13 Nov Binance Comes To Africa (Part 1) - What Does This Mean For Online Payments Across Africa?

I wonder how online payments are going to be affected and disrupted across Africa over the next five years.  It could be that in five years time, eCommerce companies expanding across Africa have a new way of getting paid simply, non-jurisdictional and cross border.  

Could digital currencies, blockchain, smartcontracts change the way people pay and get paid?  Binance has chosen Africa to expand to starting with Uganda, now Nigeria, and South African and Kenya to follow shortly.  

Binance is the biggest exchange worldwide by volume and without a doubt the most progressive and innovative.  It would not surprise me if on the medium term Binance becomes a bank challenger providing deposits, lending, transfers, investment and payments.  Some of these are already capabilities on Binance’s global platform and could soon be rolled out to the African market.

When asked "Why Africa", in my own words, CZ the CEO said its because Africa has the need and is the best use case for digital currencies and improved financial inclusion and it would be highly beneficial for the 95 million unbanked to have access to financial services. In my opinion, Africa is a hotbed for innovation relating to paytech and payments.  

A network of Binance operations accepting local currency and the ability for locals to pay and get paid cross border will bring them into the world economy.  Africans have not traditionally warmed to card as much as they have to the simplicity and convenience of mobile payments. They are ripe and ready for extending this mobile friendly way of finance to digital money - a simple transition to money of the internet and a cross border node to node way of paying.  

Let us not underestimate the speed at which this transformation in payments is taking place.  Binance Uganda has 40,000 new customers within the first month of opening. Binance Uganda opened in June 2018 and Nigeria in September 2019.  I will not be surprised if by the end of 2020, Binance Kenya and South Africa are up and running. With this kind of speed to market there could be more countries live by the end of 2020.

The impact of this network of exchanges means that a network will have been created whereby individuals and businesses can hedge against their own local currency by investing in alternative currencies (like Bitcoin - the best performing asset over the past ten years), and if they are too volatile for your taste, Binance has cleverly introduced BUSD which is a digital version of USD.  Simple to take NGN and buy BUSD as a store of value. Easy to cash in and cash out.

Well, I’ve only started on this rant about how this development might transform the world of online payments but this article is already too long.  So! You will have to wait for the next instalment :)

In the meantime, if you are a multinational eCommerce merchant looking to get paid across this rapidly growing market of Africa and choosing a solid African payment provider then please click on this link and lets see how we can make life and business in Africa a simple and enjoyable experience for you and your business.