BitPesa automates payments between Africa and China


Pan-African digital payments startup BitPesa has expanded its payment automation services in order to deliver faster, more cost-effective transactions between Africa and China.

China-Africa trade increased to more than US$170 billion in 2013, according to the World Bank, but the cost of sending payments from Africa to China remains high, often taking days to settle on the other end.

BitPesa, which raised its latest round of funding from BitFury Group in March, has now expanded its digital platform to allow businesses to send instant payments in local currency from African bank accounts directly to Chinese accounts.

“BitPesa’s digital platform was built as an infrastructure solution to meet the growing demand in this important corridor,” chief executive officer (CEO) Elizabeth Rossiello said. “It is essential that African and Chinese businesses can connect directly, without first sending their payments through a middle currency.”

BitPesa offers low-cost, same-day payments from Kenya, Nigerian, and Uganda directly to China, with businesses able to make easy payments to employees, distributors or suppliers without using cash or the US dollar as a middle currency.

“Businesses rely on our technology to send and receive payments faster and cheaper than anywhere else. With this integration, they now have a direct way to make a payment in local currencies between China and Africa,” Rossiello said.

With this launch, BitPesa expects a steady rise in activity, particularly with African importers using BitPesa for secure payout to their Chinese suppliers. The company plans to continue to open major payment corridors to better serve the growing number of people doing business in Africa.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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