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BitPesa and GBG: the evolution of payments in Africa

A post by Landry Yoder, Director, Business Development & Strategy at BitPesa, and Max Excell, Global Sales Manager at GBG.

BitPesa is applying their advanced technology to open new payment corridors between Africa and the world, making it easier to do business throughout the continent.

Currently, a range of forward-thinking companies are busy redefining the way money moves across borders. Africa, with its inefficient financial infrastructure, is particularly ripe for applying this payment innovation. Historically, people doing business and trade in Sub-Saharan Africa have struggled to find a low-cost, reliable solution for B2B payments. Just a few years ago, overseas payments often took weeks to settle, and would rack up fees well over 10%. Today, BitPesa is applying their advanced technology to open new payment corridors between Africa and the world, making it easier to do business throughout the continent.

Founded in 2013, BitPesa offers the fastest and most cost-effective way to make and receive payments in African currencies. Their leading technology platform currently drives payments in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and DRC, integrating with banks and mobile money. With subsidiaries across Africa and the UK, and licensing by the FCA, the company was the first to make a market between digital and flat currencies in the region.

BitPesa’s Business Payment Platform uses cutting-edge blockchain technology to increase efficiency across markets. Organisations can send payments to employees, distributors, or suppliers, as well as collect payments from African customers in every local currency. Payment methods include popular mobile money services as well as delivery to an organisation’s national or international bank account on the same day.

Such speed and transaction efficiency relies heavily on a robust user verification process, including the ability to know, with 100% confidence, that a customer is who they truly say they are.

From the onset, GBG - a global specialist in Identity Data Intelligence - has provided BitPesa with identity verification services through its GBG ID3global platform. Using ID3global, BitPesa automates their customer sign-up process, and runs enhanced anti-money laundering checks; including screening against politically exposed persons (PEPs) and sanctions lists. The platform screens against 300,000 unique identity profiles from over 240 countries and territories, and runs enhanced sanctions checks against more than 220 Global Sanctions and Law Enforcement lists, all in real-time. This significantly drives down the number of good customers who may be mistakenly rejected, reducing delays and increasing BitPesa’s bottom line.

As part of this ongoing partnership, GBG is now able to announce the additional provision of continuous monitoring services. With the introduction of GBG’s ongoing monitoring solution, BitPesa continuously monitors their client database for any changes in their PEP, sanction, adverse media and disqualified director status. Potential matches are provided in a detailed investigation and weblinks in PDF format. The solution is invaluable in ensuring BitPesa is up to date with regulatory requirements.

This is an exciting time for both companies. With GBG’s advanced global verification services and expertise in digital currencies, BitPesa plans to build on their growing success with bitcoin-orientated services in Africa.

About GBG

GBG is a global specialist in Identity Data Intelligence. We help organisations make decisions about the customers they serve and the people they employ.

Through our fundamental belief that the digital economy relies on everyone having access to data they can trust, GBG enables companies and governments to fight fraud and cybercrime, to improve the customer experience and help to protect the more vulnerable people in our society.

Headquartered in Chester (UK) and with 21 locations in 13 countries, GBG provides solutions to many of the world’s biggest organisations, from established brands like Nike and Harrods to disruptive newcomers such as Stripe.

Find out more about how we use identity data intelligently by visiting www.gbgplc.com, following us on Twitter @gbgplc and reading our blog: www.gbgplc.com/uk/blog

About BitPesa

BitPesa lets people buy and sell African currencies at the best rates, with settlement directly to and from African bank and mobile money accounts. Businesses and traders can now make quick, low-cost and easy payments to and from East, Central and West Africa without the stress and cost of international bank wires and multiple broker trades.

Make a payment from EUR in Copenhagen to CDF in Kinshasa in a few minutes -- without using the USD as a middle currency. Pay a Chinese importer in Hong Kong from a Naira account in Lagos instantly with full security. Sell your BTC from Canada and receive payout to a Kenyan bank account at the best price.

BitPesa connects to a network of international brokers that use bitcoin to settle instantly.  BitPesa has the deepest liquidity and local presence in all of the major markets in sub-Saharan Africa.

Find out more by visiting www.bitpesa.co