airtime purchases
BitKE had a chat with the Co-Founder of Uhuru Wallet discussing the product and the reasons behind building the product.
The integrated platform is expected to provide a seamless and secure remittance experience for Zimbabwean immigrants.
The 2 startups also plan to address pertinent problems faced by immigrants, such high sending fees, limited access to formal financial services, as well as identity verification issues.
“By leveraging blockchain technology, we can provide a secure and efficient way for users to verify their identity and access financial services, no matter where they are,” Victor Mapunga, the CEO of Flex ID, said.
Funded by Algorand in 2022, FLex ID is creating a self-sovereign identity platform which is a digital identity network to address the problem of many poor people lacking identification in some parts of Africa.
According to the World Bank, monthly remittances from South Africa to Zimbabwe, which occur through both formal and informal channels, amount to between US$30 million to US$60 million and constitute more than 10% of the country’s GDP.
There are over one million Zimbabweans living in South Africa.
4 out of 5 diasporan Zimbabweans living in South Africa.
At present, the average cost of sending money from South Africa is 7%, which is in line with the global average of 6%.