Despite the growing numbers on internet users in Africa especially on the mobile platform, international electronic payment firms are still yet to see a great potential in the African market. Firms like Paypal have blacklisted some African countries, making it hard to run businesses in those countries that rely on such funds transfer services.
While those that have already established themselves like Western Union charge exorbitant fees for their services. Nigerians have taken to petitioning PayPal to launch in their country. Lack of these payment services or their high service fee are seriously undermining the growth of African entrepreneurs especially those who are dealing with overseas money transfers.
But there seems to be some relief in Ghana as Kitiwa launches and set to Ghanaians make online transactions via Bitcoins which is a cheap and instant alternative for sending and receiving money. Kitiwa says after launching in Ghana, it plans on spreading throughout the African continent, and help entrepreneurs convert their local currencies into Bitcoins and overcome the current hurdles facing the African entrepreneur when it comes to online payments.
Kitiwa, founded by Meltwater’s Nikunj Handa, Falk Benke, Mawuli Adzoe and Emmanuel Quartey intends to establish itself in Africa and becoming the continent’s Coinbase. Ghanaians can now convert their Cedis to Bitcoins and transact online just like entrepreneurs in other parts of the world who currently enjoy the support of these online money transfer services.
Kitiwa plans to do various campaigns in Ghana, to ensure more Ghanaians will “fall in love with Bitcoins.” As of now, they have processed $33,000 worth of Bitcoins. They have also prepared a tutorial that shows users how to send and receive Bitcoins. They are also helping users open bitcoin wallets addresses on their blog.