NALA partners with Cellulant to reduce costs of sending money from the UK and US to Africa

Fintech based in Tanzania, NALAannounced a partnership with Cellulant to power remittances from the UK and US to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana.

The partnership with Cellular aims to facilitate seamless cross-border payments and dramatically reduce the cost of sending money from the UK and US to Africa.

Transaction fees absorb a large portion of the billions sent to Africa each year. The cost of sending money to Africa is the highest of all regions. Tanzania and Kenya remain the highest with fees of 17% and 21% respectively for every $200 sent. With the increase in intra-African trade and between Africa and the rest of the world, transaction cost is one of the barriers to successful facilitation of cross-border payments.

Besides direct official assistance (ODA), remittances are the second largest source of external resources for sub-Saharan Africa. In 2019, around $48 billion was transferred to Africa, with Nigeria receiving around 50% of this amount, followed by Ghana and Kenya. Despite a drop in remittances to sub-Saharan Africa in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, countries like Kenya and Ghana have seen an increase in cross-border payments. Remittances to sub-Saharan Africa have resumed and increased by around 6% in 2021.

NALA is a Y-Combinator backed company that offers Africans living in the UK and US an easy way to send money to the continent. NALA has been active in East Africa and Ghana with plans to expand into the Nigerian, Ethiopian and Canadian markets.

Cellulant provides a unique API payment platform, Ting, which enables global, regional and local businesses to collect payments online and offline while allowing anyone to pay with 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, enabling interoperability across Africa.

What they said:

“Today, sub-Saharan Africa is the most expensive region to transfer money to,” said NALA chief executive Nicolai Eddy. “In Tanzania and across the African continent, there is a huge opportunity to harness technology to reduce payment fees and create next-generation payment and banking products. At NALA, we have built a fully digital platform for UK and US based individuals and businesses to send money to friends, family and employees in Africa. Cellulant is one of the earliest payment pioneers on the continent, and we chose to partner with them because of their deep domain expertise and strong technical capabilities.

“Cellulant solves a huge challenge for businesses coming to Africa as 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 thanks to a single platform, a single API, a single contract, a single web tool and a single point of management for all operations. This partnership complements Nala’s all-digital cross-border payment capabilities with the necessary infrastructure to enable them to efficiently deliver their services on the continent,” said David Waithaka, Chief Revenue Officer of Cellulant.

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