16 Dec Talking African Payments - Bitcoin, Stacking Sats, MTN Mobile Money: Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria

African payments

Talking Africa and payments - Africa is becoming a dynamically interesting place for eCommerce businesses to explore and evolve. I have had a few recent conversations that give us an idea of how the African payments landscape could radically change.  Africans are very accomplished mobile users and love money and digitalisation.  

I had an interesting breakfast with two cryptopreneurs.

Matt https://twitter.com/21isenough has built a coin vending machine (CryptoATM) using Lightning Network.  This fascinating box can be deployed in stores worldwide and it is his wish for it to introduce and educate people on the streets to bitcoin.  You can put your change or left over coins in the slot and scan the bitcoin/satoshis to your phone instantly. Your win is measured in satoshis, the currency of the future - so you give a few cents and you get back a lot of sats!  A lovely play on fiat to crypto starting at grass roots. Can you imagine African consumers going to their local spaza shop and swopping fiat for crypto as an investment or to move from the traditional fiat economy to a digital one where transactions can be done simple and cost-effectively between walletholders - so digital, so smooth, so simple

My friend Ruben https://twitter.com/watermaniak provides a service for weekly or monthly purchases of crypto. You can sign up on  https://www.getbittr.com/.  He has 2500 customers stacking sats to an average value of 50 euros a week or a month.  Providing a very useful and necessary service to the community. The bitcoin get sent to the address of your choice and he has some exciting developments in the pipeline for storing and viewing your sats. What a lovely possibility.  Imagine us enabling African mobile payment methods and African consumers stacking sats on a weekly or monthly basis, as a hedge against depreciating fiat, and the ability to send them around the world for next to nothing.  

And then I had a conversation with Zeek the Geek my daughters boyfriend on how he thinks identity combined with crypto will become an incredibly effective and useful way to engage and pay anonymously.   Think about how you could book an Airbbnb and they don‘t know who you are but you have a confidential digital ID and can share your “trustworthiness” rating so Airbnb and the houseowner know you have a good track record.  A smart contract between parties automatically pays when you enter the house and a “bond” that is reserved to make sure you don’t do anything stupid which is again automatically released on an agreed trigger. How could these and streaming money be applied to African eCommerce and payments to make our interactions simply-super-effective?

Back to the "real" world!  We had conversations today with our online payments parties to get MTN MOMO mobile online payment working in Ghana so we can do direct transactions for MTN mobile money for our multinational eCommerce merchants. MOMO is a new gateway operation being released by MTN across the continent.   Progress! Things in Africa can take some time, but we get them right in the end. We are knitting together a web and network of online payments across the African continent to provide a nice and simple online payments service for our international customers.  

Well!  Contact us if we can help you get paid  in the African eCommerce hubs of South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria and other countries where you have a need.  We will take the pain out of it for you and line up whatever we can to get your African expansion off the ground from an online payments perspective.