New Pan-African payments system provides big relief for African traders

January 10, 2022 Modern Ghana 0 Comments

When Fidelis Adele, the CEO of Freetown-based Solid Graphics, a printing and communications company, needed to order some printing equipment from Nigeria in September, he paid an extra $165 on top of a $10,000 bank transfer to the seller. Yet it took three days for the money transferred in Sierra Leone to be credited to the beneficiary’s account in Nigeria.

“I paid $30 as transfer fee, $35 as SWIFT charges and another $100 bank charges,” Mr. Adele told Africa Renewal. SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, a global network that processes international payments.

Mr. Adele did not attempt to use financial services companies such as Western Union or MoneyGram because the “exchange rate for those companies is just bad.”

The other option would have been to fly to Lagos, a three-hour journey, carrying the physical cash along. “I have done that a few times,” he said, “but it is not cost-effective unless it’s a huge amount, and it is risky.”

Traders across Africa experience similar ordeal paying for goods or services across borders. In the process they lose valuable time and money. Read More.

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