Strike partners with Bitnob to enable instant payments to Africa
Global digital payments platform, Strike has partnered with African payments platform Bitnob to enable instant payments to Africa.
By Anna B Kiwanuka
Digital payments platform built on Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, Strike has announced its partnership with African payments platform Bitnob to enable instant payments to Africa. Through the partnership, Strike is launching a feature enabling instant, low-cost payments to Africa. According to the press statement, Strike’s Send Globally is available to all Strike users in the U.S. starting on 6th December, with initial coverage for Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana.
According to Strike, the “Send Globally” feature improves the speed, affordability, and ease of payments to Africa, including in countries that have fewer available options for cross-border money transfers. Using the Lightning rails under the hood, Strike’s Send Globally feature provides users in the U.S. with a cheaper, faster, and more innovative way to make payments to Africa with no transaction fees. Payments are instantly converted into naira, cedi, or shillings, and deposited directly into a recipient’s bank, mobile money, or Bitnob account.
Commenting on the innovation, Jack Mallers, Founder and CEO of Strike stated, “High fees, slow settlement, and lack of innovation in cross-border payments have negatively impacted the developing world. With exorbitant fees to transfer funds in and out of Africa and incumbent providers halting services, payments companies are struggling to operate in Africa and people cannot send money home to their family members. Strike offers an opportunity for people to transfer their US dollars easily and instantly across borders”
Bernard Parah, Founder, and CEO of Bitnob also commented, “The current financial system isn’t set up in a way that ensures equal access for people and institutions from Africa. What we have built reduces the pressure on our financial institutions in sourcing USD liquidity. People can now easily exchange value from the US to people in Africa in the cheapest way possible. We can now save people sending money back home to Africa billions of USD in transfer fees.”
Solving cross-border payments into Africa using Bitcoin would be a major boost to local economies. In Nigeria alone, $17.2 billion was sent in remittances to the country in 2020. However, according to World Bank data, for every $200 sent in 2020, it cost the sender $17.8 (8.9 %). That equates to roughly $1.5 billion lost in fees, which is roughly the gross domestic product of Samoa.
If Nigeria were to eliminate remittance fees by using Bitcoin payment rails, Nigerians across the country would benefit financially. In Kenya and Ghana, the situation is similar. Thousands of Ghanaians and Kenyans live in the United States and regularly send money overseas. Crypto in Africa has surged in recent years, and remittance is one of the many reasons why.