Ham (my Co-Founder and CEO of Chipper Cash) and I probably disagree on which country has the best African dish—I think it’s Jollof Rice from my motherland Ghana; he thinks Pilau from Uganda.
But we do agree on one thing—receiving money instantly in most African countries from the family in the diaspora or vice versa can be a life-saving moment.
When I moved to the United States for school, my father could only send me money indirectly through his friend who lived in the U.S. That system was slow, frustrating, and was prone to fall apart at a moment’s notice.
This didn’t change after I graduated. It still took 3 - 4 days to send money, and it was expensive.
So, as we launch in the United States, we’re particularly excited to support the African diaspora in sending money back home instantly, with no fees, and at the best rates; this is a personal feel-good moment for Ham and me.
Unlocking global opportunities
Some of the best business origin stories stem from people building products or services that solve a painful problem for themselves. And we are no different.
In 2018, Ham and I set off on a journey to provide Africans with the most accessible and affordable way to send and receive money to, from, and across the continent.
We had both experienced the issue firsthand; we both agreed that the problem seemed simple, but the solution would be incredibly complex; but most importantly, we both agreed that this was too important a mission to ignore.
The United States is a crucial remittance corridor into African countries today. The World Bank estimates that north of $45 billion was sent to Sub-Saharan Africa in 2019, with the United States contributing 27% of this number.
Now here’s where it gets interesting.
The figure above doesn’t capture informal transfers. The expensive, sometimes frustrating, and never-ending chains of go-betweens that Africans sometimes have to go through to send money to their families.
Where are we going?
We believe that by connecting Africa, one transaction at a time, we can accelerate trade and commerce.
This started as a partnership between Ham and me. But we can’t achieve much without the broader collaboration of the global team at Chipper and our critical partners across the world.
And as we grow, we’ll continue to expand these partnerships.
Such as our global partnership with Burna Boy—a strong voice and international artist who has used his music to play a focal role in unlocking the beauty of an interconnected African economy —and our integration of Chipper Cash with Twitter Tips. This will serve as a viable option for African creators to launch and get financial support for their work.
It truly is an exciting time!
It’s the connections between us Africans that power Chipper Cash. And in Burna Boy’s words:
“Touring and experiencing the diaspora shows you the importance of creating a bridge that connects us all. So, it’s amazing to see Africans telling African stories, singing songs about their motherland, and also building bridges using fintech. Chipper Cash connects Africa and the world to those contributing to the rich creativity and culture in our stories. While also enabling instant payments for urgent needs like medicine, school, and hospital fees.”
And we’re only just beginning
Our launch in the United States, the global partnership with Burna Boy, and Twitter Tips integration are all steps in our journey to make sending money to, from, and across Africa easy, accessible, and maybe even fun.
In recent months, we’ve launched in South Africa, Ghana, and the UK. And we’ll be rolling Chipper Cash into other markets in the coming months. We’ve also launched the Chipper VISA card in Nigeria and will be expanding the product across the continent.
So, yeah, what next?
I think Ham puts it best:
“Real progress is neither easy nor linear. We can’t do it alone; in fact, we don’t want to do it alone. We need other entrepreneurs to also do their part in moving our ecosystem along, we need the support and cooperation of governments and regulators, and arguably most importantly we need resourceful, empathetic, and driven people to join us in building a better and more inclusive financial world for the next billion people. If this resonates with you then we need you! We need you to help us chip away at one of the most daunting challenges of our time.”
Whether you’re coming to build on top of Chipper Cash (with our robust network API) or with Chipper Cash, join us in trying to fix one of the challenging but rewarding and impactful problems facing billions of people across the continent.
Come, let’s get on this journey together! Let’s build this together!