Business Idea #2 – Location Agnostic Pan-African Remittance /Money Transfer

Business Idea #2 – Location Agnostic Pan-African Remittance /Money Transfer

This daily series focuses on business ideas for those looking to launch new ventures in Nigeria (and Africa in general). The short ideas are archived here.


Problem

Over the years, sending money from Europe/US into Africa has advanced. The transaction cost continues to drop as innovations and more players enter the sector. However, remittance/money transfer within Africa (i.e. from one African country to another) continues to be expensive and non-optimal.

In this videocast, I discuss the need to build a truly pan-African digital remittance/transfer banking product which is agnostic of location or currency in Africa. None of the products we have today meets that standard. Largely, I envisage a situation where all you need to buy and sell across Africa is one bank account in just one African Union country. With that, you do not have to even think about the specific currency of that account as technology will seamlessly make it possible to access other African markets for payments, transfer etc. The banks or fintech companies must still comply with all regulations related to inter-national transfers, forex etc. The only difference is that customers will not see them as they will be hidden with technology

Opportunity

African intra-trade is low partly because sending and receiving money within Africa is hard. Just as many airlines will need to take you to Europe [for a trip originating within Africa] before taking you to another African capital, most money going from one African capital to another does require passing through London or New York. There is a huge market opportunity to fix that business friction by improving efficiency, speed and cost.

Action Roadmap

Build a payment system and settlement networks using modern technologies like blockchain, mobile money, etc with capabilities to serve broad spectrum of customers across Africa.

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4 thoughts on “Business Idea #2 – Location Agnostic Pan-African Remittance /Money Transfer

  1. The elephant in the room which I think you didn’t talk about is that there is very little intra-african trade to begin with. This is the main reason why intra-african remmittances are the way they currently are. Things would have to improve significantly along those lines before an idea like this can work

    Reply
    1. Good observation but have you ever considered if the payment/transfer issues could be the reason why we have limited intra-trade in Africa? I know that in this blog, we have more than 20 people that wanted to pay from Uganda, Botswana etc but cannot since we support only Naira and USD. If you can fix this, you may possibly fix the intra-trade. It is the chicken and egg thing!

      Reply

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