WayaPay, a Kenyan and US-based fintech startup is set to launch a full-service digital bank and money transfer app targeting Africans in the diaspora.
Users of the WayaPay App will be able open bank accounts digitally, send money to other Waya users for free, spend using their Waya cards linked to their Waya account, and send money to more than 10 countries in Africa. Remittances will be delivered to mobile wallets and bank accounts across Africa.
Dr. David Wachira, a US-based Kenyan entrepreneur who co-founded Waya with Hempstone Maroria, says Africans in the diaspora send home more than Sh6 trillion annually, but lose up to Sh361 billion in hidden fees and high forex rates.
“Waya’s mission is to unlock financial barriers, provide unlimited financial access and opportunities for millions of African immigrants living and working outside their home countries”, said Wachira, who serves as Waya’s Chief Operating Officer (COO).
The former World Bank Finance and Governance Specialist further highlighted the opportunity of offering banking and remittance services to the millions of immigrants that contribute over $1.3trillion to the US economy annually.
“The African Diaspora send over $50 billion dollars back home every year and lose up to $3B in hidden fees and high FX rates when sending money back home. We not only want to help them move money back home in a faster, cheaper and affordable way but want to enable them to also store, spend and transact the over 80% of their income that remains in the countries where they live and work,” he added.
In addition, Waya allows users to make domestic bank transfers within the USA to pay others or pay bills in the countries where they live and work.
It also seeks to provide other financial services like credit, savings account and investment opportunities for African immigrants to enable them to be more financially secure and financially included in the countries where they work and live.
“Mobile Money is one of the biggest African success stories. Waya wants to bring the convenience of transacting on mobile money to banking in the USA enabling users to transact with each other while enabling the diaspora to send money to Africa in a fast convenient and affordable way” said Waya CEO Maroria.
The Waya App will be officially launched in Washington, DC on September 16th, and will be available to the public on October 1st.