With the rising emigration from Nigeria creating what has now become ‘japa’ trend, the need for cross-border payments in Nigeria has become more pronounced.
From parents needing to send money for their children’s schooling abroad to Nigerian migrants abroad sending money to family and friends at home, the need keeps growing.
Aside from that, the demand for efficient cross-border payment solutions in Nigeria has been on the rise, driven by the country’s expanding international trade, increasing diaspora remittances, and the growing number of Nigerian businesses with global operations.
It is, therefore, not surprising that many companies have seen huge business opportunities in this area and are responding to these needs.
The need to break the currency barrier and facilitate easy trade among African countries prompted African countries to come together and develop the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), which is still being finetuned. PAPSS is expected to facilitate faster and cheaper cross-border payments between African countries.
While the issue of cost and availability had been a major challenge to cross-border payments in Nigeria and across Africa, the entry of fintechs into this ecosystem is driving a change.
Aside from reduced costs compared with the past, cross-border payments are now easier and faster thanks to these new players.
Here are some of the top platforms in Nigeria facilitating cross-border payments across Africa and globally:
Send by Flutterwave is a cross-border payment platform that allows users to send money to over 30 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and several countries in Europe and Africa.
First launched in 2021, the money transfer solution was re-launched in August this year with an addition of support for transfers from the US and Canada and the addition of new recipient countries which include Egypt and Senegal.
According to Flutterwave, Send is a remittance solution built on its cross-border experience and global payment infrastructure reach. The exchange rate used for all transactions is determined on a daily basis and is based on prevailing market rates for the day.
Built to help immigrants send money easily; Afriex is a money transfer app that is specifically designed for fast and free cross-border transfers especially to and from Africa.
The app allows you to send money to over seven countries including the US, UK, Canada, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, and Kenya.
Recipients get the money directly in their bank accounts or wallets in their local currencies. Afriex also supports mobile money transfers, which is a popular payment method in many African countries.
Money can be sent from the app through a debit card, bank account, or to other Afriex users. Afriex does not charge for transfers, but charges for withdrawals.
The maximum amount you can send in a day is $3,000. The Nigerian blockchain-based transfer app was founded in 2019 by Tope Alabi and John Obirije.
LemFi formerly known as Lemonade Finance is a digital bank for the African diaspora. The financial technology company provides users with accounts in their country of residence and country of origin for personal and business banking needs.
Users of the Lemonade app can send and receive money from over 20 countries (which include Canada, the UK, the US, Ghana, Nigeria, and Uganda) at zero fees. The YC-backed startup was founded in 2020 by Olalere Ridwan and Rian Cochran. Lemonade has a weekly transfer limit of £5,000 ($5,906), which is an average of $846 daily.
Africhange is a money transfer platform that provides users with an easy way to send money to and from across Africa and North America. Currently, Africhange caters to individuals in Canada, Nigeria, and Australia, enabling swift and cost-effective money transfers between these nations. The company said its ultimate aim is to expand its operations to encompass every region and country across the globe.
The cross-border payment platform was founded by Tega Ogigirigi in December 2020. Africhange boasts of swift transactions and the best exchange rates for users on the platform.
Payday is a remittance App that enables swift borderless online payment services for Africa. The app was launched in July 2021 by Favour Ori and Dr. Rex Idaminabo. Though popular for its virtual card service, Payday said it was established to make cross-border payments easier for Africans.
With Payday, you can create virtual USD, GBP, and EUR accounts to receive payments and create virtual cards in minutes. This way, you can shop online very easily and send and receive money faster without worrying about exorbitant fees. Payday’s currency swap allows you to instantly convert your USD, GBP, or EUR to any of the supported African currencies.
Although available to all Africans, the app is headquartered in Rwanda and located in Canada, the USA, and the UK.
Grey Finance is a Nigerian fintech company founded in July 2021 by Idorenyin Obong (CEO) and Femi Aghedo (COO) as an instant exchange service. Grey Finance provides foreign banking services to Nigerians, Kenyans, and Tanzanians. According to Obong, with Grey, sending or receiving payments should be the least of worries for freelancers, remote workers, or digital nomads.
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