Africans rarely use Bitcoin payment services as they don’t trust Bitcoin as a currency. Lorien Gamaroff, CEO of Bankymoon, stated to Cointelegraph that African residents don’t use services that offer the option of Bitcoin payments for utility bills and others because they just don’t trust cryptocurrency. Nevertheless, this could be the perfect alternative to the traditional banking system, especially considering the fact that most of Africa's population is unbanked.
South Africa-based startup Bankymoon offers different solutions for utility bill payments that support Bitcoins and other known cryptocurrencies. They even offer utility payments via smart contracts. It allows users to conduct payments without involving third parties and, consequently, to avoid additional fees.
Unfortunately, such solutions aren’t really popular among the residents of South Africa. According to Lorien Gamaroff, “their utility payment system has not been widely used in Africa simply because most people have not yet heard about Bitcoin. And those that have are only aware of it in the context of hacked exchanges and underground markets and so confidence in it in terms of a currency is low”.
He stated to Cointelegraph:
“The payments that were made have mostly been by customers that were used in the pilot study. Unfortunately, it does seem that the crypto-payment facility is still ahead of its time here in Africa. I look forward to the time when the world catches up to the innovation.
I believe that, as the price volatility stabilises and as more services come online that accept it, they will see more value in it as a currency”.
This system of payments really has good prospects as 80% of Africans are unbanked and most are already comfortable with the concept of mobile money so perhaps it is just a matter of time.
There are already several companies that offer mobile payments, such as M-Pesa, MFS Africa, Safaricom and others. Obviously, their solutions are much more popular and widely used among Africans than Bankymoon’s Bitcoin solutions so far.