- Fintech Verto has partnered with UBA Bank to launch a cross-border payment solution in East Africa, starting with Kenya.
- Verto’s suite of products, spanning foreign bank accounts, instant currency exchange, and international money transfers, is now accessible to individuals and businesses in Kenya.
- This strategic partnership with UBA Bank marks a pivotal moment for East Africa, positioning the company as a catalyst for overcoming the challenges associated with cross-border trade.
Fintech Verto, a London-based company, has partnered with UBA Bank to launch a cross-border payment platform in East Africa, starting with Kenya.
The platform offers a comprehensive solution, enabling startups, SMEs, and large corporations to effortlessly send, receive, and exchange money in over 190 countries. With the capability to hold funds in Verto accounts across 51 currencies, the platform is a game-changer for businesses seeking global expansion.
Verto’s suite of cutting-edge products
“By aligning with UBA Bank, Verto is strategically positioned in East Africa to tackle the growing complexities of international trade, especially in dealing with different currencies,” stated Kevin Nganga, Country Director Kenya.
Verto’s suite of cutting-edge products, spanning foreign bank accounts, instant currency exchange, and international money transfers, is now accessible to individuals and businesses in Kenya through its seamless online platform.
This strategic partnership with UBA Bank marks a pivotal moment for East Africa, positioning the fintech as a catalyst for overcoming the challenges associated with cross-border trading in diverse currencies.
Antony Oduu, Co-Founder of Verto, emphasized the company’s commitment to simplifying cross-border settlements, particularly for the burgeoning gig economy.
“Our instant currency exchange service provides customers with free virtual international bank accounts, ensuring that small businesses, freelancers, remote workers, and content creators in Kenya experience a frictionless payment process,” he said.
The rise of the gig economy in Kenya, driven by a young workforce, increased mobile money adoption, and expanded internet and smartphone penetration, creates fertile ground for Verto’s solutions.
Rapid expansion of gig economy
Kenya is witnessing rapid growth in digital and online work platforms, transforming how the country’s workforce accesses job opportunities.
Today, these platforms are opening new markets, building trust between clients and gig workers, and providing workers with a broader range of job opportunities.
A study by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) estimated that five percent of Kenya’s adult population, around 1.2 million people, now participate in some form of the gig economy, which can include businesses on social media.
On the other hand, trends in payment volumes across East Africa show significant growth in real-time payments, crypto and blockchain use, cross-border flows, and remittances.
This is despite McKinsey reporting that only 5 to 7 per cent of all payment transactions in Africa are made via electronic or digital channels.
Sub-Saharan Africa recorded $48 billion in personal remittances in 2021, up from $37 billion a decade earlier (and $4.8 billion in 2000).
“This data underscores the critical need for interoperability between African currencies, addressing a key pain point for businesses. Currently, the lack of compatibility often forces Kenyan businesses to resort to the dollar for cross-border transactions, illustrating the necessity for innovative solutions like Verto,” Oduu added.
Simplifying international payments
As international trade and supply chains evolve towards global integration, the company’s services play a crucial role in simplifying complex and expensive international payments, particularly in emerging markets like Africa.
While many fintech solutions focus on consumer-centric peer-to-peer payments, Verto is pioneering solutions tailored for the B2B market, representing 30 per cent of global imports and 45 per cent of total employment in emerging markets.
With a client base exceeding 3,000, including industry giants like MTN, Yoco, and Interswitch, Verto reported a staggering 70 per cent growth in transaction volume last year, surpassing $3 billion.
Bolstered by this success, the fintech anticipates tripling this volume within the next 12 months as it expands its offerings.
Antony Oduu revealed, “We have received over $30 million in monthly deposit requests per company, reflecting the confidence our clients place in Verto for operational purposes such as payroll and payouts.” This robust demand further underscores the transformative impact the firm has on the operational efficiency of businesses.