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Home e-Commerce Africa Blockchain-powered network to expand M-Pesa to Nigeria, Ghana

Blockchain-powered network to expand M-Pesa to Nigeria, Ghana

Blockchain-powered network to expand M-Pesa to Nigeria, Ghana

The 21 million M-Pesa users who are limited to transacting in Kenya can now expand their ability to send payments regardless of location with a new blockchain-based open-source SWIFT-like network launched last week.

The Stellar network allows connected financial institutions and services to transact with one another and minimise the friction that contributes to higher fees, thus reducing interoperability remittance costs.

Aside the M-Pesa expansion in Africa, which will be made possible by Flutterwave's Moneywave, the technical integration will also help three financial institutions serving the Indian, Filipino and European remittance markets to expand access and decrease costs considerably for their customers.

Jed McCaleb, Stellar CTO stated that Flutterwave will provide the technology, infrastructure and services to enable global merchants, payment service providers and pan-African banks to accept and process payments on any channel (Web, Mobile, ATM & POS).

He said: "By integrating with Stellar, Flutterwave will serve as payments hub, allowing its network of FI partners to send and receive payments on Stellar. This is in addition to several other private merchant payment networks for which Flutterwave also provides integration access. As a first use case of the Stellar network, Flutterwave will connect M-Pesa Kenya, a ground-breaking mobile phone financial services provider."

Flutterwave is a YCombinator company backed by some of Silicon Valley's investors including Omidyar Network, Greenvisor Capital, Greycroft and Khosla Impact Ventures.

According to Moneywave CEO Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, the problem to be solved with the new service is to remove the barriers between payment instruments and channels. Moneywave is an API layer that can be integrated into any business platform to receive payments of whatever type or currency — card, bank transfer, e-wallet — on one side into a form of the user's choice.

The Stellar network is one of the first blockchain applications that has the potential to affect a large number of people outside of those already entrenched in the digital currency space. The Stellar organisation aims to fulfil the promise of using blockchain technology towards financial inclusion for the 2.5 billion people worldwide who are underbanked.

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