TBD Partners With Yellow Card To Facilitate Global Payments In Africa Via Bitcoin Rails

Apr. 19, 2023
TBD Partners With Yellow Card To Facilitate Global Payments In Africa Via Bitcoin Rails

Block, through its Bitcoin-focused developer entity, TBD, has joined hands with Yellow Card, one of the largest African crypto exchanges. Jack Dorsey’s Block Inc. (formerly Square Inc), is a fintech firm that provides mobile payments solutions and is also behind the financial firm Cash App.

According to the press release on Wednesday, the collaboration aims to open a network of fiat on- and off-ramps and payments through Bitcoin (BTC) between 16 countries in Africa. However, its goal is to make liquidity exchanges and cross-border payments more affordable and accessible.

Fiat off-ramps and on-ramps work like “roads”, connecting the crypto space and fiat. Where fiat off-ramps are a way to allow users to convert their crypto assets into fiat currency, on-ramps are the opposite.

Currently, cross-border payments in Africa incur fees of around 10% while already present systems take several days to clear transactions.

Meanwhile, in March 2023, Yellow Card and TBD successfully tested the viability of real-time transaction rails from the US (United States) to Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria. Senders can initiate transfers in USD. While receivers will be able to receive local fiat currency in mobile money wallets, such as MTN and M-PESA, and or into bank accounts.

TBD supports regional fiat currencies and the exchange of crypto assets by converting USD into stablecoins or BTC. However, receivers also have the choice of storing their money in the form of Bitcoin or stablecoins, which is especially important if they live in areas affected by hyperinflation.

CEO of Yellow Card, Chris Maurice, noted:

“The international payments space, especially in Africa, is in dire need of the innovative solutions we are building together, and this is the culmination of the vision behind Block’s initial investment in Yellow Card in 2021.”

How The Partnership Will Operate

Yellow Card will be one of the first partners of TBD to allow customers to send BTC or USD and recipients to receive the local currency equivalent.

According to a statement, the system leverages Stablecoins and Bitcoin (BTC) to reduce costs for sending money across borders.

TBD provides developer services and APIs that make it easy for app designers to embed functionality so that transactions can happen in real time for their end users. Notably, TBD has designed its technology “bridge” to legally meet the national and international and national fund transfer rules, and technological and legal expertise that Yellow Card does not have.

The COO of TBD, Emily Chiu, stated:

“We’re focused on advancing Block’s purpose of economic empowerment by breaking down the barriers to financial access across the Global South.”

Syed Ali Haider

Researcher & Editor
Ali Haider is a Blockchain enthusiast and writer passionate about enhancing the acceptance, adoption, and integration of Blockchain technology worldwide. He has also advocated for digital freedom and cybersecurity for many years.