Japanese money transfer giant, SBI Remit is partnering up with Kenya’s BitPesa to enable nearly half a million customers to send money to Africa using Bitcoin blockchain. This new service will increase the liquidity and transparency for small and medium-sized businesses which are operating between Japan and Africa. The main reason behind this partnership is to provide more reliable ways of money transfer to other countries.
SBI Remit is the largest remittance service provider in Japan while BitPesa is a digital treasury management solution provider which uses the blockchain technology to lower the cost and increase the speed of money transfer to and from frontier markets.
BitPesa has raised $10 million to turn the Bitcoin blockchain into an enterprise payment rail. To make intercountry transactions consumers have to rely on banks and other middlemen. On the other hand, BitPesa is using a combination of Bitcoin blockchain and other services to simplify the process of cross-border payments. In the whole money transfer process, Bitcoin works as a bridge between two different currencies which might not have enough liquidity. The new partnership is planning to follow the same path which is already laid out by BitPesa. The cross-border payment process followed by BitPesa not only reduces the cost and transfer time but also provides more security.
According to the founder and chief executive officer of BitPesa, Elizabeth Rossiello the new payment option offered by the partnership will enable the African consumers to deposit funds in their local currency into the BitPesa local bank account. BitPesa will transfer the money to SBI Remit’s account and customers in Japan can withdraw the money from the large network of SBI Remit. The customers do not have to do any conversion, BitPesa and SBI Remit will take of the conversion. Transaction fees and time is taken by the new process will be much lower than bank transfer. With the help of blockchain’s fast settlement time, the remittance will be complete in less than an hour.
According to the director of SBI Remit, Nobuo Ando there are so many companies which are doing trade with African countries and they all are suffering from high cost and slow speed of money transfer. SBI Remit wants to targets that kind of market with BitPesa. Because of the increased transparency and trust, the new cross-border payment system will help jump-start African commerce with Japan. Though there are numerous industries are expanding in Africa Japan corridor but SBI Remit and BitPesa partnership is focusing on certain industries including cosmetics, electronics, and used cars. The partnership will not only make it easy for the African to buy Japanese products but also reduce the friction improve interoperability and efficiency for cross-border payments.
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