How Ghana’s Sesacash is building a blockchain-based community with crypto cashback

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Ghanaian fintech startup Sesacash is encouraging uptake of its multi-currency blockchain wallet by rewarding users with cryptocurrency “cashback” every time they use it.

Formed in 2018, Sesacash has developed a digital wallet that allows Ghanaians and Nigerians to spend, store and manage up to 20 traditional and digital currencies from anywhere in the world. 

Users can fund their accounts via credit or debit card, bank transfer, mobile money or various cryptocurrencies, while it is free to send money from one account to another. Users can withdraw to bank accounts, mobile money wallets, and the soon-to-be-introduced Sesa debit card.

The startup began life as a crypto exchange, but rebranded last year as it spotted a bigger opportunity.

“SMEs pay high fees sourcing forex locally to make cross-border payments within Africa. The banking infrastructure setup forces SMEs to open several currency bank accounts with high banking fees to make payments within Africa. Businesses and individuals lose the value of their money frequently due to depreciation. As a result, 50-60 per cent of businesses and individuals still carry cash to make cross-border payments in Africa,” Blaise Bayuo, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Sesacash, told Disrupt Africa.

Bayou previously founded Ghanaian marketing startup RetailTower, acquired by Kudobuzz in 2018, and is now turning his focus to building Sesacash’s user base. Organic growth has seen it acquire over 1,000 users, but it has come up with an innovative way of encouraging further growth – crypto “cashback”.

“We have a unique token economy that rewards users with crypto currency in the form of cashback every time they spend using Sesacash,” Bayou said. 

“The team also loves community engagement and involvement, hence the introduction of the Sesacash affiliate programme, where users earn passive income by referring their friends and families to Sesacash.” 

The startup plans to build ots appeal further with the rollout this year of the Sesa card, a next-generation multi-currency card that will automatically convert more than 20 digital and traditional currencies at any point of sale. 

“This will allow cardholders to seamlessly spend their crypto and other African currencies, regardless of which country they are in,” said Bayou.

No stranger to raising funding from his time at RetailTower, Bayou and his team bootstrapped Sesacash until they received grant awards from the Telos blockchain community. 

“We also raised US$100,000 as liquidity support from our trustees, and this puts us in the position to process huge transaction volumes,” he said.

For now Sesacash, which makes money through transaction fees, is only serving Ghana and Nigeria, but it plans to expand further afield while launching new products.

“We are looking to expand to Francophone West Africa,” Bayou said. “We will also be introducing enterprise packages for our business customers soon.”

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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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