NALA, a Tanzania-based fintech company, has teamed up with pan-African payments company Cellulant to power remittance payments from the United Kingdom and United States into Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana.
The partners say that, besides official direct assistance (ODA), remittances make up the second-largest source of external resources for sub-Saharan Africa. In 2019, they point out, approximately US$48 billion was remitted in Africa, with Nigeria receiving roughly 50% of this amount, followed by Ghana and Kenya.
However, sub-Saharan Africa is today the most expensive region to transfer money into. The partnership between Cellulant and NALA aims to facilitate seamless cross-border payments and significantly reduce the cost of sending money from the UK and the US into Africa.
Cellulant says it 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.
As David Waithaka, Cellulant’s Chief Revenue Officer, points out, businesses coming into Africa have to deal with 54-55 different payment providers and multiple currencies, with at least one for each country. He adds, “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.”
NALA provides an app for Africans living in the United Kingdom and the United States to send money to the continent seamlessly. NALA is currently active in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and Ghana and is preparing to join the Nigerian and Ethiopian markets. The company is also looking forward to expanding its services across Africa, the United States, and Canada.