U.S-based Kenyan fintech company WayaPay has launched its full-service digital bank and money transfer app targeting African immigrants.
The app was officially launched at an event graced by Kenya’s Ambassador to the United States Lazarus Amayo in Washington, D.C on Friday.
Amb. Amayo said Wayapay, which was co-founded by Dr. David Wachira and Hempstone Maroria, both Kenyans living in the diaspora, secured all the necessary regulatory approval in the U.S.
Users of the WayaPay App will be able open bank accounts digitally, and within minutes, 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.
“Wayapay’s goal is to provide unlimited financial access and opportunities to everyone, especially those that are underserved, overlooked, and misunderstood by the traditional banking systems globally, with an initial focus on people living and working outside their home countries,” WayaPay says on its website.
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” says Waya CEO Maroria.
“We invite you to join us on a march to freedom from high fees, complexities, inefficiencies, and the difficulties immigrants face when accessing banking and other financial services and, most notably, when sending money back home.”
Waya’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Dr. Wachira, a former World Bank Finance and Governance Specialist, said African diaspora sends over $50 billion dollars back home every year but lose up to $3 billion 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 said.