The Black tax economy

Why African Diaspora Payments Is A Tough Remittance Space Even PayPal Couldn’t Surf

By  |  November 3, 2021

When it comes to sending and receiving money with the rest of the world, Africa—much unlike remittances in the global West—deals with a double-edged problem. 

While it is possible to send money elsewhere via a service like PayPal, receiving money through the same platform remains largely impossible. On the flip side of the conundrum, Africans can receive money through an account with WorldRemit, but are unable to send money via the same service. 

Though players like PayPal are starting to make significant changes, moving money to and from Africa is not yet a completely seamless process. Considering that there are about 10 million Africans living in North America alone, for instance—which is about twice the entire population of Sweden—and that the continent’s remittance markets brim with potential, one would agree it is high time someone does something. 

Indeed, last month, Payday Africa—which claims to have processed USD 1.4 Mn worth of transactions just three weeks after it was launched—secured USD 1 Mn in pre-seed from a compendium of high-profile VCs and angel investors to build “the PayPal for Africa”. Similarly, Nigeria’s Lemonade Finance—a Y Combinator-backed remittance startup—has just raised USD 725 K in seed to ease payments for the African diaspora. 

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