Ghana’s Waya Money has partnered with Ripple to offer immediate cross-border payments to millions of Africans in three countries, given a recent update to the company’s website.
“The bus is faster” than bank transfers
Based in the Accra region of Ghana, Waya is a new digital bank working to introduce a financial system in Africa, a region that is a victim of corrupt financial practices and the inaccessibility of banking services to the majority of the population.
Waya has partnered with the Ripple blockchain protocol to address such common issues:
At the time of writing, there are no additional details about the online partnership, such as those related to the use of XRP for cross-border payments or the expansion of the RippleNet platform.
If you believe the comments from a local blog, the significance of immediate transfers in the African region is huge. The blog argues that remittances between Togo and Ghana, two African countries, are cheaper and faster if the countries concerned travel by bus across the border than relying on banks.
Such problems prevent “intercontinental trade” across Africa, but the entry of players like Waya aims to solve the problem. The company even promises a “30-minute” policy for its ads, returning money to the sender’s account if the transactions are not cleared within the deadline.
Waya currently operates in three African countries; Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria. Others are under construction, including South Africa, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire. Interestingly, the project also mentions Stellar (XLM) as a partner.
Africa relies on cryptocurrencies
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are witnessing sporadic acceptance in Africa, a massive, resource-rich continent suffering from poor financial infrastructure and a sound banking system. Non-blockchain protocols such as M-Pesa dominate the continent’s micropayments.
Celebrities are also trying to help in this regard. The efforts of people like singer Akon, who created the currency Acoin, and Madonna, who led the Ripple Foundation in Malawi in 2018.
Meanwhile, XRP has continued to move in the wrong direction over the past few quarters. Ripple, the parent company of the cryptocurrency, has long argued that there is a ” difference ” between XRP and the broader operations of Ripple Labs, which means that the two efforts are not linked.