PAL, a Ghanaian startup, is providing a much-needed solution to the challenges of cross-border payments in Francophone Africa. The company’s e-money payment infrastructure and liquidity provider platform allows African businesses to facilitate cross-border payments to bank accounts and mobile wallets within eight French African nations, exchange diverse African currencies alongside Dollars and Euros, access cash liquidity instantly, and effectively manage their finances.
PAL’s platform is also accessible to international businesses based in the UK, US, and Europe, who can utilize its distinct API to efficiently transfer funds at a reduced cost into mobile wallets, merchant wallets, and bank accounts across Francophone countries.
According to Dady Maël, one of PAL’s founders, the company is also enabling small businesses to become agents within minutes using its POS terminal and USSD point, enabling them to unlock a higher level of revenue with advance cash and already embedded financial products from various financial institutions.
PAL officially launched operations in September 2022 and is already active in Benin, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Ghana. It handled US$2.3 million worth of transactions in its first year.
Maël highlighted the key challenges that PAL is addressing in Francophone Africa. One challenge is the high adoption rates of mobile wallets in the region, but the lack of necessary infrastructure for access, which can be challenging and costly, often taking between four and seven months to integrate with telecom providers. Additionally, the lack of interoperability within these networks presents obstacles to efficient fund transfers.
Another challenge is the high cost and complex paperwork involved in making payments in African currencies using traditional banking services, which can also take up to six days to settle. This can hinder the growth and revenue of businesses in the region.
PAL addresses these challenges by working closely with telecom providers to offer a swift and cost-effective way to transfer funds to mobile money wallets across various networks. The company’s robust infrastructure also enables remittances to flow through its platform at highly competitive rates.
PAL is a valuable player in the fintech ecosystem, helping to simplify cross-border payments and make financial services more accessible to businesses and individuals in Francophone Africa.