Cellulant and NALA have announced a partnership with the aim to facilitate seamless cross-border payments, significantly reducing transaction fees for money sent from the UK and the US into Africa.
Besides Official Direct Assistance (ODA), remittances make up the second-largest source of external resources for Sub-saharan Africa. According to Cellulant’s report, in 2019, approximately $48 billion was remitted in Africa, with Nigeria receiving roughly 50% of this amount, followed by Ghana and Kenya.
The report also cited challenges for not only intra-African trade but trade between Africa and the rest of the world, as the high transaction fees cause a barrier to success in facilitating cross-border payments. Tanzania and Kenya are in the lead with the highest transaction charges at 17% and 21% respectively for every $200 sent.
Cellulant provides a single API payments platform, Tingg, that enables global, regional, and local businesses to collect payments online and offline while allowing anyone to pay from their mobile money, local and international cards, or directly from their bank. The platform powers payments for 220 million consumers on a single inclusive network, allowing interoperability across Africa.
NALA, a Y-Combinator-backed company, provides an app for Africans living in the United Kingdom and the United States to send money to the continent seamlessly. The App is currently active in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and Ghana with an interest in expanding into the Nigerian and Ethiopian markets.
Comments from the partners:
“Today, Sub-Saharan Africa is the most expensive region to transfer money into,” NALA’s Chief Operating Officer, Nicolai Eddy, said. “In Tanzania and across the African continent, there is a huge opportunity to harness technology to reduce payment fees and build next-generation payment and banking products. At NALA, we’ve built a completely digital platform for individuals and businesses based in the UK and US to send money to their friends, family, and employees in Africa. Cellulant is one of the early payment pioneers on the continent, and we chose to partner with them because of their deep expertise in the space and their strong technical capabilities.”
“Cellulant solves a huge challenge for businesses coming into Africa since they have to deal with 54-55 different payment providers and multiple currencies, with at least one for each country. With our presence in 35 countries, we are able to cover all these needs through a Single platform, Single API, Single contract, One web tool, and a Single point of managing all operations. This partnership complements Nala’s fully digital cross-border payment capabilities with the necessary infrastructure to enable them to deliver their services in the continent effectively,” said David Waithaka, Cellulant’s Chief Revenue Officer.