NALA, a Tanzanian fintech startup facilitating remittances from the African diaspora in the UK and US, has integrated Google Pay into its suite of payment options for users. With this announcement, NALA, currently on a three-week streak of announcing improvements to its product, is cementing itself as the first Tanzanian startup to enable a global payment service for users, and the first African startup to roll out Google Pay for all its customers. 

Following NALA’s integration of Apple Pay into its product last week, this addition of Google Pay expands the payout options for NALA’s customers in the diaspora, enabling them to choose either of the global payment services and transfer money to Africa in a blink.

In the United States alone, Google Pay and Apple Pay have about 70 million users combined, making them the go-to payment options in the country. This trend is mirrored in the UK payments scene. As such, NALA is drawing inspiration from the existing payment behaviours of its target users—the African diaspora in the UK and US—to develop its product. 

Google Pay enables safe, seamless, and contactless payments for users, using near-field communication (NFC) technology to facilitate transfers for retailers in physical stores. Users can also save their card details in Google Wallet and make online or in-app payments through the service. Google Pay is presently available across 42 countries to users with Android phones, tablets, or smartwatches. And with this integration, NALA joins African fintech unicorn, Flutterwave, as a payment enabler through Google Pay.

NALA’s integration with Google Pay comes seven months after the startup launched operations in the US with an event held in New York, attended by six members of the Tanzanian parliament. 

Speaking on the Google Pay integration, Benjamin Fernandes, NALA’s founder and CEO, said that NALA’s moves are geared towards connecting Africa with more global payment options while building a rich financial infrastructure for Africans.

“NALA’s mission is to increase economic opportunities for Africans globally; enabling Google Pay is a step towards connecting more global payment options with Africa. This reach allows us to build stronger financial infrastructure for Africans worldwide,” he said in a statement shared with TechCabal.

NALA Founder and CEO, Benjamin Fernandes, at Google London

NALA’s customers in the US and UK can access the Google Pay feature on the NALA app, which enables payout to over 300 banks and 20 mobile money operators in Africa. The Google-Pay-enabled remittances can be received in 5 African countries: Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Ghana. Nala also enables customers sending to Kenya to do more than remittances; they can also pay local bills directly through M-PESA’s PayBill feature.

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