Have you ever wanted to transfer money to someone in another country but seeing the transfer charges changed your mind? In this modern world where humans are more connected than ever, millions of people have cause to send or receive money to or from a foreign country. These transactions often take a few days to complete, and by the time the money gets to the recipient, transfer fees have eaten into its value.
In 2020 sub-Saharan African countries received remittances valued at up to $42 billion. This increased to $49 billion in 2021 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Remittances to low- and middle-income countries are expected to increase by 4.2% in 2022 to reach $630 billion in total, a figure higher than foreign direct investment and official aid flows.
In Nigeria, the biggest recipient of these funds, this increase is due in part to adopting bank policies that facilitate and encourage money transfer. Also, the increase in food prices in the past 5 years has inevitably led to a decrease in money value, i.e. more money is needed now to buy the same things. Sending money to African countries can cost an exorbitant amount.
According to available data, Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest average cost for sending remittances at a 7.8% charge on every $200 and currency conversion, and transfer fees take up to 6% of the total amount sent, globally.
Modern tech innovations and platforms have arisen to solve these transfer problems. Blockchain technology and other fintech innovations have created a world of multiple currencies and also faster and cheaper means of moving money.
One of such fintech innovations is Afriex, the multi-currency money transfer app. Founded by Tope Alabi and John Obirije in 2019, Afriex is a fintech startup that facilitates money transfers in any currency, from anywhere in the world.
With Afriex, users can deposit money into an account and transactions are completed in minutes either to a direct bank account or another Afriex account. It offers rates 25% cheaper than Western Union or MoneyGram, and users also have the option of sending and receiving cryptocurrency. While international transfer platforms are tethered to traditional banking systems which attract enormous third-party fees and delays, Afriex has built a cheaper system by arbitraging crypto rates. It buys crypto in one country and sells it in another for a better exchange rate.
Afriex is a blockchain-based fintech platform built on stablecoins. This means the funds deposited into Afriex are converted into stablecoins which are backed by the dollar. This makes transactions cheaper and faster.
Blockchain technology has opened up a world of inventions. With its decentralised system, access and control over tech are democratised. What this means is that with tech creating ease and becoming the future, blockchain technology is making this same ease and access to the future possible for any and everyone. Afriex is using blockchain technology’s decentralised system to democratise wealth creation and create access to resources for everyone equally.
An immigrant to the US himself, Tope Alabi witnessed firsthand the trouble with processing cross-border money transfers and he set out to solve this with blockchain technology. As intra-African migration continues to grow, with 21 million documented immigrant Africans living in another African country, Afriex is facilitating intra-African money transfer by solving the problems of access and cost.
Afriex is emerging at a time of fintech boom on the African continent. African fintechs have so far raised $700.14 million in funding this year alone and are the key drivers of financial inclusion for Africa’s unbanked population.
Crypto investment is highest in African and Asian countries worldwide, and 42% of Nigerians have a crypto investment. With low transaction fees and easy, safer and faster access, Afriex is penetrating the most inaccessible communities and creating financial inclusion for Africa’s unbanked population.
Afriex is facilitating intra-diasporan African money transfers and aid as well as international transfers. Diaspora remittances to low-income countries run in the billions making the countries dependent on these remittances. A large percentage of foreign remittances coming into Africa goes to aid families. Afriex is making intercontinental money transfers easier and thereby making aid easier to render and improving the economy as a whole.
Afriex has been growing fast since its inception. Initially operating in Nigeria and the US, they have since expanded to Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, UK, and Canada. With a partnership with Visa, Afriex now offers users credit and debit card transactions.
Afriex received $10 million in funding in April, led by Sequoia Capital China and Dragonfly Capital, and this funding adds to the $1.3 million it raised earlier in 2021 bringing its total funding so far to $11.3 million.
They have grown their user base by 500% in just 6 months and now process more than $5 million in monthly transfers.
Afriex is expanding across Africa and the globe and making financial transactions more inclusive for Africans. Download the app here to try out a fee-free transfer today.