BitPesa and GBG: the evolution of payments in Africa

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.

What is BitPesa?

BitPesa is a digital foreign exchange and payment platform that utilises blockchain technology to allow companies and users to make payments to and from frontier markets. 

The Nairobi-based Fintech uses cryptocurrency for money transfers, which significantly lowers the cost and increases the speed of business payments.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.

How does BitPesa work?

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.

Identity Verification in BitPesa

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.

Automate your ongoing monitoring

Stay compliant and save time by automatically sending customers from initial screening to monitoring, with complete flexibility.