Social payments application Bundle launched its service in Nigeria after incubation by leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance.
According to an announcement on April 23, Bundle now allows its users to request, send and receive cash or crypto from their peers in Nigeria. By the end of this year, the firm plans to expand to over 30 African countries and provide a simple fiat on and off-ramp for crypto in the continent.
Bundle supports Binance Coin (BNB), Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) as well as the local fiat currency — the Nigerian naira — but there are plans to add more fiat currencies in the coming weeks. Payments can be processed through cards, bank transfers and stored in the application’s wallet.
The service will initially launch without fees, but Know Your Customer verification and fiat withdrawal and deposit limits will be applied. The mobile application is already available on the Google Play Android application store, and the iOS version will be published on Apple’s App Store in the coming weeks. No desktop version is currently supported.
Bundle closed a pre-seed fundraise in September 2019, raising $450,000 from Binance. Yele Bademosi, the CEO and co-founder of Bundle, told Cointelegraph that Binance created a number of application programming interfaces useful for developers in the cryptocurrency industry, suggesting that the application may use some of them.
Africa is fertile ground for crypto innovation
Per the announcement, about 40% of banked Africans prefer to use online transaction systems and use advanced financial tools, partly because of the continent's low median age of 19. This young, tech-savvy population is the target of Bundle’s financial services. Bademosi said:
“We built Bundle with the digitally native African user in mind. They are social, online, and connected across geographical boundaries. They prefer their financial services delivered digitally via mobile apps as opposed to visiting brick and mortar bank branches. We built Bundle as a mobile wallet that supports cash and crypto, and makes using crypto feel like just another digital financial transaction done on a mobile app like Venmo.”
Bundle CTO Taiwo Orilogbon explained that Africa is fertile ground for cryptocurrency-based financial innovation, stating, “Currently, only 1.4 million people out of 1.2 billion people in Africa use crypto today. This is a worthwhile mission because making the blockchain ecosystem more accessible unlocks economic opportunity on and for the continent.”
Hosting a number of developing countries, the African continent lacks a solid and well-developed financial infrastructure. While this has proven to be a major issue for local economic development so far, it also allows for faster innovation than in many developed countries. A recent Cointelegraph analysis explains how Africa is using those new technologies to drive change.
As Cointelegraph reported in mid-April, cryptocurrency trading platform CryptoLocally is attempting to address the financial inequity in the African continent by partnering with payment platform Sesacash and providing innovative cross-border payment solutions.