Posted 12 months ago | by Ben Armstrong
Binance-Backed Crypto Payments App Bundle Launches in Nigeria
The leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has launched a social payments application, named Bundle, in Nigeria.
According to an announcement released last week, Binance said that Bundle would provide a means for Africans to make payments. Users on the platform are allowed to store and transact in both cash and cryptocurrencies through a new digital wallet, which can be downloaded to smartphones.
The payments app was first launched to Nigeria, one of the continent's largest economies. It supports Binance Coin (BNB), Bitcoin (BTC), and Ether (ETH) as well as the local fiat currency, the Nigerian naira.
Also, 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.
Binance Opens Door to African Expansion
Binance sees Nigeria as a launchpad and plans to expand to over 30 African countries by the end of 2020 by providing a simple fiat on and off-ramp for crypto in the continent. This is a huge move and may help to make financial services available to a massive unbanked population.
The service will be launched without fees, excepting 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 as well as the iOS version will be published on Apple’s App Store in the coming weeks. It is not supported on the computer version currently.
New Ways to Move Money
The bundle was the brainchild of Binance Labs' Yele Bademosi, the CEO and co-founder of Bundle, who grew up in a town just north of Lagos, the Nigerian capital.
The app was able to attract $450,000 USD in funding from Binance in late 2019. According to Bademosi, Binance created a number of application programming interfaces useful for developers in the cryptocurrency industry, suggesting that the application may use some of them.
Binance already has a presence in Nigeria. The exchange's local director also informed that this year it had received thousands of new signups soon after launching a fiat on-ramp in the country in October 2019.
Helping the Poor to Grow Financially
Africa is fertile ground for crypto innovation.
A Binance spokesperson said that its sole objective in Africa is to promote cryptocurrency adoption:
"We are happy to see more players providing crypto payment services in Africa". "In the long run, this helps to grow the industry and drive crypto adoption."
The announcement also disclosed that the number of Africans who prefer to use online transaction systems and use advanced financial tools is 40%. One of the reasons for this may be that the African continent has a median age of 19. This young and tech-savvy population is the target of Bundle’s services.
Rival exchange Huobi also has appeared in Africa via its Middle Eastern and African subsidiary, as well as local competitors such as Luno and BitPesa.
Binance had appeared in Uganda and Kenya in the same period while launching its fiat onramp for the naira. The exchange has also entered the South African market, which is Africa's second-largest economy.